We catch up with Laura and Saara – the lovely ladies behind the indie
sewing pattern company, Named
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and the Named Clothing brand?
Behind the brand, there’s the two of us, Saara & Laura Huhta (sisters) from Helsinki, Finland. We started the indie pattern label in the autumn of 2013. We design and make women’s sewing patterns and sell them on our online webshop, studio shop in Helsinki, and also through a bunch of retailers around the globe.
Why did you decide on the dressmaking path?
We’ve both been passionate about sewing and crafts since we were little, and the love for all things DIY was probably inherited from our mother. She’s a seamstress and an upholsterer.
Saara is a fashion designer and a patternmaker, and Laura has a degree in shoe design. After graduating from design school, we worked for a while in different companies in the fashion field, before we realising it was time for us to take a step further, and start our own business in something that we really love - sewing clothes!
The idea of Named came to us somewhat suddenly, we’d never planned having our own pattern label, even though we’d dreamed of running a business together. But as soon as we came up with the idea of a fashion-forward indie pattern label, we got carried away, and started working towards the launch of the business. In August 2013, a year later, our first pattern collection saw the light of day!
How is it working in a sister team? (We know working with family has its tests!)
It’s mostly fun, and very rewarding. It’s great to have a business partner that you can really rely on, and we’ve always been close. But there are definitely hard times too, especially at the stressful periods of the product development process, but nothing we can’t work out together.
Tell us a little bit about the patterns in the collection so far, what made you choose them?
We design two collections a year, one for spring/summer and one for autumn/winter. Each collection has been designed around a specific visual theme, which we always find inspirational. Our aim is to design clothes that are stylish yet timeless and classic, and something that you can see yourself wearing for a longer time than just for one season.
We like to add a little twist by drafting fun, unusual cuts and techniques to the mix too. We also pay a lot of attention to the little details.
What do you feel makes you stand out from other independent pattern companies?
Probably our clean and simple Scandinavian aesthetics, but also the fact that we release full collections (or mini collections of 8 to 10 patterns).
There are some brands that work the same way as we do, but many also release single patterns. We find by designing a full collection of clothes we can create clothing that’s visually tempting and a complete capsule wardrobes with garments that are easy to combine with each other.
What is your favourite pattern you’ve designed so far?
We really love the Reeta dress from our Playground collection. In Reeta, we’ve accomplished a classic and timeless style but added lots of fun details. It’s also a pattern which just calls for experimenting with fun prints and fabrics. We’ve seen so many cool versions of it on Instagram, and blogs! It has been such a pleasure seeing what people have made with the pattern.
Who is your biggest sewing inspiration?
It has to be our mom. She has made a lot of garments for us (and our dolls) when we were growing up. Today she mostly sews for herself, among with some customer projects once in a while (like right now she’s working on a wedding gown for her cousin). She’s a really talented and resourceful seamstress, who pays a lot of attention to details, and always aims for perfection! Which is something that we can’t help but admire.
How would you best describe your personal style, and what impact has it had on
your pattern collections?
We both like simple garments, but simple doesn’t mean boring! Our collections reflect our style quite well. Dressing well doesn’t have to be hard – you don’t have to own lots of clothes or waste time in planning what to wear. When you have a set of garments that work well together, you know they’ll never fail to look good too! An ideal outfit should be effortless and comfortable.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
This is a really hard question! We like to live in the moment, and just see what the future brings, so it’s impossible to estimate what will happen for the next five years. Probably something still related to fashion and sewing. It’s a fantastic field to work in, so don’t think we’re ever going to leave it, unless something very drastic happens.
Are there any spoilers you can share?
Well, we’ll be releasing our new collection in September! It’s a really cool collection called Earth Science and is a tribute to nature and science. The collection includes lots of intriguing cuts and structures which are appealing but technically fascinating, modern as well as comfortable!