“So I abandoned greyness. I prefer the colours of the rainbow.” Antti Asplund is a Finnish-based artist. He has produced clothes and stories under his eponymous brand since 2007 and written one novel in Finnish. From the cold and dark outskirts of the North, Antti finds his inspiration in darkness and light, nightless nights and the deepest dark. He was born under the shining stars and blessed by all the colours of the Northern Lights. Actually, it probably was a boring grey winter day, but he won’t admit it.
Raised by reindeers, he spent his childhood playing in and out of the imaginarium inside his head, where anything was possible. In spring 2000 he packed his hats and feathers and moved south to find his home in Helsinki.
He is a General Linguistics and Fashion drop out who switched academia and theory to vision and storytelling. His workshop is a rabbit hole away from the world, a shady cellar where the walls are plastered with props and masks of every kind and the floor is stained with coffee and ashes. There’s a karaoke machine next to the pile of hats. The room has only one window, but the view keeps changing. Now he has packed his suitcases and is on the move, ready to spread his message of power of imagination.
HETEROPHOBIA – A CONTAGIOUS IDEA OF EQUALITY
Antti Asplund originally designed a small collection for the Helsinki Pride Week in late June which he named HETEROPHOBIA after its meaning as ’the fear of the different’. The collection speaks out for the equality of people regardless of attributes, appearances or opinions and takes a stance on supporting the equal marriage everywhere.
Asplund executed the collection’s showpieces with an original 70 euro cents budget and gathered a group of sponsors and private donators who believed in the project in just one week. With their support a small product line was manufactured and sold at the Helsinki Pride Park Festival. The collection was sold out on that sunny day.
After a buzz in the social media Asplund got an invitation to the Berlin Fashion Week for a sponsored runway show with 10 days notice. With the help of volunteers and over 100 donators and corporate sponsors the small set was turned into a credible 200 piece fashion collection. A new family was born – Asplund calls it his Caravan. On 10th of July the performative Berlin show drew attention as a part of the official program of the Fashion Week and resulted not only as worldwide media coverage but also retail negotiations. After Berlin Asplund visited London to meet interested people and media, giving interviews about HETEROPHOBIA and spreading the message of equality regardless of sex, race or orientation.
Asplund also received an invitation to a party organized for the Green Party, where he discussed Finnish politics and equal marriage law with council member John Coughlin among others.
In August Asplund arranged an performative HETEROPHOBIA show in his hometown Helsinki. The taskforce behind the initiative for equal marriage law in Finland met Sauli Niinistö – the President of the rebuclic of Finland on 5th of August and donated him political HETEROPHOBIA products. After just three months Antti Asplund and his Caravan of Equality takes their message, fashion and art to Vancouver Fashion Week and then continue their tour to USA with the current projects.