The very first Eco Furs 2in1 rya coat was created for curated Elsku Helsinki Fashion Exhibition at Norra Huset in Reykjavik, Iceland in March 2000. The exhibition introduced a great selection of emerging Finnish and Icelandic fashion design and photography. Iceland loved the coat and it received great reviews from the Elsku Helsinki organizers, press and visitors and was straight away invited to participate another Icelandic Fashion Exhibition called Ur og I which took place at Akureyri Art Museum in early autumn 2000.
The coat returned home from its nearly 1-year-long tour in Iceland and 2 additional Finnish Rya Exhibitions (in Kenkävero, Mikkeli and Verkaranta, Tampere) towards the end of 2000. Had been being seen in 4 different galleries within the past year also the Finnish press got interested and the Suuri Käsityölehti Magazine bought the coat design and its patterns & instructions along with a new vest exclusively designed for their readers and published them at the beginning of 2001, spiced up with a lovely designer feature.
For last 13 years I've worn the coat more or less weekly as a short version - in blizzard, drizzle, windy and dry Finnish -30 degrees and damp Irish 10 degrees just to mention a few conditions. It's worked comfortably and chic through all. Despite deliberately putting the coat under a huge pressure - I've carried heavy hand baggage, cat in a carrier bag, gym bag, etc. all rubbing heavily against the wool and stretching the base cloth to all possible directions - it still looks like new. When I combine the top with the hem panel, which has been worn only a few times, no difference can be seen between them.
12 years later, in the beginning of 2013 Ireland fell in love with the timeless and functional piece with reference to the history of the Vikings who built the Dublin City. The coat was handpicked for the Green Isle's number one Fashion Show at Showcase 2013 which generated a 3-day solid stream of visitors such as well known Irish fashion retail gurus, press members, bloggers, politicians... from the runway to the Heli MG expo stand.
This winter the coat can be spotted, among others, scooting along the Helsinki City boulevards. Should you spot it don't be afraid to grab the Lady’s sleeve and say hi!