Punavuori means, rather inexplicably, “red mountain”. To most of the funky and fashionable about town, however, it means the place to shop. Along this here-by-popular-request route, you’ll find the most interesting little shops filled with one-of-a-kind finds by local designers. Finnish design and manufacture for your browsing pleasure!
Start the trip at Vuokko on Pohjois-Esplanadi, because the shop opens its doors at the brunch-busting early hour of 10 a.m. Vuokko Nurmesniemi’s creations serve every girl’s needs for trusty basics (guys, take a look at Vuokko’s bags and woolly hats!). These are real classics that never go out of style, which is why Finns are more than happy to splurge here, although at the back of the store you can usually find special offers, too.
Continue along Pohjois-Esplanadi towards the Stockmann department store; take a left towards Erottaja and then a right when you get near the top of the hill, and you’ll end up on Uudenmaankatu.
Vuokko. Pohjoisesplanadi 27.
Paola Suhonen’s Ivana Helsinki is the first Finnish brand that has made it on the official runway schedules of the Paris and New York fashion weeks. The ten-year-old brand beautifully mixes gorgeous with fun, and is known for its big prints, girly dresses, and knits that Nopsa especially recommends. The shop changes its look with every season. Often before the launch of a new collection, Ivana Helsinki hosts a sample sale.
Skip across the street to Miun boutique!
IVANAhelsinki. Uudenmaankatu 15
Ilona Hyötyläinen launched her first Miun collection in 2004. All her clothes are manufactured in Finland and their main material, bamboo-viscose jersey, is knit, dyed and printed in Finland, too. Miun is real local production!
Next, head a block southwards to Ovvn on Iso-Roobertinkatu, the official downtown alternative bar and club district.
Miun shop. Uudenmaankatu 14.
Ten young Helsinki designers and Motto Wasabi’s great interior = Ovvn. Nopsa’s favourites include I Know Why No’s hand-knitted bamboo and mohair dresses.
From Ovvn, make your way to a very special shoe shop on Bulevardi…
OVVN. Iso Roobertinkatu 17-19
Gentlemen folk beware: women have been known to go completely crazy over Minna Parikka’s shoes. Heels, scarlet lips, and little bows! In addition to shoes, Parikka designs knitwear, gloves, and scarves.
Minna Parikka. Boutique, Bulevardi 24.
Liike was the first boutique in Helsinki that was set up by local designers, so it’s good to finish our tour here, at the beginning of it all. At Liike, you can find designs by Vainio Seitsonen, Haaksiluoto, Dusty (finally something nice for men, too, for a change!) and Super Mukava from Tampere, among others.
P.S. If you’re hungry, you’ll find Kitch around the corner. They serve organic food in a relaxed atmosphere of recycled furniture.
Liike. Yrjönkatu 25.