Imagine the rough waves of the Baltic Sea, trembling against the coastline. The cool salty sea breeze blowing to your face on a rocky beach. Here everything is all almost black and white - the winter has mastered a beautiful monochrome color palette. The sun peeking from afar through trembling trees; sharing its light but not its warmth. Crisp wind is making the last leaves dance in his pace and eventually takes them with - just to show that he can. The winter air tastes fresh and cold. Welcome to Estonia, the birthplace of Vill Vill.
With the winters being longer, the temperatures lower and the need to stay warm and cozy being so present, Vill Vill was brought to life to both preserve Estonian craftsmanship and create minimalistic, long lasting pieces. Founder and Creative Director of the young brand is Eleny Kasemets; she drew the first piece of the collection and has since established a very visible, and yet understated brand identity and signature design. The hands behind the hand crafted, unique woolen hugs are her two mothers - which is her mother in law, Reet, and Ellen.
When Eleny was not able to find the perfect sweater for the harsh winters, that would also appeal to her sense of aesthetics she asked her mother-in-law to knit her one who. And when that did not match the description perfectly, Eleny draw what she had in mind - and so the first design had been brought to paper. When realising how remarkable it was that the design had been translated into an actual piece so seemingly easily and quickly friends and friends of friends caught onto their project and asked for pieces to be made, too. And in short, that is how Vill Vill was founded.
In reality, the process of describing and imaging a piece until you actually hold it in your hands just how you imagined it is a little more complicated. ‘It was the same in my childhood’, Eleny remembers, talking about how her children are oftentimes disappointed with the lack of superpowers and magical tricks their self made costumes offer. ‘I would tell what I wanted, without being able to really put into words or draw what I had in mind - so technically I was the one to blame when my dear mother created something that was slightly different from what I had imagined - and yet, the drama entailed.’ Even greater the surprise, when the cardigan her second mother, as she lovingly describes her husband’s mother, had knitted, was a perfect duplicate of the drafted version. After the first cardigan had been produced and crafted to be the perfect fit a few more pieces joined the collection.
Not following the usual cycle of fashion allows Vill Vill to create pieces based on their understanding of timeless design, with lasting materials and in monochrome colours. Preserving the nature and remaining a small team with the occasional knitting-support is the core of the business, and will therefore remain a priority - even through the growth of the brand.
The cardigans, sweaters and coats are produced in their own pace - they get the time they need and deserve - and are made to last through many winters. This makes the order even more special to the consumer, too. ‘When you order a Vill Vill woollen piece, you know it is handmade and that someone sat down for hours and hours to create this piece of clothing - so the relationship to it is different; you are going to wear it differently, care for it differently’ says Eleny, and remembers the time when she first put on the very first cardigan - and how mindfully she is wearing it.