The Kuoma X QKLS After Shred Series collection, designed by the Finnish national snowboarding team and Kuoma, has now been launched.
The Kuoma X QKLS After Shred Series collection, designed in cooperation between snowboarders from the Finnish national team and Kuoma designers, has now seen the light of day. This is the first collabo collection by the QKLS brand of the Finnish national snowboarding team. The collection includes After Shred Boots for adults and children and After Shred Shoes slippers.
Kuoma and Finnish Snowboard Association launched their cooperation a year ago, and they have been planning the collabo collection in close operation ever since. The national team visited the Kuoma factory in Kuomiokoski last winter, and they were inspired by the history of the factory surroundings and the company. They were also the first persons ever to snowboard in the nearly 100-year-old factory milieu. The collection has been inspired by Kuoma’s history, but also by the team’s own vibes.
Snowboarder Kalle Järvilehto from the Finnish national team played a major part in the design process, and came up with the idea for the After Shred Shoes slippers:
“It’s seriously cool that they asked us to visit the Kuoma factory in the first place. We got to see the places and went cruising all over the factory. They had a massive amount of materials that could be used to make shoes. We went over all of them and talked about what kind of shoes would be cool. I said it would be nice to wear slippers on the plane instead of shoes, to keep your feet from sweating. Kuoma responded to this idea, and they now have a travel slipper in their catalogue. It has been great to see that things can move along this quickly and that I could have such an influence on the collection of a cool brand like Kuoma. They actually listened to our ideas and turned them into real products. Even as a child, I thought that Kuoma was a really cool brand, so it’s incredible to be making collabo shoes with them now. I have a good feeling about this and think that other people will like the shoes as well – because they came out really good,” Kalle Järvilehto said.
Kuoma has also been highly satisfied with the cooperation. Kuoma’s head designer Riikka Huttunen was inspired by the snowboarders:
“For me, designing shoes in cooperation with snowboarders has been a completely new experience, and, at the same time, we also gained young people’s perspective on the Kuoma shoes of today. The collaboration was really successful and was a source of joy and inspiration not only to the design team but also to the entire factory,” Huttunen says.
The cooperation also brought new methods to Kuoma’s own work, which CEO Antti Puttonen has been very happy with:
“Our cooperation with Finnish Snowboard Association has been very successful and inspiring. We are very happy that this cooperation has given us the chance to get to know snowboarders and the world of snowboarding. The vitality and energy of the snowboarders and their way of doing things also caught on with us!
Finnish Snowboard Association has been vigorously developing the QKLS brand for a couple of years, and this work has now taken shape in the form of the first collabo collection. Executive Director at Finnish Snowboard Association, Tiina Lindström, is extremely proud of the collection:
“In less than a year, we have created an entire collection for the Kuoma catalogue, which should be almost impossible to do in this schedule. However, everything worked out well, and here we are.”
Since the beginning, the cooperation has been incredibly smooth, which has enabled such an ambitious project. The snowboarders have also been really excited:
“Since our very first meeting, we found common ground and understanding with Kuoma, and so we wanted to take our work together beyond traditional cooperation. The snowboarders found it really exciting to be working with a shoe manufacturer they have known since their childhood and the wild ideas that they came up with took the cooperation to a new direction that eventually laid the foundation for the creation of the collabo collection. The employees at Kuoma were immediately inspired by the idea, and it has been great to see how open-minded, bold, and playful they really are. Our cooperation with Kuoma has been extremely inspiring and productive: this is cooperation at its best, and we are so happy and proud of its results.”
The After Shred Boots are made for demanding winter use. After a long day of shredding, the snowboarding team needs light, soft, and warm winter boots, and Kuoma’s vegan boots are an excellent fit for this need. The boots are based on Kuoma’s traditional shoe model, honoring the almost 100-year tradition of the company. The boots are available in black and white and have the QKLS label on the side.
The After Shred Shoes were created as a result of an idea pitched by snowboarder Kalle Järvilehto from the Finnish national team. He said he would like to have a pair of light slippers that he could wear at airports, hotels, and at his summer cottage, just to name a few places. The black and white, glow-in-the-dark, vegan slippers will help you get comfortable in all kinds of conditions that national team athletes come across when traveling.
The After Shred Series collection is manufactured in Finland and, in addition to the Kuoma online shop, it is available in a limited number of selected stores. The collection can now be viewed at Kuoma.fi
Liisa Tikkanen, Development Director at Kuomiokoski Oy, e-mail: liisa.tikkanen(a)kuoma.fi, tel. +358 40 0787 146.
Tiina Lindström, Executive Director at Finnish Snowboard Association, e-mail: tiina.lindstrom(a)fsa.fi, tel. +358 44 0988 008.
Carola Niemelä/Team QKLSSnowboarders of the Finnish national team visited the Kuoma factory in February 2021.