A struggle with work-life balance is at the core of Vain's second outing at Copenhagen Fashion Week, but the work is clearly paying off
Any young designer will tell you that their work-life balance is a bit, well, unbalanced, but this was precisely the starting point for Vain’s autumn/winter '24 collection. It’s a particularly ironic source of inspiration for the Finnish brand, given that its co-founders, designer Jimi Vain and CEO Roope Reinola, recently became roommates in a Helsinki share flat. “It’s about the work-life balance and how we’re forced against the rat race,” says Vain. “We’ve created our own version of it. We’re in a happy marriage with our work, but it can be pretty rough at times.” To emphasise this point, mousetraps – or rat-traps, perhaps – dangle from harnesses, slices of cheese are printed on tank tops.
This is Vain’s second outing and its designer’s leap in confidence is a delight to behold. “It’s better than the last show in every aspect,” says Vain, full-stop. This is hardly traditional corporate attire, but rather a steam-punky look that travels seamlessly from the office to an underground techno club (and perhaps back, with no sleep). Black boiler suits and deconstructed shirts are deftly tailored. On the clubbier side, hoodies and oversized bombers. Vain’s signature heart motif is tonally stitched onto shirts and jackets.
On deck for the first time is upcycled denim, a programme Vain and Roope are especially excited about. “We’re very proud of them,” says Roope. “We were looking so much at what other brands are doing when it comes to upcycling and we were confident that we can do it so much better.” There’s still a patchwork-y element, but Vain's jeans are finished with their own buttons and rivets as well as a leather patch on the back.
Regardless of the status of Vain and Roope’s own work-life-balance (“It’s hard to draw the line where the work is ending and the free time is starting,” Vain admits) the work is clearly paying off.
See all the looks from Vain's AW24 collection below: