About Our Nordic
AITI’s founder Ritva Kariniemi began her extensive career after moving from her native Finland to study at London College of Fashion in the late 1970’s. After completing her education, Ritva stayed on to work with designers such as Bill Gibb and Benny Ong. Gaining invaluable experience, she began designing for manufacturers known for supplying to popular high street shops.
In 1984, Extravert by Ritva Kariniemi was born. A collection which reinvented the use of Lycra in fashion by specialising in women’s stretch, drape separates and knits. After years of growing in popularity, Extravert was recognised and received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Export Achievement in 1991. Following Extravert’s success, Ritva had two self-named, standalone shops in Japan.
The name ÄITI, meaning ‘Mother’ in Finnish, was inspired by the personal experience of motherhood for Ritva. After establishing a career in interior design, she decided to return to her roots of Nordic Fashion and knitwear in 2016. The vision for AITI was simple: to create and produce timeless, yet wearable and affordable knitwear that will outlive fashion fads. Ritva embodies the Nordic Style with the use of sustainably sourced materials such as wool, cotton and cashmere that have co-ordinated scarves and shawls for a completed look.
We give great importance to sustainable and fair-trade production processes. Working solely with factories that have a track record for these, e.g. a factory in China and a family run business in Nepal that goes to great lengths to ensure fair trade and a community-focused supply chain. They do this at no expense to their luxurious cashmere yarn – which is selected and imported from Mongolia to later be manufactured into superior knitwear at their production site in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Keeping in close contact with her two factories, Ritva designs the clothing and co-ordinates the samples and production from AITI’s West London office, creating two closely curated collections of designer knitwear and accessories each year.
The AITI pieces are stylish, lovely to wear, affordable and sustainable. The look is contemporary but timeless with a clean and simple silhouette that transcends seasons and appeals to women of all ages.