LISA TANNER & CAITLIN BUTCHER
Ystävä, finnish for “friend”, a collaborative product line by Lisa Tanner and Caitlin Butcher. Their keychains are sold here at the lululemon lab.
We asked them 10 questions about their work, likes and inspirations.
- How did you begin your career in design?
C: I grew up immersed in the arts as well as music. I was always really into fashion illustration and eventually I wanted to be able to realize the designs that I was drawing on paper. I enrolled in the fashion design degree program at Kwantlen in 2005. There I was introduced to textile design, which was a perfect marriage of my arts background and my interests in fashion. When I studied in Helsinki I was able to explore various textile design methods, which only furthered my interest.
L: My background in fine arts, specifically painting, collage, and sculpture led me to pursue fashion design as a way to translate creativity into a flexible career. Since I was a child I’ve always loved textiles and making jewelry. I attended Kwantlen for my Bachelor of Fashion Design, during which time I lived in Helsinki on exchange, a move that had a huge impact on my design sensibility and goals. I returned to Helsinki after graduation for a year of working freelance and travel. From there I came back to Vancouver to pursue further design positions and develop my own projects.
C+L: We started spending more time together in Helsinki where we were very inspired by bold colour, clean lines and Scandinavian simplicity. When we both got back to Vancouver we wanted to work together on projects influenced by our love of Scandinavia and mutual love of colour, textiles, and interesting materials. That’s actually where the name Ystävä came from; it translates to friend in Finnish.
3- How do you see your work evolving in the next 5 years?
C+L: We would like to expand our product line to include bags, jewelry, clothing, additional accessories, and many more large-scale installations. We are also very interested in designing our own prints to be used for clothing and bags.
4- How does the Vancouver culture and lifestyle inspire or effect your work?
C+L: Many artists, musicians, and retailers have taken it upon themselves to create independent venues and events such as galleries, markets, pop-up shops, and shows, which is a source of continuous inspiration. Vancouver’s a really great place to be right now as there’s a surge of this kind of DIY activity and the community is very supportive.
5- Whats your style?
C+L: We’re into mixing quality investment pieces with vintage, tons of print and colour, crazy socks, and bright coloured sneakers.
6- Artist you admire?
C+L: Sonia Delaunay, Marimekko, Jennilee Marigomen, Kandinsky, Klee, Rothko, the Bauhaus movement, to name a few.
7- Favourite place to travel and why?
C: Budapest is one of my favorites. The architecture is beautiful there and the antique markets are a dream.
L: Copenhagen is like the Paris of Scandinavia. It has a relaxed, bohemian feeling yet it’s also extremely innovative and cosmopolitan. My time there was full of long lunches of aquavit and pickled herring. I also love Budapest for the Turkish influences and bathhouses.
Both: And of course NYC, that city is just full of inspiration.
8- What are you reading? Listening to?
C: I’ve been listening to Mac Demarcos new album a lot, also the Crystal Stilts, The Growlers, Can’t and John Maus. I’m reading Murakami’s new book, “IQ84”
L: I’ve been listening to Future Islands, Peaking Lights, the new Grizzly Bear, and the new Catpower. I’ve been reading an assortment of Finnish cookbooks and working on some new recipes in anticipation of my Finnish Christmas party.
9- Last meal before you die and who would it be with?
Lisa: Kingyo with Kenzo
Caitlin: That sounds pretty good, can I just join you?
10- Where will you go from here?
We are currently working on our jewelry line, our first round of bag prototypes as well as new some installations. We are super excited for what the future holds!