Maija Isola

Maija Isola's (1927–2001) career as a fabric designer began in 1949 with commissions from Marimekko's predecessor, Printex, and lasted 38 years. During that time, she designed more than 500 patterns for Marimekko.

Maija Isola laid the foundation for Marimekko as a print house. She lived an unconventional life for her time, painting what she encountered when traveling across Europe, North Africa, and America. On these trips, many of her patterns and colors were born.

She often worked in the evenings, sitting on the floor, and painted the original artwork across the entire width of a canvas. Nature was an endless source of material, and sometimes she even used real plants for her designs. She composed the Kivet fabric, a print resembling giant stones, from circles cut out of colored paper.

Armi Ratia, founder of Marimekko, believed that the true essence of real flowers couldn't be faithfully captured in print, which is why floral prints were excluded from Marimekko collections. Maija Isola responded by creating a complete collection of graphic, pop-art-inspired floral fabrics. Among them was Unikko (1964), which has been continuously printed since its launch.

Prints by Maija Isola

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