50 Y E A R S O F U N I K KO M A I J A I S O L A´S C L A S S I C P AT T E R N W A S B O R N I N 1 9 6 4 A F T E R A R M I R AT I A , M A R I M E K K O´S F O U N D E R , H A D A N N O U N C E D T H AT M A R I M E K K O W O U L D N E V E R P R I N T A F L O W E R P AT T E R N . M A I J A R E F U S E D T O O B E Y A R M I´S O R D E R S A N D – I N P R O T E S T – C R E AT E D A N E N T I R E SERIES OF GORGEOUS FLOR AL PRINTS. ONE OF THEM WAS U N I KKO (P O P P Y ) – N O W 50 Y E A R S YO U N G .
OVER TH E YE AR S, U N IKKO HAS IN S PIR ED MAN Y O F U S. I T H A S B E C O M E A S T O R Y O F C R E AT I V I T Y, S T R E N G T H , C O U R A G E A N D F A I T H I N O N E S E L F.
I N 2 0 14 , W E W I L L B E C E L E B R AT I N G U N I K K O A R O U N D T H E W O R L D – W I T H T H E J OY A N D E N E R GY B E F I T T I N G THIS ICONIC PRINT DESIGN. FOLLOW THE FESTIVITIES O N O U R U N I K K O W E B S I T E A N D S H A R E Y O U R O W N S T O R Y.
MAR IM EKKO.C O M/U N IKKO
#U N IKKO50
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A MODERN CLASSIC
Maija Isola, the creator of Unikko, was a vi-
of her print designs. She liked the idea that her
sionar y designer who blazed her own path. She
patterns were sold by the metre and that people
travelled extensively and lived in several coun-
could do whatever they wanted with the fabric.
tries during her lifetime. As much as in her work
She hoped that people would bring their own
as in other par ts of her life, Maija shunned all
meaning and purpose to her design work. Maija
things conventional and predictable. Freedom
especially enjoyed receiving letters in which
fuelled her passion for work: it was the fire and
customers shared their joy and creativity with
inspiration behind her print designs and paint-
her. And of her many patterns, Unikko is prob-
ings. The origin of the Unikko print shows how
ably the one that has inspired people the most.
Maija held onto her ar tistic integrity and was
Magazine clippings from the 1960s show how
prepared to defy authority.
Unikko was finding its way into the lives of or-
Armi Ratia, the founder of Marimekko and
dinar y people. In their hands, Unikko became,
an ambitious textile designer in her own right,
among other things, original clothing, lamp-
sought to create modern patterns that would
shades and even wallpaper.
match with contemporar y homes and their new
Unikko’s immense success continued until
streamlined furniture. For Armi, modern was
the beginning of the 1980s, when interest in
synonymous with an abstract design language, a
bold patterns and colour ways began to wane.
clear and unapologetic form factor, and carefree
Unikko lay dormant until the turn of the millen-
simplification. Her vision represented a marked
nium, when it star ted to enjoy a greater role in
depar ture from the delicate and cute floral pat-
Marimekko´s collections. The revival came into
terns common in Finland during the 1950s. No
full bloom, when Marimekko’s young fashion de-
wonder Armi opposed Maija Isola’s floral print
signers star ted using classic fabric patterns in
designs in 1964.
their design work. The first ready-to-wear Unikko clothing was designed during this period.
Yet Unikko showed that a flower could also be modern. It embodied the spirit of the 1960s
In 2000, the newly launched Unikko cloth-
flower power revolution, and had plenty of pro-
ing collection heralded the beginning of a
vocative self-expression. People were attracted
global Unikko boom – to which there seems
to Unikko’s bold colours and unusual dimen-
to be no end. The classic print has also blos-
sions. And its full-bodied form had the same
somed in countless ever yday products: Nordic
sense of humour and exaggeration as Pop Ar t
walking poles, rubber boots, televisions, mobile
– the dominant ar t movement of the era.
phones, and computer mouses. Unikko’s growing presence in public spaces, homes and street
Unikko was greeted with a warm welcome when it was launched in 1964. With the excep-
fashion has ushered in a new era of success for
tion of a few ready-made products, it was sold
as a fabric by the metre. Finnish furniture manu-
Today Unikko has established itself as one
facturers used Unikko in baby cribs, laminated
of Marimekko’s most beloved classics – not only
ply wood sofa tables and oilcloth-upholstered
in Finland but also around the world. This child
of the 1960s has grown into an admired adult, whose future is full of life and colourful joy.
