HELSINKI, Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Finlayson, Finland's leading textile manufacturer and a beloved heritage brand in Finland, expands its operations into the U.S. by launching Tom of Finland X Finlayson, an unprecedented and exclusive collection designed in honour of Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen, 1920-1991), world renowned for his vast body of work. The collection has been developed in close collaboration with Tom of Finland Foundation based in Los Angeles. It will debut on Finlayson's international online store and may be available in leading department stores in the future.
"We're thrilled to offer Finlayson's high-quality home textiles, designed in Finland, to American customers. The Tom of Finland X Finlayson Collection draws upon innovative and ground-breaking Finnish designs and art traditions while paying homage to Touko Laaksonen, one of the most celebrated and respected Finnish visual artists of all time. With the Tom of Finland X Finlayson Collection, which features the artist's erotic art, we also want to convey the message of respect and tolerance worldwide," said Risto Voutilainen, Chief Operating Officer of Finlayson, in charge of the company's international operations.
"I am confident that Touko Laaksonen would be proud of the respect that he as an artist has gained during recent years thanks to the Tom of Finland Foundation and Finnish trendsetter companies such as Itella Posti Oy, the Finnish national post office, and now Finlayson. Becoming a world-known artist has required determination and courageous work in a world that was not that respectful and permissive at the time. Significant for Laaksonen's art is exaggerated photorealism featuring men in homoerotic settings. His first drawings are from the 1930s and 40s, but his major break-through was not until the 70s, even then using the pseudonym Tom of Finland. By the 1990s, the art community was ready to allow the drawings to be published in highly regarded art publications. Touko Laaksonen was honoured by The Finnish Comics Society with the prestigious Puupaahattu prize only a couple of months before his death," said Berndt Arell, co-writer and researcher of the book Tom of Finland – Unforeseen and Director General of National Museum of Sweden, a government-run institution.
Tom of Finland's works have, since 1973, been exhibited in Europe, USA and Australia in cities including Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Chicago, Copenhagen, Helsinki, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Miami, Oslo, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Stockholm, Toronto and Venice. His art is part of permanent collections of leading cultural institutions including Museum of Modern Art (New York), Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma (Helsinki), The Art Institute of Chicago, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Finlayson is launching Tom of Finland X Finlayson simultaneously in over 30 countries in Europe, USA, Australia and in select countries in Asia.
The first release of Tom of Finland X Finlayson includes two designs titled Fellows and Face to Face, featuring works by Tom. The collection includes satin sheets in king, queen and twin sizes, duvet covers, hand and bath towels and a textile tote bag. The product assortment will expand throughout 2015, with the introduction of new patterns and products, starting with kitchen textiles.
Tom of Finland X Finlayson is now available in the U.S. on Finlayson's dedicated international online store: www.byfinlayson.com.
Finlayson's signature collections are available on Finlayson's main online store: www.finlaysonshop.com.
High resolution product images from the Tom of Finland X Finlayson Collection are available for download here: http://bit.ly/1vlJTPM
About Tom of Finland
Tom of Finland was born Touko Laaksonen in 1920 in the village of Kaarina, Finland. His parents were schoolteachers who fostered their children's interest in the arts. At the age of 19, Laaksonen enrolled in a correspondence course in advertising. At that time, and for his own personal enjoyment, he created his first homoerotic drawings. In 1940, Laaksonen was drafted into the army and served for four years as a second lieutenant. After World War II, he moved to Helsinki, where he began to work for an advertising agency.
Laaksonen continued to draw his erotic fantasies and in the conservative social climate of the mid-1950s, submitted them to the American, all-male "bodybuilding" magazine, Physique Pictorial. It was the publisher that gave him the pseudonym "Tom of Finland".
Tom of Finland's images were an immediate success and numerous publications followed. Since 1973, his work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide.
With his friend Durk Dehner, Tom of Finland founded Tom of Finland Foundation in 1984 as a nonprofit Educational Archive to protect, preserve, and promote erotic art and to encourage healthier, more tolerant attitudes about sexuality.
Finlayson, a pioneer of textile manufacturing in Finland, has designed and manufactured quality interior textiles since 1820. With its head office and own atelier in Helsinki, Finlayson has more than 600 point-of-sales, 11 company owned concept stores, 3 shop-in-shops, a web shop serving the Finnish market, and branded stores in St. Petersburg and Tallinn. In June 2014, Finlayson was acquired by three Finnish visionaries dedicated to create a prosperous and bold new Finlayson while honoring the company's unique history. International growth carries a central role in the new direction of Finlayson.
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141119/159676
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141119/159677
PDF - http://origin-qps.onstreammedia.com/origin/multivu_archive/ENR/USA_Finlayson_ToF_product_fact_sheet.pdf
PDF - http://origin-qps.onstreammedia.com/origin/multivu_archive/ENR/USA_Finlayson_TofF_backgrounder.pdf