Bring Hearing to Light with The Hope Collection
My name is Jenni Ahtiainen and I am the creator of DEAFMETAL®. DEAFMETAL® is an accessory brand for hearing aids. I have been working as a fashion designer for 15 years. I’ve sold my designs for consumers in Japan, Europe, and in the US. I have also designed stage costumes to bands and musicians like Marilyn Manson, Snoop Dogg, and Bono. These opportunities have been incredible for a Finnish fashion designer who loves to listen to music. But then I lost my hearing and I was shocked. And got hearing aids.
It made me wonder…why is it that if you have bad eyesight, you get to choose whatever kind of eyeglasses that suit your style? You have something regardless of if you are a woman, man, child, rocker, hipster, or even goth. However, if you have bad hearing, you don’t have that choice. You can’t even see one single beautiful picture of a hard of hearing people in lifestyle, fashion, or beauty magazines. Well, not until now…we started to take beauty shots and fine art pictures of hard of hearing people to make hearing problems more common and visual.
When I received my hearing aids, I put the aids behind my ears and started to think. I innovated a small holster around the hearing aids and then I hung some leather strips into the holster. Suddenly, the hearing aids felt more like me. They looked like me and I looked like me. This is how DEAFMETAL® was born—very naturally and organically by the hands of a hard of hearing fashion designer.