What do industrial felt and fashion have in common? A beautiful harmony of effortless and durable design, as honoured by miDeer. Estonian slow fashion brand miDeer creates Nordic-style bags and accessories for every occasion. Their sleek designs are loved by men and women alike, serving as a seasonless and functional must-have for any urban fashion-lover. What’s it like in the world of miDeer?, we asked.
Words: Johanna Raudsepp
How did the journey of miDeer begin?
miDeer stems from our goal to pay homage to Scandinavian simplicity and elegance. We make modern Nordic accessories, interior design elements and have also introduced a line for children. What first started as a hobby of designing meaningful items for personal use, quickly grew into an independent brand — a brand living its own rhythm and life. The whole process has been thrilling for us — a real dream come true! We were thrilled by the idea of curating our own designer label and sparking conversation through what we do. Aesthetics-wise, we’ve always been enchanted by the power of simplicity. The pure lines, clear contours… that’s why minimalism and functionality go hand-in-hand throughout our miDeer line.
The term ‘sustainable’ in design can be confusing. What’s your take on sustainable design?
For us at miDeer, practical, timeless, and slow fashion is super important. With this attitude and the aesthetics, we try to promote buying less, but good quality items that will last you ages. Our minimalist style enables our customer to mix and match with a variety of other styles as well.
How have you incorporated environmentally conscious principles into your work?
All miDeer products are hand-made in Estonia. It isn’t and will never be a mass-produced brand. We value collaborating with local artisans in our design process and embrace the tiny quirks of each single item. Secondly, we always pay attention to where our materials come from. Right now, we use excess pieces from a felt factory. This way we can reduce the amount of industrial material that ends up in the environment — by giving new life to the discarded leftovers. What makes our production unique is that we do not mass produce, but make just enough, so that we get to further reuse the materials by creating fashionable accessories. If we think about the future, then the miDeer’s shopping bags, in particular, can effectively replace plastic equivalents in a stylish manner.
How did you come up with such interesting name, miDeer?
We wanted to create something Nordic and minimalist, inspired by the Northern cold climate and the power of nature. To be honest, the logo came before the name. The deer’s horns are majestic, yet strong and powerful — perfect depiction of a unisex Nordic brand. Our name quite directly comes from ‘deer’. It’s something precious and unobtainable in nature, but you can grasp an equivalent feel via our products.
Unisex looks, felt and paper meet in your design. How did you decide to go down the route of such eclectic mix?
The main source of inspiration for the brand is felt, which already speaks to both men and women. A unisex-look wasn’t our goal on it’s own, it just accidentally turned out that way — our first [laptop] bag appealed to both [men and women alike], and then it clicked for us. Nowadays minimalism and unisex design are often seen side by side. The soft texture, yet stiff form of industrial felt make our products durable and help keep their shape. We felt that unisex was written in between the lines, as felt has both feminine and masculine qualities. We like to think that miDeer wearers are free-spirited, brave, fashion-forward people, regardless their age or gender.
"We value collaborating with local artisans in our design process and embrace the tiny quirks of each single item."
What can we look forward to in 2017?
This year we will definitely focus more on fashion and accessories. miDeer will be creating new designs for people who lead an active lifestyle, yet value comfort. So there are great things coming up for the active urban dweller.
Despite being a small company, we want to become a player on the international arena. Clients in Berlin, London and Vilnius have shown keen interest, and we cannot wait to make our products more accessible all over Europe. We have a few exciting surprises in store, so stay in tuned and keep an eye on our website!