New international business opportunities for the design students of EKA

INTROKAADER pitch_2916sm
Fotod: Sandra Luks

For the first time ever, a course that would help the students get a grasp of the business world and reach international markets was held for the MA-students from fashion, textile, accessories’ and jewellery design departments at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Ending with a rare opportunity to pitch newly refined brands and concepts to influential Scandinavian investors and entrepreneurs, 13th of December will mark the beginning of creating new perspectives in the design education at EKA. The course How to Create a Successful Design Brand for the International Markets was designed and led by the internationally renowned business-professional Sissi Silván.  

Learning about business is crucial for young designers and feedback from people outside the design-centred scope is of high necessity. The notable panel of professionals consisted of Betina Simonsen (Danish Lifestyle & Design Cluster), Pia Erlund (ByPias, the fastest growing Finnish fashion brand), Maria Lipasti (La Matta, the #1 boutique in Helsinki), Riivo Anton (Estonian Business Angels Network), Ira Stening (Finnish Business Angels Network) and Pontus Juntunen (AnCann Group).

The pitches presented to the panelists were professional, thorough and unique resulting in valuable and constructive feedback to the students to help them go forward and succeed. After the presentations, the designers got to spend time networking with the guests to establish a potential business relation or simply creating a valuable connection for the future. Maria Lipasti highlighted the high marketability of jewellery designers and her special favourite Kreeta Aidla among the fashion students. Betina Simonsen worked her way around innovation and sustainability with Mariliis Niine on her radar, but also innovating crafts like Anneli Glinjanski´s laser-cut pleating molds.  Pia Erlund was keen on double-checking the social media presence of all the students on the way and provided several inputs on how to excel in media presence. The reflective leather concept by Karen Milistver was highlighted by Riivo Anton alongside additional representatives of business and innovation in the audience. adding to the overall value of the event. 

This course is a first of its kind to be held at EKA and has been recognized as a must-have of the curricula. As a pilot project introducing international business into the design studies, it proved to be highly effective backing new growth opportunities for future graduates.

1. Katrin Aasmaa
2. Kristiina Jeromans
3. Kreeta Aidla
4. Pegah Rakhsha
5. Karen Milistver
6. Terje Meisterson
7. Kerti Pahk
8. Anneli Glinjanski
9. Kaisa Krusenberg
10. Sigrid Kuusk
11. Kairi Getman
12. Ismini Pachi
13. Cärol Ott
14. Mariliis Niine


Anneli Glinjanski – Pleatspace

Anneli Glinjanski runs a studio called Pleatspace, where traditional pleating traditions and novel patterns integrate into unique garments that emphasize the wearer’s personality. Anneli has been studying and developing pleating techniques for over two years, including developing her skills at London’s famous Ciment Pleating studio, one of the oldest existing pleating studios in the world. She has developed a new way of laser-cutting the moulds enabling a new and more time-efficient approach to pleating for everyday garments.

Terje Meisterson – DOT Jewellery

DOT Jewellery uses soft materials like ribbons as the basis to create the forms in silver. It’s a harmonious unity of contradictions, where soft and strong are bound, for the jewellery that is definitely feminine, just without the sugarcoating. The technical approach enables each piece to look unique, yet keeping it scalable.

Karen Milistver 

Karen Milistevr´s bags and accessories are combining a strong shape with womanly softness. Less is more is the core point of the line but there is always a twist in the pattern or details like the reflective leather she has developed.

GETMAN by Kairi Getman

GETMAN by Kairi Getman is a brand that represents orient inspired minimum mood combined with urban comfort. Safety through aesthetic beauty is achieved with weaving reflective threads into the fabric.

Kaisa Krusenberg -NOJI

Kaisa, the founder of NOJI is bringing back our local textile heritage. As a result, linen, the nordic silk is combined with surplus wool to give a new, sustainable value to everyday luxury. NOJI wishes to upgrade morning robes and interior textiles.

Kerti Pahk – Virtual Reality X Fashion Illustration

Kerti Pahk is exploring a new way of visualizing and telling stories by mixing fashion illustration with virtual reality technology.

The visualization, multimedia and illustration services enable the clients to revolutionize their brand communication by creating an immersive visual experience.

Waterproof Knitwear by Mariliis Niine

The brand manufactures breathable waterproof knitwear and outerwear from surplus wool that allows you to stay stylish regardless of the weather or occasion. You have never felt so good in the rain is the promise of the brand.

Cärol Ott

CAROLXOTT is a clothing brand for the venturous wearer, which offers colourful one of kind solutions for your wardrobe. CAROLXOTT creation tells stories about life on small islands of Estonia and calls you up to create your own stories with the clothes. The brand teams up with local craftsmen from remote areas as their social inclusivity project.

Ismini Pachi

Ismini Pachi is a jewellery designer from Greece. Having a background in Psychology her work is inspired by human behaviour and emotional state. Her design lines consist of colourful, light, kinetic, elegant and feminine jewellery that is meant to deliver a flavour of colourful lightness to the women that wear them.

Photo: Necklace-earrings: goldplated silver, acrylic

Sigrid Kuusk

Sigrid Kuusk is a shine-loving jewellery brand. “We believe that there is at least one spark in a day worth to search for, so we decided to add a daily dose from our part as well” is the line the brand goes by.  The concept has two lines – one for scalable jewellery and another for unique pieces. Recently nominated the Young Jewellery Designer of the year in Estonia.  

Kreeta Aidla – Imafuture

Imafuture’s concept is to create characters through clothes which are breaking the classic norms. With these items, you can be a rebellion in a classy way, a chameleon soul switching between day and night.

Katrin Aasmaa

Katrin Aasmaa believes that clothing has the power to shift attitudes in society. Her collections focus on braking prejudice and solving conflicts with humorous menswear. Katrin has been awarded with the Silver Needle- the up and coming fashion designer of the year.

Kristiina Jeromans

JEROMANS is a women’s clothing brand that aims to bring innovation into traditional crafts by use of new technical possibilities. The brand utilizes 3-dimensional printing to create its embroideries and embellishments. In addition to innovation, the brand mixes bold colors and prints.

Pegah Rakhsha

Agrin is a clothing brand that has a sense of nostalgia in each piece. Inspired by Persian traditions, roof tiles, patterns and carpets the brand highly values handmade embroidery of the region. The brand uses photochromic and hydrochromic yarns in order to innovate crafts e.g. embroidery making.

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Posted by Mart Vainre

Fashion DesignJewellery and BlacksmithingTextile Design