Q&A with Harri Kangas of THE MEN store, Helsinki May 03 2016
The story starts with an urge to energize Finlands fashion scene. This emerged into starting the boutique My O My in 2008 with premium hand-picked fashion for women. It would be another 3 years until the team got to open their masculine equivalent: THE MEN store. This strongly artistic store is run by the design lover Harri Kangas, with a outmost focus on quality. We have been working with Harri for a while and always enjoyed his approach to running a store. For this reason we partnered up with him for an exclusive Mismo Q&A.
What was the concept behind My O My / THE MEN store when opening in 2011?
The basic idea was to build up a urban living room for men, where they can find a nicely curated selection of clothing, accessories, books, cosmetics and more. A space where they can also share their opinions and thoughts about the modern man's lifestyle with like-minded people.
How much of your product selection is built on strategical/market analysis vs. gut feeling/instinct?
My idea of buying is based on instinct/gut feeling which later turns into the more strategical thinking. I mean, every time when I "find" new brand or product I try to understand how it effects to rest of the selection in next 3-4 seasons. I don't feel the pressure of finding new every season but more keeping the selection all the same with small variations. Quality over fashion.
Why did Mismo become a part of your selection, and what makes Mismo still relevant now working on our 7th season together?
What can I say - I find Mismo truly one of the finest modern Scandinavian brands. Form x function x quality - all in one. I've seen it so many times during these seven seasons - when a customer finds his/hers first Mismo, sooner or later he/she will come back for another one.
Which Mismo style do you carry along on your journeys?
How do you see the My O My empire developing in the future?
We are constantly working to keep the whole My o My empire relevant for our friends and customers. Not only our brick and mortar - THE MEN store and My o My womens - but also developing our partnership with the Farfetch web store. We have found lot of new fans through Farfetch from all over the world. Our seasonal Xmas Garage pop-up store concept has been growing to be one of the most important Christmas shopping destinations in Helsinki.
What’s the best place to travel to in Finland to explore nature at it’s finest?
Through my ultra running adventures I have learned that the north of Finland, especially Lapland, is a mind blowing place. If you are planning to visit just one of those northern destinations, I recommend Äkäslompolo. It's a small village, between seven fells, it's like visiting a different planet. It has breathtaking scenery for hikers and cross country skiiers.
Lastly, we would love to have a few tips from an insider on what is worth visiting on a trip to Helsinki?
Kulttuurisauna (kulttuurisauna.fi) - for a urban sauna experience.
Ateljé Finne (ateljefinne.fi) - best of the modern Finnish kitchen.
Siltanen (siltanen.org) - my personal favorite bar in Kallio district with amazing DJs.
Flow festival (flowfestival.com) - A music festival in an old industrial area. Its held in august and makes your Helsinki summer complete. With a stunning line-up, good food and all your friends - what else you need? Highly recommended!