Fashion Accessories Design Chair Aki Choklat returned to his native Finland in November to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his collaboration with Lahtiset making shoes, boots and accessories. In operation making popular felt wearables since 1921, Lahtiset is located in Jämsä in the village of Partala. The celebration included a main event—highlighting forthcoming shoes, boots and bags, as well as items from previous collections—where Choklat and colleagues discussed the history of the collaboration, and press events, including an interview on Finnish TV and with local press from Helsinki.
“There’s always a starting point, which is the material they use, felt. They’ve been making these items since 1921.” said Choklat. “I’m trying to reinterpret what they’ve been doing for close to 100 years.”
Lahtiset builds the felt body for the shoes, boots and bags, handmade from lamb’s wool, and Choklat then uses the felt as a point of departure for new designs. The shoes in this anniversary collection include a new outsole made from natural rubber. According to Choklat, the new designs “add a bit of innovation to what we’ve already been doing.”