Minna Parikka, for all the shoe lovers out there
Flame-haired Minna Parikka is the Helsinki-based creator of seriously playful and very beautiful shoes, gloves and bags. The Finnish designer created her own brand when she was just 25 years old in 2005. She never takes herself seriously; she loves to experiment with colours, shapes and heel height. Minna Parikka’s shoes perfectly suit women who take responsibility for their femininity, like Dita Von Teese – or us, of course!
Her motto: “My designs are almost like love letters from one high-heel shoe lover to another. Allow yourself to be playful and let a pair lead you to new adventures. Life is too short to take style too seriously.”
Minna found her calling at a young age; when she was 15 she discovered that designing shoes was her life’s true calling. “I felt like I’d been struck by lightning when I first realised I could actually make a career out of making shoes.”
After moving to England at 19 to pursue a degree in footwear design, Minna spent the next six years living, working and finding inspiration in London, Milan and Barcelona. She returned to her native Helsinki in 2005 to launch the Minna Parikka brand.
When asked about a typical day, Minna said: “No day is the same. I travel a lot for work and, besides designing, I have to do everything that is needed to run my own brand. So that could be a photo shoot, tradeshow, meetings, decorating my shop window, accounting, drawing, or booking flights for my next trip.”
Her inspirations are mainly from the history of fashion; she loves the 30s and 40s, as you can tell from her designs! Minna states that she especially likes fetish drawings and shoes from that era. There is a sense of innocence and sensitivity in them.
Regarding her style as a teenager she says: “I have had so many different styles, I used to dress like a skater girl when I was 15. I had piercings and stuff. Then around 2000 I started dressing more electro clash, it was right at the time. I don’t regret anything. I like experimenting with my style. It is more fun that way.”
She says: “I love it that there is somebody like Lady Gaga who is doing something over-the-top in a time when many things seem so mediocre. It was such a privilege to make a one-off shoe as well as design the official double platinum award for her. But my main line is more for a woman like you or me who wants beautiful things with wearability to cheer up her day.”
Minna’s love of footwear is based on the fact that shoes – unlike clothes – don’t have to be inhabited by a body in order to look attractive. But while they’re beautiful alone, it’s when a woman steps into a pair that the magic really happens. The right shoes can change how she looks, feels and is seen by others. And as objects of desire for women and men, they’re not just symbols of power but its Holy Grail.