Emmi Kainulainen: Creative Director of FEDITED.COM Taking Over the States with a Go-Getter Attitude

A designer, model, interior architect, visual artist, and now the creative director of Fedited.comEmmi Kainulainen is definitely the sassy Scandinavian girlboss to follow this season. She works in so many different creatively feeding fields, but does everything mindfully and in sophisticated style, while energising others to succeed with her brave go-getter attitude.

Words: Meri Frig

  Emmi Kainulainen / Photo:  Dave Puente

Emmi Kainulainen / Photo: Dave Puente

Tell us about Fedited.com

Fedited.com is a platform highlighting creative talents and sustainable brands. With my business partner Sarianne Solio, we wanted to create an inspirational destination for people willing to know more about interesting entrepreneurs and brand stories. It is tailored for people who want to take a sneak peek behind the scenes of the global fashion, art and design industry, talking about the problems, solutions and the future of the industries. The word ”Fedited” means not edited, rough draft — our mission is to show real, deeper content for our viewers. Also, Fedited comes from 'fashion editorials', 'Finnish edition' and 'Female edited'.

Our company Fedited Oy does marketing and collaborations with creative companies and talented influencers globally. We are opening our Helsinki Headquarters at the end of this month in Punavuori (Iso Roobertinkatu 38), where we have a showroom for our collaborating brands and a studio space for our editorial photoshoots and filming interviews. We just launched our U.S. company Fedited LLC and are focusing more on the markets in LA and New York, stay tuned!

You are definitely a woman of many talents – a designer, model, interior architect and visual artist, to start with. How would you characterise yourself as an entrepreneur? 

Thank you so much! I’d characterise myself as a multi-passionate entrepreneur... All the aspects of my work are supporting each other, and I feel like I’m constantly learning so much about each industry — staying curious is vital for any brand or business. I love the freedom that comes with entrepreneurship, and I’m very driven by the fact that my actions are paving the way for my art and design brands, and our international media house. I’ve never believed that it would be a disadvantage to be interested in many industries, it’s actually a huge privilege to be learning so much in many fields. At the end of the day, all of those categories are forms of art. 

Do you find synergy between the different fields? 

Yes, most definitely. Abstract artworks, interiors or colours are very often inspiring me in clothing design, or vice versa, and when it comes to our media house, it kind of feels like bringing all the information and all the fields together. It’s so rewarding and energising to learn about other brands and creative people behind them — what drives them, what their goals are, and to hear about the philosophy behind the brand. We love to be able to share the information with an international audience on Fedited.com.

"Staying curious is vital for any brand or business."

  Emmi Kainulainen / Photo:  Dave Puente

Emmi Kainulainen / Photo: Dave Puente

Your work, for example with Fedited and CHAÎNE, is often linked to promoting sustainability. Why is that? 

Fashion industry, as many other industries, is producing new collections faster and faster, and most of the clothes often end up in landfill. We want to highlight the problems and offer solutions with supporting the brands that use recycled materials, local warehouses and that don’t follow the fast fashion cycle. We think that all the brands should think about the future, how their actions are showing in the world in decades from now. You can still be stylish, even though you wouldn’t buy a new shirt for every occasion. 

With CHAÎNE, we don’t follow the fashion cycles or produce new items often — we’re focusing on the classics that will stand time, we are using 100% organic cotton in our shirts. We are learning about recycled materials and new innovations, like fabric made of sea pollutioned fish bones, all the time. We are collaborating with yet unknown designers and giving them an opportunity to sell their unique designs with our brand. CHAÎNE, which means a chain in French, is all about 'everything being one chaîne of energy — all of us are connected to each others, our chaîne on Earth is positive, supportive and energising.'

Who are some other female entrepreneurs that inspire you?

I love Kelly Wearstler, the interior designer — her namesake design brand is so bold and creative, I could live in a house designed by her and never leave. Her unique furniture pieces are to die for.

