FRENN – Casually Sophisticated Menswear from the Seashores of Helsinki
FRENN is a Helsinki-based menswear line combining honest Finnish design, relaxed sophistication and Nordic simplicity. FRENN is designed in Helsinki and responsibly hand-manufactured in northern Europe.In 2013, Jarkko Kallio was walking the streets of New York in a tailored camouflage-print jacket by Antti Laitinen when someone tried to buy the jacket off him, then and there. It happened several times. Kallio and Laitinen had long dreamt about creating a men’s clothing brand – and it was time. The two creative professionals founded the contemporary menswear line FRENN later that same year.
FRENN clothes may seem Nordic and simple, but there is always more to them than meets the eye. Like the Finns, they are quiet at first, but straightforward, honest, reliable, and easygoing when you get to know them. FRENN is synonymous with exquisite, interesting materials and surprising design details meeting comfortable, but always sharp, tailoring skills. FRENN believes that freedom is the new normal and casual is the new formal. The brand also believes in carefully monitored responsibility, with knowledge of every part of the manufacturing chain.
It’s all about the details
Haze from the Baltic Sea blurs the faces of Helsinki, but soon it will be gone. Then we can see the graphic lines of the city, how lines of raw nature and contemporary architecture form an interesting weave. These contrasts make Helsinki spring unique. -FRENN press release
FRENN is always introduced as a company from Helsinki. The straightforwardness and honesty of Finnish working methods are reflected in their clothes, and the spirit of Helsinki, an environmentally friendly city by the sea, shines through.
Antti “Designer Man” Laitinen was originally drawn to fashion through his interest in history. When Laitinen switched from studying history to fashion, he was already planning to create his own clothing brand someday. He has worked for several major Finnish clothing companies and has seen the various sides of the industry.
Jarkko “Marketing Man” Kallio has long experience in brand-building, both as a designer and as a marketing communications coordinator. He maintained his own trade name while working a day job at Finlayson, and established a design agency with Harri Helorinne in 2006.FRENN founders Jarkko Kallio and Antti Laitinen.
For both Laitinen and Kallio, building the FRENN brand was a natural next step after all their years of work in the clothing and design industries.
“Fashion reflects the times and the world faster than any other industry. We dreamt about creating a men’s clothing brand for a long time, and the positive developments in the Finnish fashion world during the past few years finally made it possible”, they say.
“We want to make FRENN internationally intriguing. So to us, the slightest detail, even picking the right thread color, is brand-building.”
All pictures by FRENN.
- Deko 05/2016
- HS Teema 25.8.2015
- Lilou’s blog