The story of Marimekko began in the 1950s as a small Helsinki-based textile printing company. In different decades, the Marimekko dress has reflected the spirit and aesthetic of the times, yet the essence of the dress has remained unchanged. Today, Marimekko is a Finnish lifestyle design house celebrated worldwide for its original prints and colours.
Marimekko is a Finnish lifestyle design house celebrated worldwide for its original prints and Vibrant colours. Welcome to our world.
It all started with a dress
Since the beginning, the Marimekko dress has been an emblem for women who walk their own path with confidence and style. Marimekko is Finnish for "Mari's dress".
In the 1950s, when the predominant fashion was rather restricting, Marimekko started making liberating dresses in abstract patterns in vibrant colours for women who are bold in expressing their personality through their choice of attire. Marimekko designers had an ability to sense the pulse of the moment – their clothing design was a source of enchantment and provocation around the world.
Over the years Marimekko's anti-fashion became not only fashion but also a way of living. Marimekko is considered one of the first lifestyle brands to combine fashion, handbags and accessories, as well as home decor, into an expression of joyful living.
In different decades, the Marimekko dress has reflected the spirit and aesthetic of the times, yet the essence of the dress has remained unchanged.
Armi Ratia, Founder of Marimekko
Armi Ratia (1912-1979), the founder and creative director of Marimekko, had a remarkable ability to move with and beyond the spirit of the times. With a genius for recognizing artistic talent, she fostered a culture of creative freedom at Marimekko.
Armi Ratia was a trailblazer who infused Marimekko with a unique spirit embracing the everyday and the exceptional.
"I really don't sell clothes. I sell a way of living. They are designs, not fashions. ... I sell an idea rather than dresses." – Armi Ratia
The art of print making
The heart and soul of Marimekko's print design is its own printing factory in Helsinki – that's where the bold prints and colours come to life. Since the beginning, large-scale patterns and the overlapping of vibrant colours have been the hallmarks of Marimekko's designs.
Striped, checked, and floral patterns comprise Marimekko's rich and varied artistic legacy. Perhaps the most iconic of the designs is Maija Isola's Unikko (poppy) from 1964. Over the years, Marimekko's artists have created some 3,500 designs, which have graced clothing, bags, accessories, ceramics, bedding, fabric, and more.
In Marimekko's creative community, doing things together has always been key to innovation and originality. The iconic patterns have been reborn time and time again in thousands of imaginative colour palettes. New prints add to this continuum of ambitious artwork each year.