One of the hottest and most highly collectible products come from, Marimekko, the innovative design company known for their 60‘s-style, eye-popping, colorful fabrics and furnishings. The iconic Finnish company made headlines recently with the opening of their 5th Avenue flagship store in New York City.
I see it as a welcome return to the exuberant optimism of the past; before the recession and a considerably conservative sense of fashions stifled everyone's inner child.
Today, retail consumers and collectors of vintage Marimekko are eager for the modern upbeat style-savvy designs that made Marimekko a hot commodity 50+ years ago. Look out for fresh new Marimekko fabrics, clothes, accessories and housewares in registered retail stores such as Crate & Barrel and on Amazon.com. Highly collectible retro housewares, fashions and fabrics can also be found on eBay.
Early History – the Spirit of an Era
Marimekko was founded by Finnish textile artist Armi Ratia in 1951, but it wasn’t until 1957, when a young department store window dresser named Giorgio Armani featured Marimekko dresses in the windows of a luxury Italian department store. These brightly colored comfortable, casual clothes were a liberating departure from the cinch-waisted, form-fitting dresses of the '50's. The joyful, bold prints not only turned heads, they heralded the optimism of the post-World War II fashion scene.
Jackie Kennedy popularized the trend in the US in the early 1960’s when she purchased nine Marimekko dresses during President Kennedy’s election campaign. She was also featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine wearing a bright pink Marimekko dress.
Chelsea Clinton was another Marimekko fan who make the fashion pages, but it was the popular TV show, “Sex and the City” that really re-launched Marimekko’s modern influence. Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker wore a hot Marimekko bikini and decorated her New York apartment with Marimekko fabric curtains. Had the show lasted, Carrie would no doubt have sprung for several pairs of the sexy Marimekko/Blalnik shoes shown here.
Back on the Street and On-Line
Chief Executive Officer of Marimekko’s new 5th Avenue store, Mika Ihamuotila commented on the timeliness of the Marimekko spirit saying, “It’s a good time to bring fresh colors, fresh identity to the market in these difficult times. Ihamuotila believes the home furnishing market is once again embracing modernism and the forward-thinking spirit of the 60’s. “The U.S. consumer wants to use more colors and more Scandinavian, more light furniture and textiles than before.”
Marimekko Home furnishing include fabrics, pillows, window treatments, table settings, bedding, bath items while clothing and other fashion items include dresses, shirts, bags, umbrellas and tiny “reflectors” – a very trendy accessory in Finland.
They say that Marimekko’s upbeat designs are in tune with today’s spirit. Hopefully these products whose themes are drawn from the positive ideas of different eras, cultures, nature, events and people will set a more positive trend worldwide.