Alpha - AW23

By Anna Clarke

Photo: James Cochrane

A former professional alpine ski racer turned fashion designer nabbed the top Alpha award

Every year Alpha, a competition and incubator for Nordic design talent, sees the selection of ten different finalists plucked from across the different Nordic countries by an international selection panel. And this year the cohort arrived out of the gate primed and raring to go. First founded back in 2005, this year’s roster consisted of students from respected design universities such as Beckmans College of Design and the Swedish School of Textiles.


The Swedish contingent was evident, five out of the ten students graduating from Swedish design schools, along with three hailing from Finland, and one each from Denmark and Norway respectively. “There's a new, amazing group of talents every year,” explains Ane Lynge-Jorlén, director of Alpha.

And one such talent is Sasha Heinsaar, a graduate of The Swedish School of Textiles, who took inspiration from the books of her childhood and created whimsical re-imaged folk dresses, all crafted from repurposed material. “Sasha has created a collection that is based on the folktales which she was read while growing up in Estonia. All of her work is handcrafted; she's knitting, she's crocheting and she's weaving.

“All of the materials are second-hand, so even the samples that she made preparing this collection, she unravelled in order to not waste any extra thread and then put it back together,” explains Lynge-Jorlén.

Another is Tuuli-Tytti Koivula, this year’s winner of the Alpha top award, a former professional alpine ski racer turned fashion designer who has interned for the likes of Raf Simons and Courrèges. Koivula masterfully marries ski wear with traditional Bregenzerwald dress – an untypical, but brilliant combination. Voluminous sleeves paired with bold and bright hand-drawn flower prints. “She's seen those people co-existing: the professional Alpine people and the local people in the Alps. So it's a very, very interesting collection, skin tight alpine gear with a voluminous, more traditional dress shape,” details Lynge-Jorlén.

View the full collections here:

Alpha - AW23