Timeline | Marimekko

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Marimekko will bring to life the Marimekko Village of today.

In 1962 Armi Ratia, the founder of Marimekko, defined Marimekko as "a cultural phenomenon guiding the quality of living". She built a utopia called Marikylä ("Marimekko Village"), whose aim was no less than to house the staffs and to function as a laboratory for product design and to develop new ways of life. This year Marimekko will bring to life the Marimekko Village of today.

2011

What brings light to you while in the darkness?

FLICKER, FLICKER LITTLE LIGHT
In Northern Europe, light is intrinsically poetic, casting a mythical spell unlike anywhere else in the world. In this cycle of seasons, candlelight is our most natural source of light and a symbol of remembrance in countless cultures. The new Marimekko Loistava candleholder carries on this noble tradition in the brightest fashion. Designed by Harri Koskinen, the glass candleholder is made up of two parts which overlap to form a stripe of a different colour.

 

Marimekko flagship store opens on New York’s Fifth Avenue.

2009

Long live patterns, long live colours!

A clutch from the Mari’s New Bags collection by Virva Launo and Maija Louekari is shown in the Financial Times’ How To Spend It before it even reaches the shops. Sami Ruotsalainen and Maija Louekari design a new line of tableware, while designers Rinne & Niinikoski do a stunning knitwear collection.

2004

Good news from the Herttoniemi factory

A new fabric printing machine and screenmaking equipment are up and running. Production picks up! Designer Samu-Jussi Koski joins Marimekko.

2003

The next generation

Maija Louekari’s Hetkiä / Moments pattern wins over the jury of a competition for young designers. Ystävät soon follows suit, and then the next and the next. Maija’s patterns will later be a key element in Mari’s New Bags.

1985

Changing hands

Armi’s heirs sell Marimekko to the Amer Group. Amer plans to make Marimekko a big commercial success in a few years. Soon, the company admits that they are up to their neck in problems with Marimekko.

1978

Mother. Daughter. Design.

Maija Isola and her daughter Kristina start working as a pair, and both names are printed on the edges of their distinctive designs.

1973

Marimekko opens a new fabric printing plant in Herttoniemi, Helsinki

Designers and office staff move to the new factory, which will eventually serve as Marimekko´s headquarters.

1970

The winning Pallo jersey

Annika Rimala scores another winning goal with her Pallo jersey design. It’s an overnight hit, with almost everyone in Finland wearing a red/green/blue polka-dotted shirt.

1964

Beloved Unikko pattern

Maija Isola paints the glowing Unikko, defying Armi’s ban on floral patterns and creating one of Marimekko’s best-loved prints of all time. Designing iconic patterns seems to be second nature to Maija: Kaivo, Seireeni, Kivet, Lokki... Always so POP and so OP.

1958

Arms out to the world

Armi takes Marimekko to the Brussels World’s Fair, paving the way to cross the Atlantic. In no time, Americans are going wild over Marimekko at the Design Research stores in New York and San Francisco.

1956

The birth of a genuine Marimekko icon

Vuokko Eskolin-Nurmesniemi designs the Jokapoika shirt. Master designer Tapio Wirkkala is one of the first to wear the shirt, which still has a pinch of intelligentsia and radicalism.

1951

The first Marimekko fashion show

What a commotion! The first Marimekko fashion show is held at the chic Kalastajatorppa hotel in Helsinki. Willowy models whirl onstage in Maija Isola’s printed fabrics. Women go wild over the colourful patterns and clean cuts. The clothes are sold almost right off the models’ backs. The first Marimekko shop opens in Helsinki the following year.

2012

Pockets, colours, Normi.

Sturdy, fresh and so Marimekko. A new classic is born.Normi bags designed by Tuula Pöyhönen – Pasi, Olga, Toimi and Kauko – have arrived. These four bags, which conform to A-series NORMS: A5, A4, A3 and A2. And guess what? The Finnish word 'Normi' means normal, norm, standard...
These bags carry all the essentials and more: Slip your passport into the little Pasi bag and adopt Olga as your distinguished over-the-shoulder companion. The Toimi bag is great for carrying office supplies, while Kauko, the largest of the group, invites you along on a spontaneous weekend trip.

 

The celebration of Marimekko’s 60th anniversary, for the first time in its history, Marimekko premieres Spring and Summer 2012 fashion collection in Tokyo.

"It is our intention to bring our fashion shows to the world’s fashion capitals on a more frequent basis, and we are delighted to start in Tokyo where the crowd of Marimekko friends has been growing and growing over the years,” says Noora Niinikoski, Head of Fashion Design of Marimekko.

 

Refurbished Marimekko flagship store opens in Helsinki.

2010

In Good Company

The latest In Good Company tableware, Anu Penttinen’s delectable glasses, debut at the Milan International Furniture Fair. The Finnish pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo is bursting with scrumptious Marimekko designs in all shapes and flavours.

2007

A twist on tradition

Breaking news! A man is to head Marimekko! Paakkanen surprises everyone by choosing the banker Mika Ihamuotila as her successor. Mika steps in as CEO in February 2008.

1991

Shaken and stirred

A worthy successor to Armi’s legacy! A woman in charge of Marimekko! Kirsti Paakkanen buys Marimekko in September 1991 and shakes things up, bringing in profits and new designers, like Mika Piirainen and Erja Hirvi.

1979

Her genius lives on

A sad day for Marimekko. Armi Ratia dies on 3 October. Her death leaves an immense void. Armi was Marimekko.

1974

The Ishimoto touch

Fujiwo Ishimoto, a Japa- nese designer, notices that he is still in Finland. Thirty years later, over 300 of his patterns have been printed on fabric.

1972

Perfection in a suit

The Kuski corduroy suit is Marimekko’s first and best men’s suit. When will Pentti Rinta’s suit return to production?

1971

Bag it!

Armi’s son, Ristomatti, cuts cotton canvas into the Olkalaukku shoulder bag, starting off the rapid succession of classic bag designs – Matkuri, Peruskassi and Arkkitehti – that emerge from his drawing board.

1968

Equality in a stripe

Designer Annika Rimala feels that every pair of jeans deserves a colourful T-shirt. The new era of unisex clothing is everywhere. Even stripes = equality = Tasaraita. Perfect then, perfect now.

1960

Jacqueline Kennedy buys seven dresses!

Jackie Kennedy poses on the cover of Sports Illustrated in a sleeveless red Marimekko dress. Marimekko is an instant sensation: Elle, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Women’s Wear Daily and the New York Times spread the word.

1954

The Marimekko logo sees the light of day

Armi wants something simple and distinct, so the graphic designer pops a sheet of paper into an Olivetti and types the letter m. Voilà!

 

Vuokko Eskolin-Nurmesniemi joins Marimekko

The young designer Vuokko Eskolin-Nurmesniemi joins Marimekko. Vuokko’s clever, architectonic cuts and distinctive patterns hit the spot. These are clothes that liberate women.

1949

Marimekko’s story begins

It’s a couple of years before Viljo and Armi Ratia’s company Printex becomes Marimekko, but Armi already has a clear idea of the future. "One has to dream," Armi says. "And one must stand out from the rest."