My Lost Uncle

Story by

It’s late and I’m struggling to get through the rest of my design project. I’m spaced out and can’t focus until in my drifting state I land on this page.

Immediately the static draws my attention and I’m looking at a TV in a living room that seems to be set far away. A drink sits on the table and the clock blinks 9:36. I’m prompted to turn up my volume and I do so, while clicking on the icon hovering in the middle of the screen.

As the video begins I am now completely focused. My own clock blinks 2:30 AM and for the first time in hours, I feel completely tuned in.

It’s a series of text placed over moving organic imagery. Abstract inks and sky’s overlapped in a sort of low-fi dance. As the frames switch, the music weaves it’s way into each blending image. It’s unbelievably beautiful and mesmerizing and as the words start to soak in, the story unfolds.

Fast forward a few weeks and I have the opportunity to speak with the minds behind My Lost Uncle.  Jani Maunula lives in Helsinki, Finland. Antti Meriluoto, his partner in creativity lives there also. Jani and Antti became friends working together at design in Golla which is a bag company for portable electronics. “Antti was AD and I was developping Denim Line and Black Line for business people. We both got bored of strict working hours from 9-7 and we developed this project based on my Innovation studies. Last year I went back to university for one year course after 10 years in fashion business.”

Now that I begin to understand their past, I’m still trying to comprehend what this project is all about. How is this mysterious video linked to fashion and design? It becomes clear as Jani and I continue our conversation. His Uncle’s story was thought to have ended in the sea in 1979. Years after his disappearance and perceived death, Jani received a postcard in the mail. It said one sentence.

His Uncle Andreas’s journey was intended to finish in New York, instead it is a complete mystery to the world and especially his family as to where he ended up. This doesn’t seem to be the focus however for Jani and Antti, the inspiration comes from the idea of the postcard, the ocean, and the concept of following your own beacons.

“Antti and me are having a thought about the similarities between oceans and space. Those both are unknown places, dark and even scary. When thinking oceans and space imagination can be limitless. In the past sailors travelled using light towers and stars as their guides in the darkness. Then there was no electricity, light towers used real fire, stars are on fire.”

Jani and Antti are headed to New York to tell the rest of the story. Their vessel will be design and fashion. A culmination of their love for fashion, art, design, colors, of the ocean, mystery, film, lighting, and adventure. My Lost Uncle is becoming a movement, charged by the past.

We will watch as the next part of the story unfolds. What type of fashion designs will be drawn from these two creatives? Simply the idea leaves me smiling as I sit on my computer late at night. The concept of channeling a loss, or an event in one’s life into creative fuel, even if everyone doesn’t completely understand all the elements that inspire you and where you are going, that excites me beyond belief. We have all lost, or been lost. We all have our beacons, whether they are loved one’s, professors, peers, or the stars. In the case of My Lost Uncle, and Jani and Antti, we are waiting in anticipation to see what will be created and wish them calm seas, and clear skies.



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