Maija Isola

30 Jul

Maija Isola (1927-2001)

Printex Oy (later Marimekko) hired Maija Isola in 1949 as its first full-time designer. For nearly four decades, Isola created over five hundred designs inspired by nature, her travels around the world, folk art, and modern visual art. Below are examples of Marimekko’s most iconic designs by Maija Isola including, Unikko. Created in 1964, this pattern defied founder, Armi Raita’s prior statement that Marimekko would not produce floral prints.


5 Responses to “Maija Isola”

  1. nikki August 2, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Why were they originally against floral prints?

    • hellosinki August 3, 2010 at 3:08 am #

      In the 1950s, floral patterns were very popular in Finland but Armi Ratia championed abstract patterns for fabrics and home furnishing, echoing progressive trends in art and architecture. Maijia Isola was also influenced by American abstraction, especially artists like Morris Louis and Barnett Newman. (She also adored Matisse.) Graphic, large-scale patterns (meaning that the scale of the pattern in relation to the body is extreme– see Joonas above) show evidence of the aesthetic of these artists.

      • hellosinki August 3, 2010 at 3:13 am #

        Also, “ananas” (the name of the last pattern shown above) means pineapple.

  2. property solicitors August 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    I have to say, you picked your words well. The ideas you gave are well placed.


  1. Textiles Inspiration: Marimekko « Gallantandjones's Blog - March 14, 2011

    […] has a strong group of forward thinking designers, Maija Isola for example designed the 1964 Unikko print in defiance after Armi Ratia stated that she would never allow florals in the collection. […]

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