timo rissanen

Timo Rissanen is the Assistant Professor of Fashion Design and Sustainability at Parsons The New School for Design. He is a Finish fashion designer, whose creative practice is grounded in an inquiry through cutting. Having lived in Finland, Spain, Australia and the US, Rissanen is interested in global challenges with local perspectives. His research centers on fashion and sustainability, with particular focus on zero-waste fashion design. He sees fashion as integral to the everyday experience of living; creating a fashion system that enriches humanity is a task for us all. (source) 

What this means is that Timo has a sense of humor and an understated kindness that makes his unshakable stand for a peaceful fashion industry all the more special. For those of us who share a vision of interdependence in fashion, Timo’s work lives on the shelf where we keep our most special books. Learn more about Timo in this New York Times article


What do you burn for? I burn for environmental and social justice in fashion. 

How do you understand, define, practice sustainable fashion? Fashion that has everyone working in it and wearing it be safe and well, and in the case of workers, able to provide for their families. In my own life, I try to focus on enjoying fashion rather than acquiring it. 

What’s your vision for the fashion industry? Stealing from above: Fashion that has everyone working in it and wearing it be safe and well, and in the case of workers, able to provide for their families. 

Mad libs: If we were to transform the fashion industry so that it wasn't killing anyone (and transforming that requires transforming our economic system), we would then be one giant step closer to a future of flourishing for humanity, to borrow from John Ehrenfeld.

Mad libs part two: Kate Moss is an iconic mess, or a messy icon. What I aspire to. 

All time favorite collection? All time favorite piece in your closet? I will date myself here but some of the collections by John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen around 1991-1996 were just astounding. I'll pick one: Westwood Autumn/Winter 1994-95, also featured in Altman's 'Pret-A-Porter' as one of the character's collections: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3v3lbjSAFI  I have a pair of Vivienne Westwood jeans from her 1991 Cut & Slash collection; I've had them since 2007 or so and at most worn them ten times because I want to have them forever. 

"These visible repairs and customizations on my own clothes are Cool And Thoughtful to me."