The bold prints of Marimekko are the first to come to mind for many when thinking about Finnish design. The brand’s impact reaches beyond Finland, however, as Marimekko is said to be one of the world’s first real lifestyle brands offering fashion and accessories alongside home décor in seamless harmony.
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Marimekko translates to “Little Dress for Mary,” combining founder Armi Ratia’s middle name and “mekko,” the Finnish word for a simple dress. Though Marimekko got its first real recognition with a successful fashion show, it has proven to be so much more than a colorful clothing company. Pioneering designer Vuokko Eskolin-Nurmesniemi designed dresses that finally let women to move freely, and also created unisex button-up shirts to challenge gender norms. When Jacqueline Kennedy was seen sporting the dresses on covers of magazines, women everywhere wanted to have the new silhouettes in their wardrobes.
This rule-breaking spirit is exactly what led to the creation of Marimekko’s most famous print: Marimekko Unikko. Ratia had told the designers she wanted no flower designs, but Maija Isola presented her with a batch of floral prints that were modern enough to change her mind. Among them? The 1964 poppy print called Unikko, which remains one of the most widely recognized and sought after designs in the world. Other famous floral designs, like Maija Louekari's Marimekko Siirtolapuutarha, would later follow. After opening a new textile printing factory in Helsinki during 1973, Marimekko shifted from a focus on clothing to printing bolts of cotton fabric and designing bold home accessories.
Marimekko still prints its fabrics adorned with classics like Marimekko Unikko, along with new patterns from up and coming Finnish designers, at its factory in Finland. The process is now modernized flatbed printing machine and digital screen-making equipment, and the company continues to find the most sustainable and responsible methods of production. While Marimekko is true to its roots as a textile company, it has expanded its expertise from fabric products to essentials for the entire home. Marimekko dinnerware, Marimekko glassware, and Marimekko trays among other collections prove to be popular categories for those who have grown up with this Finnish brand or been recently introduced. Much like the company’s logo, which was inspired by the simplicity of Olivetti typewriter letters, Marimekko products are clean-lined and simple yet instantly recognizable. You’ll find this logo on all Marimekko products at FinnStyle, as we are proud to offer new and genuine Marimekko products directly from the manufacturer to admirers and collectors around the world.