Pink room, big glasses, pastel outfits and a disco ball - meet Aino and her famous Barbie room! When you visit Aino's Instagram page @ainocollin, you will not get tired of hitting the Save button and adding her pictures to your collections of inspirations. You might have seen her dream room in TikTok, Pinterest or all over the Instagram and in this Interview she shared how one day of binge watching Harry Potter made her room famous.
It does not comes as a surprise, that Aino not only good at decor, but also has some quality tips and thoughts on style, thrifting and shopping consciously, so get comfy for some good colourful read!
-Katya, Founder of MY MOM SAID
GIRLBOSSINSTYLE: @AINOCOLLIN ON BARBIE ROOM, HER EVOLVING STYLE, PASTELS, and HOW TO SHOP CONSCIOUSLY
I get often asked about where did I study. I actually haven’t studied after high school. The main reason for this is that I haven’t found any schools in Finland that would interest me and if I have, I have quickly realized I’ve already ended up working in careers that the schools could provide. Not saying that school is useless, I just haven’t found my path yet.
I’ve noticed from your stories that you have been styling and/or assisting on photo shoots? Could you tell us a bit more about it, how you started doing and how you like it?
After Covid19 hit Finland, I got unemployed for a moment and that’s when I realized I want to do something different than just work for money. In the beginning of summer 2020 I got a job as a stylist’s assistant and I got to participate in huge fashion shoots for some of the biggest fashion magazines in Finland. I got the job just by emailing the stylist and I just happened to be lucky she had a place open. It was an amazing experience and I learned so much about working in fashion scene.
Your extremely beautiful room or as you called it Barbie room, got quite exposure on Instagram, how did it happen and how do you feel about it? What inspires you when decorating your room?
I’ve always been into interior decor and it’s very important for me to have my own space where I enjoy spending time in. About a year ago I moved in to a new apartment and my room had this dusty-dirty-yellow-ish wall that to be honest was quite awful. I got a permission from my landlord to paint it. I pondered a long time between pink and baby blue and as you know, I ended up going with pink.
One day last September when I had binge watched Harry Potter movies and spent over 8 hours in bed, I snapped that picture of my messy bed sheets in front of my pink poster wall. That pic ended blowing UP. Few really big interior pages on Instagram shared my pic and suddenly I gained so many new followers. Every time I opened Pinterest, I spotted my pic. The same pic was in many Tiktok and Youtube videos as a room inspo. My room was everywhere. It was fun and a bit weird, but that has given me so many new opportunities and I managed to grow my page a lot.
I get a lot of Inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram, especially from Danish interior pages. I have same rules for interior design and my clothing style: that is that I don’t have any rules - if I like something specific item and it matches the rest of my style, I will get it.
I love to hunt second hand decor stuff from Tori.fi, Kierrätyskeskus and antique shops. I enjoy finding unique things not everyone can buy and copy from Ikea. I also love design stores such My o My in Helsinki for cute colourful interior things such as Aykasa crates.
My tips for someone who wants to transform their room is to gather inspiration and decide what kind of vibe do you want. I love Pinterest and I always like to make new boards there. Then just start looking for small things that would match that style.
I know you have recently moved to a new place, would the new room have the same vibes? That’s right, I moved in the beginning of May, so I do not live in the barbie room anymore. I moved with my bestie @cuci.nelli and we literally have our dream house right now. Even though moving is such a draining burden, it’s always a chance for a new beginning. The room I have now was actually also pink, but we decided to paint our rooms and make a total makeover. Pink was lovely, but it was time for change.
My new room is now baby blue and I love it. My plans are to get a little bit rid of the excessive cuteness and bring a bit lofty industrial vibes to my room. I also want to bring the tones down a bit.
My room is twice smaller than the OG Barbie room, so when I moved my stuff from there all the colourfulness was quite overwhelming. I’m planning to bring my new room more whites and earth tones to compliment the bright pastels.
Your thoughts on fast fashion/ slow fashion/ sustainability/ thrifting?
I’d say like 90% of my clothes are thrifted. Though ”sustainable” brands do exist, buying something already existing is the most sustainable way to get new clothes. As a fashion lover and kind of an influencer I think it’s my responsibility to knowledge the cost of fashion. I very rarely get brand new clothes but when I do, I shop from quality brands and only materials that I will love for many years.
I always think about my purchases more than few days to think if I really will love them.
The only time I buy fast fashion anymore is when buying new socks or underwear, but I’m trying to seek better options for those as well.
