Marimekko is a Finnish textile company founded by the designer Ratia Armi in 1951. It produces fabrics for clothing and interior decors, mainly made of cotton, and places strong emphasis on design and creativity. The company’s success allowed the designer to create clothing collections as well, primarily in cotton and jersey. Marimekko in Finnish means “Mari’s dress” and, from the beginning, the brand has been a symbol for those women who love the style and the self-confidence.
In the 1950s, when the most important line in fashion was the restrictive models, the company began to create wide clothes with vibrant colors. During the years, the Marimekko’s anti-fashion became a way of life. The brand is considered one of the first to combine fashion, bags, accessories and even furniture, turning them in an expression of joyful life.
However, for the last twenty years, the strongest lines have been those for household purposes.
The company had 25 stores nationally, a branch in Sweden, and more than 700 across the world.
The Helsinki stock exchange included Marimekko in its main index.
In 2002, the net sales totaled 49.3 million euros with 27% from the export market. A partnership was established between Marimekko and Iittala, a household design company, which had already produced a candelabra for the Helsinki firm.
The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture in New York, in collaboration with the Museum of Art and Design in Helsinki, staged the first American retrospective of Marimekko’s products from 1951 to the present.
Floral, stripe or tartan patterns make up the brand’s varied and extremely rich heritage. Perhaps the most iconic pattern is Maija Isola’s Unikko, or poppies, from 1964. Over the years, the brand’s artists have created around 3,500 patterns, which have been used for clothing, bags, accessories, ceramics, bedding, fabrics and much more. The prints and patterns then are revisited in different color palettes.