Miranda Kerr, supermodel turned organic beauty mogul — she’s created such a strong brand of herself, and is now a successful business woman with her Australian organic beauty brand KORA Organics

Miroslava Duma, the creative force and founder of Future Tech Lab, a company that’s changing fashion industry into a sustainable and technologically advanced one. 

Emily Weiss, the founder of Into the Gloss, inspirational beauty website and Glossier, an innovative cosmetics brand.

My current artist obsessions are Hana Jirickova, Christiane Spangsberg, Carly Kuhn, Sasha Pivovarova and Jeanette Getrost. 

I could continue this list forever, there are so many creative, talented entrepreneurial superladies out there! 

"It’s so rewarding and energising to learn about other brands and creative people behind them — what drives them, what their goals are, and to hear about the philosophy behind the brand."

  Emmi Kainulainen / Photo:  Dave Puente

Emmi Kainulainen / Photo: Dave Puente

In Fedited.com, you want to present Scandinavian lifestyle and brands. What aspects or characteristics of the Scandinavian culture are people interested to read about?

There’s so much style, innovation and knowledge in Scandinavia. But one thing that needs help is how the brands are representing themselves: especially Finnish brands in general seem to appear a little shy and humble, which is not the way to rule the world and the fashion industry. We want to give them the opportunity to create editorial photos, campaigns and videos with braver, more go-getter attitude — without losing their fresh and often minimalistic, sophisticated advantage.

Finland is really hot right now: being the best country to live in and Helsinki as the best destination city according to Vogue! Helsinki architecture, Finnish furniture and product design, as well as fashion, are something special that would deserve to be better known, globally. We should be proud of being Finnish, and forget the overly humble attitude! You can be strong and bold without being arrogant, and yet appear sophisticated and fresh. 

You now live outside of Finland yourself. What are your main take-aways from home, from the Finnish culture? 

I’ve always wanted to bring Finnish tableware wherever my home is. I’ve lived in the U.S., in the Midwest for a few years now, and I often find myself craving more aspects of clean, calm and fresh colours and materials: here it feels like I’m stuck in the 80s — in public spaces, you’ll find a lot of brown carpet and 50 shades of wood... But I’m happy to be able to live in Helsinki all summers! My ultimate favourite cities in the States are fresh and energising LA and hectic New York. I wish to live in both of those cities in upcoming years.

You also work as a fashion model. How has your model career influenced your career path and your thoughts about the fashion world?

In my career as a model, I’ve mostly done catalogs, sports and lingerie — I’ve never been that girl who would do high fashion or all the shows. But I was in Milan when I was 19, and that experience showed me the dark side of the industry: the girls are treated very poorly, yet there’s always someone else to take your place. I realised that I want to study and earn a university degree, and have a more versatile role in my career that just a model. In 2016, I graduated as an interior architect and designer after 4 years of studies in Helsinki and in Minneapolis. But working as a model has helped me a lot with everything I am doing now. I’ve got to know many talented, creative professionals in the industry, and we’ve created great stories and collaborations through fashion. 

"You can be strong and bold without being arrogant, and yet appear sophisticated and fresh." 

  Emmi Kainulainen / Photo:  Dave Puente

Emmi Kainulainen / Photo: Dave Puente

What have been some moments recently when you have felt really excited about your work?

I’ve been super excited about starting our company Fedited Oy with Sarianne, and to see how in such a short period of 8 months, despite us living on different continents (!), we’ve grown our editorial team and also launched in the States as Fedited LLC. I recently got my (extraordinary ability) work visa as the creative director of our company, and I’m so grateful for finally being able to start my career in the States.

What inspires you right now?

Right now I’m inspired by everything related to our upcoming European summer: Art Nouveau, French music, coffee dates at the little café shops in Helsinki, endless summer nights with best friends and rosé, travels to Milan, Paris, South of France and cabin trips to northern Finland... and most of all our new, stylish Fedited Headquarters in the heart of Helsinki. You need to come visit us!