Computer Arts - - UN­COV­ER­ING LUX­URY BRANDS -

Ja­nine Rewell is a Fin­nish de­signer liv­ing and work­ing in Helsinki. In­ter­ested in or­ganic ge­om­e­try and the un­ex­pected per­fec­tion of na­ture, she blends imag­i­na­tion with re­al­ity through il­lus­tra­tion and in­stal­la­tion.

Ab­stract shapes and fan­tas­ti­cal animals in­spire her work, which mixes vec­tor-based de­signs and ana­logue ma­te­ri­als for dis­plays with tex­tiles and de­signed en­vi­ron­ments. She fre­quently com­poses geo­met­ric forms and fluid pat­terns us­ing dig­i­tal tools to fashion char­ac­ters and im­mer­sive land­scapes within her pieces.


A re­cent col­lab­o­ra­tion with Chi­nese brand Jo­rya in­cluded three parts that would be re­leased at dif­fer­ent times. Three of the key vi­su­als were used for an au­tumn col­lec­tion com­pris­ing cloth­ing, ad­ver­tis­ing, scarves and gift­ing boxes. The fourth key vis­ual was used for a win­ter cam­paign, and the fifth il­lus­tra­tion was cre­ated for the Chi­nese New Year cam­paign – the big­gest com­mer­cial sea­son in China.

Tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from an­cient mytholo­gies and sym­bols re­lated to the Qixi Fes­ti­val and the Chi­nese Moon Fes­ti­val as a start­ing point, Rewell de­vel­oped a col­lec­tion of il­lus­tra­tions which were used for silk py­ja­mas, dresses and shirts. When the pro­ject started, how­ever, the client hadn’t de­cided what it would use the key vi­su­als for, so the il­lus­tra­tions had to be re­ally flex­i­ble in terms of usage.

“I didn’t know if they were go­ing to be used as cloth­ing pat­terns or gift­ing ob­jects, win­dow dis­plays or ad­ver­tis­ing,” says Rewell. “It was quite chal­leng­ing to de­cide on the colour pal­ette es­pe­cially.”


Hav­ing a lo­cal agent to com­mu­ni­cate with the client, un­der­stand­ing the cul­tural view­points and dif­fer­ences – and also trans­lat­ing if nec­es­sary – was in­valu­able for the pro­ject.

“I typ­i­cally work with ad­ver­tis­ing and win­dow dis­plays when it comes to fashion brands. But I also love do­ing cloth­ing pat­terns, and knew there was a pos­si­bil­ity to build a very ver­sa­tile col­lab­o­ra­tion with Jo­rya. That’s why I wanted to work with them.”

Rewell se­cured the com­mis­sion through her agency V/Col­lec­tive, based in China. “They have re­ally good con­nec­tions with the fashion brands in China, be­cause their agency pro­file was more di­rected to­wards fashion col­lab­o­ra­tions when they first started their busi­ness.”


Rewell is a strong ad­vo­cate of mak­ing time for per­sonal projects, hav­ing se­cured client work as a di­rect re­sult of play­ing around with ideas out­side of the con­straints of com­mis­sioned work.

Not­ing that her clients are not al­ways vis­ual peo­ple and want to see ex­am­ples of what the re­sult would look like be­fore they de­cide to com­mis­sion her for the job, she be­lieves it’s im­por­tant to have a ver­sa­tile port­fo­lio, with a lot of dif­fer­ent ideas on how to use your il­lus­tra­tions at­trac­tively.

“It is very use­ful es­pe­cially if you want to ex­pand your clien­tele into new fields, where you don’t have existing case ex­am­ples from be­fore.”

A set of il­lus­trated wooden doll­houses is a prime ex­am­ple. Rewell de­signed th­ese to see how her work would trans­late into 3D, and she was con­tacted by a shop­ping mall in Hong Kong which asked if it could en­large one and build it on a hu­man scale:

“Within a few years I al­ready had a lot of en­quiries for 3D in­stal­la­tion work in Asia, as the word got around,” she adds.

dress, pattern by Ja­nine Rewell for Joyra

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