BUD UP, Aino-Sofia?
Gloriously unique, colourful carpets, leather jackets and design pieces dreamed into existence by amazing designer-queen Aino-Sofia Heiniö, and then handcrafted together by world-class Moroccon artisans. Fun, quirky and delicious, Aino-Sofia’s products are totally adored by BUD – and not much of a body-talk was needed for us to get nice & together with Aino-Sofia. Fast, fast forward, now her carpets are beautifully taking over their much-earned space in BUD.
We wanted to talk with Aino-Sofia about her creative philosophy, life in Marrakech and general inspirations. Never forgetting about changing the world, either! And yes, yes, yes (because you will all ask about it sooner or later) – you can buy Aino-Sofia’s masterpieces straight from BUD. Now then, let’s chat away!
Hello there, Aino-Sofia! Few years already in Marrakech – how would you describe your experiences there as a designer? What’s so inspiring about Marrakech? And how does Moroccan culture and atmosphere differ from your life and work in Helsinki?
For me, the whole city is full of inspiration! It has its special kind of energy with beautiful light, colours, and perfumes. It’s just pure magic! I get to work with amazingly talented artisans, I love how we can create together something new and unique. The whole Moroccan journey has been a real adventure from the beginning ‘till this day. I’m happy to be able to live and work in two very different culture, the contrast between Helsinki and Marrakech make of a one perfect balance.
My work in Morocco is very free and intuitive, because I work for my own brand. It is more like a lifestyle, I’m all the time open for the new ideas and I get inspired by the things I see and feel around me. It also gives a good perspective on how you see the world differently by living in a different culture. I love it!
What’s the story behind these extremely cool carpets you export from Marrakech?
I’m totally in love with the Moroccan rugs, especially with the Azilal style ones. They were the true inspiration for my clothing line. I was thinking about why to enjoy them just at home when you could wear them where ever you go.
It’s been very inspiring to work together with the Moroccan women artisans and create something totally new from the traditional rugs. In this way, the rugs get a totally new life and function which is beautiful. The making of Azilal rugs, like other Berber rugs, is skill-specific to the Berber women of the tribes of Morocco. They create them freely by playing with different shapes and colours while following their intuition. The rugs are truly amazing pieces of art.
Your garments are unique and unisex – why’s that? What other values affect your work?
I don’t feel like separating things into their own boxes. We all represent both feminine and masculine energies, we are all one. Instead of uncontrolled mass productions, unique products are important for me. It is very important for me to use partly recycled, natural materials and to know that the artisans I work with have good working conditions and well-paid salary. In my production, everything is made with love and respect. Beauty is important in this world and it can be present in so many different shapes. I love the colours, joy, and playfulness. Life and fashion shouldn’t be too serious.
Your carpets will be a very visible part of BUD’s selection – how do you see your connection to BUD and how would you like it to evolve in the future?
I’m so happy about our connection! BUD is the perfect spot for my carpets in the heart of Helsinki. The carpets bring their beautiful energy, warmth, and colours to Helsinki from the high mountains and villages of Morocco, decorating BUD’s walls and floors. In the future, I hope I can help to share even Moroccan beauty in BUD, by being a link between these two countries. We can’t have too much beauty in this world, and spreading it is great!
BUD is a bit about changing the world – and we know that you’re too! What would you love to see more of in the future?
We should wake up to respect our planet and be careful with our consumption. We should get to know the story of the products before buying them. Sustainability and recycling are important and so is using creativity for making something new from the things that already exist. We should buy less, and buy quality products instead of disposal products. Supporting smaller brands is important, as with small ones we can better see behind the curtains. Fast-changing fashion is also not necessary. We should learn to see everything in the big picture, as we are one. And finally: go slow, instead of running.