NOKONEN - A Fresh Breeze of Scandi-inspired Urban Fashion

Stella Saastamoinen

Stella Saastamoinen

Nokonen is one of the newest brands at IVALO! This brand offers you amazing hand-painted designs with Scandinavian inspired pure lines and conscious production. Get to know this new super brand and fall in love with their beautiful designs!


Nokonen is one of the newest fashion brands to join IVALO. This young, innovative brand created by the designer Aino Kovalainen is only a few months old, but still taking the Finnish fashion scene by storm with its unique yet practical, high-quality clothing.

Nokonen's designs are timeless with a breeze of Scandinavian spirit and pure lines. The brand bases its production on strong, conscious, sustainable values which are evident in Kovalainen's designs. The brand isn't focused on collections - it creates timeless, convertible multipurpose clothes that you can love for a long time. 

Nokonen - Angervo Dress & Ohdake Outfit

Nokonen - Saunio Coat Dress

All Nokonen pieces are created by hand in Helsinki. Every Nokonen piece is unique and their beautiful prints are painted by hand. The main materials used in the brand's products are ecological and natural, such as nettle, raw silk and hemp. Nokonen gets its fabrics from an Italian factory which bases its production on sustainable values, where individuals and the environment are kept in mind. All of the fabrics have the GOTS, Oeko-tex, Eu Ecolabel and ICEA-certificates that guarantee their non-toxic and open production chain. 

Nokonen - Onerva Ruffle Shirt & Angervo Dress

Nokonen - Ohdake Outfit

Aino Kovalainen, the founder and designer of Nokonen, tells us about her brand:

How was Nokonen born? 

I founded Nokonen in May 2017, so the brand is only a few months old. I had been dreaming about my own brand for ten years - ever since I graduated from the Vocational College of Arts and Craft. But the timing wasn't right back then and it didn't feel right. However, during the past ten years I have been collecting experience from different aspects of the fashion industry - in the fields of production, design, and sales. I also graduated with the degree of fashion design. Then, all of a sudden, I was unemployed, and it felt impossible to find a job that would meet my expectations and values. The time was finally right to find my own voice and found my own label.

I love to create new designs, but I'm also worried about the environmental effects of my work. I have always aimed to choose the best sustainable options when it comes to the materials used in my designs. I don't think that for instance eco-cotton is sustainable enough for me, because of the vast amount of water used in its cultivation processes. The main material used in Nokonen products is nettle. Nettle is a perennial plant that manages to grow in almost everywhere. It doesn't require irrigation or pesticides to grow. I also use hemp and raw silk in my designs. By choosing to use materials that are somewhat considered as "hippie" I want to raise awareness that timeless and luxurious design can be created from many things.

Nokonen - Angervo Dress & Ohdake Outfit

Nokonen - Angervo Dress, in one colour and hand-painted with print

What values are you corporating into your design work?

I want to show the luxurious side of the eco-friendly materials such as nettle and hemp. I also want to fight against the growing culture of fast fashion. The Nokonen pieces are timeless in their design. They're great as everyday wear but also created with such prestige and quality that you can also wear them to even fancier parties. It's important to me to create clothing that have multiple purposes and are wearable in different occasions.

How do you create Nokonen designs?

It's difficult to explain...clothes are usually born from a need. I try to think what the ideal wardrobe would contain and what type of clothes everyone would love to wear everyday. For me, this kind of clothes are first of all comfortable to wear and also strengthen self-confidence. The aim of my designs is to create extremely comfortable and personal power clothes. I cannot plan my designing processes in forehand. The details that make my clothes special are usually born through trial and error.

Nokonen - Piisku Shirt & Imarre pants

What inspires you to create beautiful Nokonen prints? 

My imagination is an endless pool of possibilities. I have always a vast blend of patterns in my mind that can't wait to get on fabric. The Nokonen prints are mainly results of this brainstorm. In the made to order pieces, I like to use the persona, style and preferences of the customer, in order to find the print that will match them the best.

Do you have any designer role models?

I have always aimed to find my own way of doing things and not really admired or followed the others. Naturally, I do collect some sparks of inspiration from the field of art and fashion, but those sparks come from so many different sources that it would be difficult to name any specific person.

Nokonen - 5-panel cap

What is your view on the modern fashion world?

I see myself more as an craftswoman rather than a fashion designer. The world of fashion makes me anxious with its shallowness, competitiveness, exploitation of the natural resources and people, and fast movements. I don't appreciate the fast fashion industry, nor do I understand the idea of buying lots of clothes with little money. Luckily it seems like the sustainable values are growingly getting more attention in the industry, especially when it comes to younger brands. Many designers understand the value of finding the ethical resources and sustainable materials for their brand. I wish that my work could raise awareness of at least few people when it comes to their consumption habits. Everyone should consider their purchases more, and think about the types of working conditions of the fashion industry workers who make the clothes, and also, how the clothes affect on the environment after you no longer desire to wear them.

What is your favourite product from your own brand?

I think that the Saunio coat dress, which is part of the current collection, captures the spirit of Nokonen the best. It's a multi-functional and easy piece that you can wear in every season. The coat dress can be worn as a light jacket in summertime or as a dress that takes your look to a whole new level.

Nokonen - Piisku Shirt & Imarre Pants

See Nokonen's IVALO-profile and fall in love with their beautiful designs!

Stella Saastamoinen

Stella Saastamoinen

Content Creator

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