I am drawn to Scandinavian design. The bright colors and graphic patterns, something about it really appeals to me. I feel like you can spot a pattern from Finland or Norway from a mile away. They are distinctive and I love it. I remember the first time I saw a Marimekko textile. I was with my mom at an outlet mall in CT. I was home from college for the summer and we were at the Crate & Barrel outlet to be exact. I saw these amazing lime green and yellow flowers on white. They were tablecloths but we devised a plan to turn them into drapes for my dining room in Savannah. They were a deal and we bought 4 cloths to make 8 drapes. They turned out great, and were much cheaper than buying yardage.
The tablecloths were, as you may have guessed, the Unikko pattern by Marimekko.
Fast forward 11 years to Brooklyn, NY. My obsession with Marimekko has continued. I got married in September 2014 and ended up selecting a Marimekko design on Paperless Post for my announcements.
Anyway back to Marimekko rather than my love for them! The name Marimekko is a combination anagram and play on words. The founder's name is Armi Ratia, which is where you get the 'Mari' and 'mekko' means 'dress' in Finnish. In 1951 Finland had been devastated by the war and Armi Ratia wanted to bring commerce and joy to her fellow citizens. She believed that the happiness in life is brought from everyday little moments and the beauty around you. She surrounded herself with other talented designers and Marimekko was formed. They continue to design today, with the same philosophy and a desire for longevity and timelessness. In a world where it's a new fashion season every time you turn around we have become all too likely to move onto the next trend quickly. Marimekko strives to create textiles, clothing and accessories that will last decades.
I myself have not purchased their clothing, yet. But I am a proud owner of an umbrella and a tote bag. The umbrella is the pattern from my wedding invite above and makes me feel cheerful when the sky is grey. The tote is well made and lives in my purse so I can forgo the plastic bags when I happen to pop into CVS or the grocery store on the way home form somewhere. It is also a bright cheerful pattern.
If you are ever in NYC, I highly recommend you visit the Marimekko flagship store at 200 5th Ave. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to be surrounded by such colorful design. If you cant make it to their store, be sure to check them out online at marimekko.com.
I hope to make some new pillows for my couch this year using Marimekko fabric. They have pre-made on their site or there are at least a few etsy sellers who offer finished covers as well. Marimekko prints really make a statement and are sure to start a conversation.