Nordic Region Student Design Competition Accessories Winner 2022 : Riikka Peltola

Accessories Winner: Riikka Peltola

Nordic Region Student Design Competition Accessories Winner 2022 : Riikka Peltola

Meet the Accessories Category Winner for the inaugural Real Leather. Stay Different. Nordic Region Student Design Competition, Riikka Peltola – with her beautiful Leather Blossom design.

Riikka Peltola is a 28-year-old fashion designer and fiber artist From Finland. She graduated from Aalto University in 2020 with a degree in Fashion. Her passion is in creating precious knit and crochet objects by adapting traditional craft techniques into original ways of using materials. For the past few years, she has explored slow handcraft techniques, enabling her to discover each materials’ qualities and to develop a common language between shape, material and technique. Translating memories into a material experience by creating associations between past and present is core to her artistic practice.



Tell us about the inspiration behind your project:

My entry is a large leather hat made of thin leather stripes. It is made from recycled leather and uses basket twining techniques. This technique allows me to control the shape during the creation process. My project is inspired by images of traditional woven baskets which I found in the Finnish National Museum’s archive. My work is also inspired by American photographer Imogen Cunningham’s minimalistic pictures from the 1920s to 1980s. I am stunned at how she manipulated light and texture.


What do you think makes leather a great material to design with?

Leather is an interesting material to manipulate, since it doesn’t fray. As it’s not a yarn-based material, it’s behaviour is totally different during the weaving process than knitted materials.

How has this competition influenced your view of working with leather in the future?

Well-made and cared-for leather is a high quality material and a product that lasts a lifetime. It gains a personal character through use, meaning it only gets better with time. Building real memories which connect us to the leather products we own and buy reduces our buying of things we don’t respect.


What are your thoughts on leather and sustainability, and how you think leather can adapt to a fashion industry increasingly focused on sustainability?

I think we should create a transparent supply chain by being clear about where you source your materials from and explaining exactly which steps are taken in the supply chain.


Follow Riikka on Instagram: @riikkapelt


Discover the shortlisted entries from the Nordic Competition here. 

Discover more on leather and sustainability here.