Maija Isola was open-minded about the use 4
50TH ANNIVERSARY UNIKKO
O IVA /U N IKKO
We photographed Unikkoâ€™s anniversar y collection in Kiasma, Museum of Contemporar y Ar t in Helsinki.
50TH ANNIVERSARY UNIKKO fabrics 8
UNIKKO cushion covers and fabrics 10
O IVA /U N IKKO mugs
50TH ANNIVERSARY UNIKKO sateen fabric 12
50TH ANNIVERSARY UNIKKO fabrics 14
The first Unikkos were printed in red, blue and black. These classic colour ways rode with the first wave of 1960s pop culture, when Andy Warholâ€™s works inspired by adver tising and celebrity culture, not to mention the swinging fashion designers from London and the Beatles, gave form to a new visual dynamic. Pop culture also led to a revolution in colour use: conser vative, broken colour schemes gave way to a clear, bold palette and large colour surfaces.
U N I K KO : A LIFE IN COLOURS
C O L O U R 0 01 / 19 6 4
C O L O U R 0 0 2 / 19 6 4
U N I K KO H AS AS S U M E D A K A LE I D O S C O P I C R A N G E OF LOOKS AND GUISES IN THE L AST 50 YE ARS. S O M E T I M E S I T H A S B E E N F L A M B O YA N T A N D P L AY F U L ; O T H E R T I M E S C A L M , G E N T L E A N D FESTIVE. AND EACH OF THESE MOODS HAS BEEN ACHIEVED WITH COLOUR.
In fact, Unikko has blossomed in more than eighty unique colour ways over the years, each conveying the mood and spirit of its own time. Maija Isola, for her colour ways, looked to weather, contemporar y cinema, ar t, music and even news stories for inspiration. Wherever she travelled, Maija carried along her notebook, writing and drawing about interesting colour patterns. Many of her notebooks are teeming with observations about weather conditions and natural shades of colour.
C O L O U R 0 3 0 / 19 6 4
Unikko was a wonderful way for Maija to explore the impact of colour on a print design. Unikko would look different, depending on whether the selected colours accentuated the petals or disk of the floral design.
In the 1970s, the global oil crisis and economic recession changed the face of interior design: people pined for the good old days and a return to nature. Traditional handicrafts and ear th tones brought desired warmth and cosiness. The muted green and brown Unikkos from that period went hand in hand with the all-brown dĂŠcors of the 1970s.
C O L O U R 0 0 9 / 1974
C O L O U R 76 / 1974
C O L O U R 1 2 / 19 6 6
C O L O U R 31 / 19 6 8
C O L O U R 97 / 1974
C O L O U R 0 0 3 / 19 6 8
In the 2000s, Unikko mirrored bigger patterns of culture change as lifestyles became increasingly fragmented and varied. There were more Unikko colour ways than ever before, and the original print design experienced a radical makeover with the introduction of new colours. In 2002, Unikko was printed on a colour background for the first time. The same year, Unikko was launched in pink and light blue, which matched perfectly with Maija Isola’s passion for pastels. The first white Unikkos were printed in 2009.
Today Emma Isola, Maija’s granddaughter, is responsible for creating new Unikko colour ways. Her source of inspiration is Finnish nature and its seemingly endless range of colours. For example, her Unikko colour way no. 560, first seen in the 2011 spring collection, captures the colourful change of season as winter turns to spring in Finland. You can see the colours of the first flowers of spring – anemones and coltsfoots – glowing against a sky-blue background. At the same time, her Unikko colour way no. 580 faithfully reproduces the many shades of green you might find in a Finnish pine forest.
C O L O U R 3 01 / 2 0 0 2
C O LO U R 556 / 20 05 C O L O U R 5 6 0 / 2 011
C O L O U R 5 8 0 / 2 01 2
C O L O U R 910 / 2 0 0 9 C O LO U R 630 / 20 06
U N I K KO IN STORIES
wealthier society and a more just future. If any-
M Y FAVO U R I T E T H I N G S
thing, Unikko gave pattern to the turning points A timeworn toy, an heirloom piece of silver
in young people’s lives. If you were in your
jeweller y, the cretonne dress you find at the
twenties in the 1960s, Unikko not only symbol-
back of the closet. Some things – by design or
ized the rite of leaving home but also the sense
luck – give bir th to powerful emotional bonds,
of ecstasy that came with this new-found free-
evoking lasting memories of beloved people and
dom. Many would spend the last of their money
cherished moments. What kinds of memories
on Unikko fabric and use it as a cur tain or table
does Unikko awaken?
cloth. Unikko would add a spark of inspiration
Since 1964, Unikko has delighted and thrilled
to an other wise drab student accommodation
people around the world, regardless of culture
or a welcome touch of colour to a young cou-
or passing trends. Finns in par ticular have al-
ple’s first home. Unikko allowed people to be-
ways had a special rappor t with Unikko – one
gin building their own identities with colour and
steeped in histor y and shared moments.
