FACT > Course Leaders

Adjunct Professor

Maarit Salolainen

Maarit Salolainen is Adjunct Professor for Textile Design and 3D Surface Design and Head of the Master’s Programme in Fashion and Collection Design. Besides teaching, she works internationally as a creative director. Salolainen’s expertise is in design leadership and in creative and technical knowledge of woven fabrics, jacquards, prints, embroideries and finishings. She develops fabrics for interior use ranging from velvets and heavy upholstery to sheers and manages seasonal interior textile collections both for the residential as well as for contract market from research and initial concept through technical and creative development to final quality decisions and colour coordination. She loves to work with combinations and contrasts of colours, fibers, yarns, structures and prints and enjoys teaching talented future designers at Aalto University and leading the PatternLab project.

Associate Professor

Kirsi Niinimäki

Kirsi Niinimäki is an Associate Professor in Fashion Research and leader of the Fashion/Textile FUTURES research group. Throughout her research she aims towards a new, holistic understanding in the field of sustainable fashion and textiles and therefore she investigate the connection between design, manufacturing systems, business models and consumption habits. Furthermore PSS Product service systems in fashion, redirective practices in fashion design leading to sustainable consumption and circular economy approach are in the core of her research interest. From 2016 until July 2020 Kirsi was the Head of the Master’s Programme in Fashion and Collection Design.

Adjunct Professor

Annamari Vänskä

Annamari Vänskä (PhD) is Adjunct Professor of Fashion Research. She is also Adjunct Professor of Art History and Gender Studies at the University of Helsinki. Vänskä has published widely on fashion and visual culture with the focus on class, gender, sexuality and ethnicity. Her monograph Fashionable childhood: Children in Fashion Advertising (2017, Bloomsbury Publishing). sheds light on fashion in the social context, on social meanings of fashion and clothing, and on the conflicting connotations emerging from the interface between childhood, fashion and clothing and their visual representations in contemporary visualised consumer culture. She is also the co-editor with Professor Hazel Clark (Parsons School of Design, New York) of the forthcoming book Fashion Curating: Critical Practice in the Museum and Beyond (2017, Bloomsbury Publishing) which is a critical investigation about the emerging field of fashion curating. An important part of her scholarly work is curating exhibitions.


Ilona Hyötyläinen

Ilona Hyötyläinen is Functional Clothing and Accessory Design Lecturer. Main goal in her teaching is to combine fashion and functionality. Her special inters areas are sportswear, children’s wear and print design.

University Teacher, DA

Heidi Paavilainen

Heidi Paavilainen is a sociologically and anthropologically minded design (research) all around, most interested in diffusion, appropriation and use of design in everyday settings in the past, present and especially in the future. Her background is in Textile art (MA), with fine arts minor. She did her doctorate to the Industrial design programme. Continuing to work between those two lines of design contexts with all the students in the department of design by teaching and thesis tutoring.

University Teacher

Maija Fagerlund

Maija Fagerlund is a University Teacher for textile design. She is endlessly fascinated by all kinds of textile structures and materials and loves surface and print design. Besides teaching, she works internationally as a freelance textile designer. Her main areas in teaching are woven fabrics and jacquard design, print design and surface design.

Lecturer in Textile Design

Anna-Mari Leppisaari

Anna-Mari Leppisaari is a Lecturer for Textile Design. At Aalto University she teaches knitwear design, design for printed fabrics and textile finishing, as well as designing textile collections for fashion. She works internationally as knitwear and textile designer, and her works range from experimental artistic collaborations to commercial designs. She is interested in sustainable design and multidisciplinary collaborations.

Designer in Residence

Anna Ervamaa

Responsible teacher on the Fashion courses