What is your opinion on shopping in 2021, any thoughts or advices? Shopping in 2021 is definitely dividing people into two categories. There’s huge and very welcome trend with thrifting especially with young people and gen Z. I really do hope this is not just a passing trend. The other category is people who haven’t educated themselves about fast fashion and its costs. Those keep on buying and supporting the growth of fast fashion companies like Shekou, Shein, Zara etc. If you can do a 300€ Shein haul on Tiktok, you could had spent that amount on more sustainable choices.
Buying sustainable clothing is a privilege. Some people can’t afford them, some people can’t fit in them and some people can’t find their style. It is a fact that sustainable/thrifted clothing favours upper class, thin/normal sized people. This has to be also acknowledged, when talking about this subject and before bashing anyone for buying fast fashion.
My advice for people is to actually think about any purchases before buying it. Do I really need this? Will this fit with my other looks? Will I like this next year too? Could I find a better, more sustainable option?
How would you describe your style in few words?
My style is cute scandinavian pastels combined with more rough textures and masculinity. Everything has to be in balance.
How your style evolved, if it evolved, during past few years?
My styles is evolving all the time. Two years ago I wore nothing but black and white, then I got bored and wanted to add some colour to my style. Somehow I ended up being a total colour bomb. Now I have a feeling times are changing again, but probably not so radically this time. I’m vibing more structured styles and masculinity. Like in my room décor, I want to bring my fashion colour palette down a little bit. Pastels aren’t going anywhere but I want to combine those with earthier, natural tones. I also want more attitude in my outfits and be more cool than cute.
Do you dress to impress/ for yourself/ to impress yourself /other?
I dress to express myself and I dress to impress myself. Every time I’m wearing a fire outfit, my mood is so much better. That’s what makes me happy. I feel the most confident when wearing something extra, boring clothes on a public place is my biggest nightmare and that’s when I feel most insecure.
What are you thinking about when choosing outfits? Do you rely on mood or weather or occasion?
When picking my outfits I nearly always go with the mood and of course, the weather, which isn’t that easy task to do when living in Helsinki. I’ve also noticed that whenever I think about my outfit too much I end up having a clothing crisis. My best outfits have been constructed quite randomly and extempore, kind of just throwing something together and making it cool. I have no different outfits for different occasions, I can be as extra when going to the store or when I’m going to party.
What are your plans for summer outfits?
This summer I’m all about colourful and cool sunglasses that I have been rocking for a few months now. They really finish the outfit and I feel naked without them.
Are you or were you ever shy about rocking extra outfits or colors? What can you say about this journey and what helped you?
I think I just slowly started wearing extra outfits and realized how much happier they made me. First it was quite scary and I felt like everyone was staring at me, but nowadays I don’t even realize it. Also the fashion culture in Finland has just grown so much that my extra isn’t even that extra anymore. I love seeing so many cool AF outfits everyday when walking in Helsinki.
What or who are your style inspirations?
I get inspiration from everywhere and it changes a lot. I love watching TV shows and films and I adore when the costume production is on point. I recently watched Halston from Netflix, it was so good and full of 70s glam vibes. My another latest inspiration is the Eurovision winner Måneskin, their attitude and eye make up is bombing.
What are some of your favorite Instagram, Tik tok accounts, people, blogs or youtubers who are inspiring you and your style or whom you just like to follow?
How your relationship with thrifting started?
When I was a kid I always got my older cousins old clothes so second-hand was very natural to me. Proper thrifting started when I was about 14 I guess. I just loved finding good quality clothes for cheaper. Later on I found vintage clothing and learned better ways to find great pieces.
Did your thrifting habits change over the years?
My thrifting habits have changed quite a lot. When I became good at thrifting I used to buy lots of stuff just because it was nice. Nowadays I think about my purchases much more, now it’s not enough for the item to be nice - I really need to think if I actually need the piece and if it fits with the rest of my outfits. I like to plan an outfit in my head with the item and something already existing. If I can’t come up with anything, I’ll leave the item to the store. When buying vintage, I sometimes want to think for a day or two and if the item is still available and if I still want it, I’ll get it.
Can you tell about your best and most favourite thrift finds?
My best thrift finds are my summer dresses and the leather trench coat I got from Tori.fi.
Any tips on thrifting in Helsinki or would you rather keep it a secret?
My biggest thrifting tip is to be patient and trying to see the item in a different environment when searching though UFF’s and other bigger thrift stores. I also love the vintage stores in Kallio, such as Ansa vintage and Mekkomania to name a few.
Your thoughts on how the future of thrifting looks?
Lots of new thrift stores and more curated second hand stores are in a trend right now and I love it. It definitely brings thrifting easier for people who aren’t ready to explore the many clothing racks of UFF since they can be quite overwhelming.
What would you recommend to people looking for their style?
For people looking for their style I recommend doing what ever you want and just believing you are coolest by being yourself.