How has your homeland influenced you? "Marimekko has had a significant role in the history of Finnish design. Practically everyone has grown up with printed Marimekko pyjamas, towels and bedsheets. But, traditionally, Nordic design has been seen as minimalistic. Finnish fashion has become more experimental and brave while still bearing in mind its heritage. Being so isolated from big fashion cities lets me evolve my designs without constantly being influenced by other designers."
What inspires you? "Inspiration can come from anywhere, but it's something that you can't force. I travel a lot and I get loads of ideas during my trips. Cultures inspire me. My father-in-law, a professor of architecture, has the largest personal art book library in Finland so I do most of my design work at his office, where I am surrounded by more than 10,000 art books. As a native of southern coastal Finland, I love the sea - I could spend all my time at the sea. That's where the pieces of information in my head connect along new pathways and lead to inspiration."
Helsinki is hot in the design world at the moment - does this put commercial pressure on you? "I think people have turned their eyes on Finland and Finnish fashion. As we are only five million our local market is limited in size. Therefore most designers are aiming towards global markets and are looking for international opportunities."
Where do you see yourself in five years? "With my business partner, architect Lilli Maunula, we see our brand not only as wearable products but as a full three-dimensional experience, including the products and the space created around them. We offer sellable products, design services and welcome collaborations in fashion and spatial design. At the moment we only produce one Juslin Maunula collection per year. Alongside our own clothing and accessories collections we do collaborations - such as the one with Swedish brand Ann-Sofie Back - and consulting for fashion brands. I hope in five years we can produce and sell two to four collections per year and continue working with other brands that we really love."