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The spring 2016 fashion collection: Designer Insights

We asked three of the designers of our spring 2016 fashion collection to share their thoughts on the theme of the collection and their work at Marimekko.

Emmakaisa Soisalo
Design Manager, Marimekko Fashion

What is it like to work for Marimekko? What inspires you?

When I studied fashion I got interested in prints. Marimekko's history as one of the greatest design and print houses makes this a dream place to work for many Finnish designers in particular, so I was very happy to start working here after my studies. Now, after four years, I can say that this is an amazing place as it feels even newer and fresher than before!
This is also a place with strong, interesting individuals and that makes work super inspiring and empowering.

The spring 2016 collection is a tribute to strong women. How was this evident in the design process? How would you describe a strong woman?

The theme was inspired by the strong Marimekko women from the past, good role models at the time and relevant today as well. The collection combines influences from the history of Marimekko and the world we live in now. I designed coats for this season, and it was really easy to relate to the theme, which also included inspiration from worker wear. I think coats need to be functional and easy to wear, not forgetting a beautiful silhouette and fit.

For me, a strong woman is naturally confident, but there is not just one feature that defines her. She knows how to be herself and play by her own rules, also in the men's world. She knows how to be empowered by being a woman and how to use that as an advantage. And that shows in the way she dresses and acts in life.

Why do you love this outfit?

This unisex shirt is one of the most classic Marimekko garments. It carries a very strong message from our history but it also has a perfectly fashionable look.

Julia Reuter
Marimekko fashion designer

What is it like to work for Marimekko? What inspires you?

Marimekko really is more than just a fashion house to me. I'm intrigued by the rebel side of Marimekko, and I do think we have a point of view when it comes to dressing a modern woman. You can recognise a Marimekko woman, and that's really rare for any brand.
When I first started working here, the image I had in mind was all about successful, strong-minded business women. It turned out to be exactly that - but just much more fun! The women who work here set an example for me every day. 
The Marimekko archives are a never-ending source of inspiration. It's a challenge and a privilege to work with designs that are iconic.

The spring 2016 collection is a tribute to strong women. How was this evident in the design process? How would you describe a strong woman?

We had in mind an active working woman, and it was inspiring to think about the legendary Marimekko women of the early years rolling up their sleeves and getting things done. With the same spirit, we wanted to update our material range and silhouettes and make sure every small detail was considered. 
I've come to learn that being strong means respecting yourself as well as others. Trusting your own vision. Recognising each other's talents and giving credit for good work. Complimenting each other. That's really important. My job is much about problem-solving, negotiating and finding the best solutions, so when you succeed in something, saying out loud "high five" makes all the difference.

Why do you love this shirt?

This is Marimekko's iconic Piccolo stripe, printed on silk, in a dress-shirt silhouette - a wardrobe classic so to say! And best of all, I feel good wearing it.

Riikka Buri
Freelance designer, childrenswear

What is it like to work for Marimekko? What inspires you? 

I have always found Marimekko aesthetics interesting, and I´m fascinated by the colourful history and heritage Marimekko has. The biggest inspiration for me comes from the 60s and 70s, a period which encapsulates the essence of Marimekko. The designers who worked here at the time with the company founder Armi Ratia were extremely talented and inspiring. 

When designing kids' clothing, comfort and great colours are always the base for me. When I started here, I couldn't believe my eyes seeing all the colourways for classic prints - there are hundreds of them! 

The spring 2016 collection is a tribute to strong women. What does this mean to you? How would you describe a strong woman? 

I think the collection is a tribute to all women. It is modern and practical, designed to make you feel strong and confident so that you can give your full concentration to your life and ambitions, whatever you do.  A strong woman has the guts to be truly herself and real in this fast-pace world we are living in. A strong woman sets her own pace. 

Why do you love this dress? 

The Lanketti print dress designed by Annika Rimala in the 60s is one of my favourites, and this is an updated version of that dress. The Lanketti pattern in this blue colourway is also available in the kids' collection.

(Lilian print dress in blue colourway is available in selected stores. New kids' collection will be available online by the end of the week 7. )

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