‘Sustainable,’ ‘unisex,’ and’seasonless’ are frequently nothing more than buzzwords used by a bloated fashion industry to entice jaded consumers. Niina and TimoLeskelä, a husband and wife team from Finland, have been quietly running a clothing company based on these very principles for more than ten years. At their brand-new, stark-white Helsinki flagship, NomenNescio offers well-made, curated collections that are distributed abroad. Think of clothing that is made to fit everyone, regardless of gender, size, or age. The word “anonymous person” is Latin in origin. According to Niina, “We want to produce clothes that are not about us, they are for the individuals who are wearing them.”
The basis of their entire concept is minimalism. “We approached the brand as if it were a design firm instead of a fashion one,” says the company. As though designing a chair, we wanted to take our time, starting with some basic elements and gradually improving them, explains Niina. ‘You wouldn’t replace chairs every six months if you were making them. We wanted that kind of freedom.’ The pair took their time meeting buyers in Paris, travelling to Mexico, Japan and New York to see where their philosophy chimed. ‘We’re always thinking about how our values exist outside of the Nordic countries,’ she says.
These values—a focus on the environment, buying once and doing it right, not overconsuming, and taking one’s time—have evolved from merely “Nordic” to more universal issues. I’m not sure if it stems from Finland’s history, but since there have never been any kings or queens, perhaps society has been more modest and democratic. Having access to free education and other necessities has also had a significant impact on us. While we are proud of such things, we also stand for something more universal. A lot of Nordic ideas are fairly similar to Japanese minimalist ones. And although it is extremely widespread in Scandinavia, southern Europe may be only getting started with the unisex movement.