VAIN is not a vain brand

A look into what VAIN is
Upcoming Fashion Brand: VAIN
BY Anssi Karjala

How a small brand from Finland called VAIN is becoming one of the most interesting upcoming clothing brands.

VAIN's website describes the brand in the following way: "VAIN is an interdisciplinary fashion label, founded by artist and creative director Jimi Vain and CEO Roope Reinola, that has in its short span of existence formed a cult-like community through various viral projects."

VAIN x McDonald's collaboration. Credit:

VAIN seems to have undeniable pull across the fashion culture, which comes from a few virtues that are not so common in modern fashion: Quality and Sustainability.

The company was founded in 2021 from the idea of Jimi Särmö (Creative Director) and Roope Reinola (CEO). From the factories they used to innovative designs, everything VAIN makes is well thought through.

VAIN and it’s story is a testament to the very nature of what it means to be creative in the Digital Age. Selected high quality materials, subtle cultural references and extreme attention to detail are the defining hallmarks of VAIN.

Regardless of its contemporary origins, the values behind VAIN are as old and simple as humanity itself. In an evermore technocratic world it’s sometimes easy to forget that, what brings us together as humans, is the love we have, and VAIN is all about love.

VAIN has been making a name for itself through viral projects, such as a recent collaboration with McDonald's upcycling their old work uniforms into a fashion collection, which reached over 200 million people on social media and garnered over 800 articles written worldwide.

VAIN's FW23 debut collection '02' was presented at Pitti Uomo 103 in January 2023, followed by it’s Copenhagen Fashion Week debut in the SS24 season in August 2023.

Credit: Pitti Immagine Uomo

VAIN x McDonald's Collaboration

In 2022 VAIN went viral for upcycing used McDonald's workwear into a fashion collection.

McDonald's collection by VAIN. Credit:

The company's CEO, Roope Reinola, describes the collection in their press release:

"We created an exclusive fashion collection for McDonald’s, made almost entirely from the restaurant chain’s used staff uniforms. The designs explore new ways of utilizing the worn out workwear, while also placing McDonald’s familiar employee uniforms in the context of contemporary fashion."

The brand's founder, Jimi Vain, describes what McDonald's meant to him growing up in the rural side of Finland:

"Growing up in a very rural part of Finland, there weren’t really any dedicated spaces for us to hang out as teenagers. The local McDonald’s sort of fulfilled that function for us. It was accessible to anyone and was a familiar vibe. Also, it was the closest we could get to global pop culture out there in the north. We spent many evenings, and made many memories, hanging around the local McDonald’s in our teens."

While VAIN and McDonald’s may seem like a rather unconventional combination, the project ended up feeling very natural from a creative point of view. The collection lives off subtle references to McDonald’s iconic status in popular culture, while respecting both brand’s visual identities.

"The work uniforms include familiar colors, patterns, and details that everybody can recognize. Being playful with the silhouettes has been pleasant as the McDonald’s brand attributes come along", continues Roope Reinola.

The Future of VAIN

VAIN has seemingly gained more and more buzz over the first two years of business in the fashion industry and shows no signs of slowing down. Every year the leaps they make seem big and meaningful.

Holding the values they had while starting close tho their chest. Fashion business is not an easy industry to succeed in and you need to remind yourself not to make compromises while problems arrive. VAIN seems to have handled every point and turn with remarkable belief in their vision.