Finnish designer Jenny Hytönen steps into the spotlight as AZ Factory’s next guest couturier. Hytönen, a fresh and innovative talent, will present a 10-piece collection during Paris Haute Couture Week from January 22nd – 25th.
Rising to fame after winning the top prize at the Hyères Festival in 2022, Jenny Hytönen brings a unique blend of timidity and daring to her designs. Mauro Grimaldi, an executive at Compagnie Financière Richemont, praised her for this balance. Richemont, which partnered with the late Alber Elbaz to create AZ Factory in 2019, has evolved the brand into a collaborative platform for emerging talent following Elbaz’s untimely death in 2021.
Paris-based designer Hytönen, a graduate of Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, previously showcased her skills as a knitwear designer at Olivier Theyskens. Her expertise in leather, embroidery and high-tech elements will now take center stage at Paris Haute Couture Week. Her upcoming collection is not only a showcase of her talent, but also a tribute to Alber Elbaz’s legacy and passion for the atelier.
AZ Factory’s approach to couture is unique. They invite guest couturiers to create exclusive collections without commercial pressure, focusing instead on experimentation and giving a voice to new talent. This initiative has proven successful in the past, with previous guest designer Cyril Bourez selling most of his 35 unique pieces that reimagined Elbaz’s designs.
The opportunity offered by AZ Factory goes beyond design. It allows young designers like Hytönen to work with experienced teams in product development, marketing and communications. They get exposure to the international press and a taste of what a career in high fashion entails. For AZ Factory, it is a chance to underscore its commitment to supporting independent creativity from the start.
Lora Sonney and Tennessy Thoreson have already created their own unique couture collections or exclusive ranges for AZ Factory.