“I only want to bring people together so they can get to know each other and gain something from one another.”
-Armi Ratia, the Founder of Marimekko
Marimekko – A Whole Life
60 Years of Colors, Stripes and Shapes
This past Thursday night, I attended the opening for the new Marimekko exhibition at the Design Museum. This show chronicles the company’s sixty years with a collection of textiles and apparel beginning with the very first designs for Printex. This oil-cloth company owned by Armi Ratia would later develop into Marimekko, an international leader in fashion and textile design.
Alongside clothing and accessories from previous decades, the show features archives and photos. I learned that originally Armi Ratia wanted to call the company simply “Armi” but this name was already registered to another venture. Ratia settled on Marimekko, the combination of an anagram of her name Armi and the word for dress in Finnish, mekko.
Walking around the show, I felt nostalgic for jumpsuits and the bold patterning of the 1960s. Below are my personal highlights from the opening with work from my favorite Marimekko designers including Maija Isola, Annika Rimala and the Japanese designer Katsuji Wakisaka.