Shoe designer Minna Peltomäki wins prestigious Ornamo Award for Finnish Designers

The winner of the Ornamo Award 2019 is shoe designer Minna Peltomäki. This year’s Ornamo Award winner was chosen amongst three nominees by Mari Kiviniemi, Managing Director of the Finnish Commerce Federation. Kiviniemi emphasizes Peltomäki’s good sense of responsibility in her design, and also how Peltomäki understands the needs of customers.

The winner was announced at Musiikkitalo Helsinki Music Centre Thursday evening. The prize is 5,000 euros.

Shoe designer Minna Peltomäki (b.1970) is known for revising the Pomar brand in the highly competitive footwear market. In her work, Peltomäki takes into account the northern climate, the ageing population and ethical consumers.

Mari KiviniemiManaging Director of the Finnish Commerce Federation chose the winner of the Award this year. The nominees this year were textile designer Maija Arela, industrial designer Ville Kokkonen and Peltomäki.

Kiviniemi highlights the responsible nature of Minna Peltomäki’s work as a shoe designer.

“Strong responsibility begins with the designer’s work. It is crucial that the designer understands the complete life cycle of a product, from the materials used all the way to recycling in the end. Responsibility is present in the winner’s work at many levels: by minimizing waste in the cutting phase, reducing the amount of chemicals used and operating close to the main market area. Minna Peltomäki has succeeded in all of these activities”, says Mari Kiviniemi.

Nordic casual design for a Nordic climate

Through her design company, Peltomäki leads a threestrong designer team at Pomar. The shoes are made in Estonia, which is rare, as only three per cent of the world’s shoes are now made in Europe. Peltomäki also boldly experiments with materials to find high-quality alternatives to leather, and she has launched vegan shoes which contain nothing of animal origin.

Peltomäki is a a very experienced designer working in a field that is weakening in Finland. She considers the award as recognition not only for her own work, but for the field of shoe designers in Finland. The key to success for the Pomar brand has been specialization – designing and producing shoes that fit the Nordic climate and Finnish feet. Peltomäki’s style of design can be described as Nordic casual.

“Most days of our lives are ordinary. Shoes have a great impact on how we feel. A shoe must fit well and it has to be comfortable right from the beginning. The core of my work is taking into account how the Nordic climate changes throughout the year”, say Minna Peltomäki.

Pomar’s Finnish design has been recognized also before. The brand’s collection of shoes made out of felt received the Fennia Prize Honourable Mention in 2017.

What is the Ornamo Award?

The Ornamo Award has been awarded since 2015, and the candidacy is a highly valued recognition in itself. Nominees are put forward by Ornamo members, with a three-strong shortlist chosen by the Ornamo board. The prize is 5,000 euros. The winner was announced at Musiikkitalo Helsinki Music Centre on 5 December. A great number of international influencers in politics and design also attended the event this year, as the awards ceremony took place at the end of the two-day European Design Policy Conference organized by Ornamo Art and Design Finland together with BEDA.

Images of the winner and her work can be downloaded from the 2019 Ornamo Award image bank at:

More information on Minna Peltomäki:

and the Ornamo Award:

For more information, please contact: 

Communications Manager, Ornamo
Miisa Pulkkinen

+358 40 523 9984

Shoe designer Minna Peltomäki
+358 40 521 8960

Ornamo Art & Design Finland is a professional body for the design industry founded in 1911. The organisation’s membership currently comprises around 2,700 members. Ornamo is actively engaged in promoting the profession and its interests.