In 1995 young Japanese designer Akira Minagawa(1967) started a label called minä perhonen which means ‘I, butterfly’ in the Finnish language. He liked to travel to Finland and admired the Scandinavian culture. He chose a butterfly for the variety of colours and patterns they show.
The brand’s logo is a rectangle representing the ego, filled with irregular shaped dots that stand for diversity.
The Dutch Textile Museum in Tilburg showed a minä perhonen retrospective in 2009/2010.
what does minä perhonen represent
Garments and fabrics that show a high level of artistry and skill, in a distinct style not subject to fashion trends (some motifs will be seen again and again in each new collection) with playful patterns and a lot of attention to detail. Some patterns are (screen)printed, some embroidered, patchworked or woven.
minä perhonen qualifications
You could call minä perhonen designs naive; whimsical; timeless; poetic; innocent; artisanal; simple; tactile; demure; girlish; quirky; artistic; fairytale-like; folk-artsy; sustainable.
The whimsical, hand drawn textile designs Akira Minagawa creates for the label, do not only make up the foundation of his clothing collection but have, in recent years, also been used for interior fabrics and upholstery textiles. Collaborations with Fritz Hansen, Artek and Kvadrat reinforced the brand’s cult status. The high quality fabrics are, for the most part, hand crafted in Japan.
Besides clothes, the brand produces all kinds of accessories like bags, socks and vases. The clothing line hardly sells outside of Japan, possibly also due to the sizing, which is tailored to petite Japanese women.
Combinations are low-key, quite modest and often a bit ‘retro’ or traditional, with bright accents here and there.
find out more
Have a look at the spring/summer 2018 textile collection of minä perhonen here.
My pattern collection ‘Wolves’ is loosely based on the minä perhonen label.