Today the best place to shed light on our
With ever y new address or home, Unikko
continuing relationship with Unikko is the Ma-
would also follow in tow. It has been witness to
rimekko archive, where you can find countless
the many patterns of family life. Whenever there
customer stories about the iconic print design.
was a wedding, graduation or christening, Finns
These stories convey personal experiences and
would proudly don Unikko dresses, gowns and
open a window to a cer tain era and culture. Most
hats in celebration.
impor tantly, they show how objects can leave
With the passing of years, the family’s origi-
imprints in our lives. Through these objects, in-
nal Unikko print fabric, faded by sunlight or
dividual experiences enter the realm of the col-
worn threadbare, would be reborn as a pillow-
lective, joining us together in unexpected ways.
case, pot holder, patchwork quilt or rag rug. U N IKKO U N ITES
IN THE TURNING POINTS OF LIFE
Some of the earliest stories of Unikko paint
For a long time, Finns, when travelling
a picture of a dynamic generation living in the
abroad, could spot another Finn by a Unikko
social and political turmoil of the 1960s. No
dress or bag, largely because the iconic pat-
wonder young Finns quickly embraced the rad
tern was not yet well known outside Finland.
ical print design as they set out to build a new,
Today Unikko is a global phenomenon, and its 23
popularity has travelled far beyond Finland. You
par ty, because it was impossible to overlook her
can bump into Unikko in the vibrant streets of
flamboyantly colourful dress. Sometimes Unikko
New York or Tokyo. You can even spot it in the
was the first step to a lifelong relationship.
Australian outback. Unikko is a powerful mes-
In the 2000s, Unikko experienced a second
sage, and if Marimekko is close to your hear t,
coming and attention was drawn to the role of
the classic print represents something of a trib-
family and togetherness in the Unikko stories.
al emblem or symbol. When two Unikko people
At family reunions and get-togethers, Unikko
meet unexpectedly, itâ€™s the perfect moment for
dresses would be worn like a football teamâ€™s jer-
a friendly chat or the beginning of a new friend-
ship. GO OD BYE TO HOMESICKN ESS
In fact, it was just a few decades ago that many Finns sewed their own clothes from Unikko fabric, including maxi and miniskir ts, suits
Like r ye bread or salmiakki, traditional Finn-
and bell-bottoms. These home-made garments
ish salty liquorice, Unikko has always helped
made more than a fashion statement. They com-
Finns overcome moments of homesickness.
municated originality and a free-spirited take on
Whether studying abroad or working on assign-
life. A Unikko girl would soon meet someone at a
ment in a foreign countr y, Finns have packed 24
their suitcases full of Unikko. It was a par t of
from mothers and grandmothers. Frayed edges,
Finland â€“ something that made the unfamiliar
faded colours and small stains ser ve to highlight
feel like home.
the many emotions behind these heirloom fabrics. Perhaps they can even bring young people
F R O M O N E G E N E R AT I O N
closer to an admired lifestyle or their familyâ€™s
TO THE NE X T
own stor y. For them, Unikko can be a visible reminder of their roots and a lasting statement of who they are.
If the 1960s generation look upon Unikko with nostalgia, young people today see the
So whether we see Unikko as an heirloom
iconic pattern as an exotic window to an era that
fabric or an exotic novelty, this beloved pattern
appeals to them for its honesty and authentici -
will continue to blossom in homes around the
ty. The retro-generations of the new millennium
world and inspire lifelong memories.
appreciate the colourful fabrics passed down 26
J O U R N E YS WITH U N I K KO IN TH E L AST 50 Y E AR S , U N IKKO HAS T R AV EL L ED TO T H E FA R R E AC H ES O F T H E W O R L D. S O M E T I M E S A S A N E X P E C T E D G U E S T. SOMETIMES AS A WELCOME SURPRISE. OF TEN IT HAS SHOWN UP FOR A FLEETING MOMENT OR T H E N D E C I D E D T O S TAY F O R A L I F E T I M E . Y E T O N E T H I N G I S C E R TA I N : W H E R E V E R I T G O E S , U N I K K O W I L L A L W AY S B E N O T I C E D .
FLOWERS IN MOTION Miles or kilometres? Thousands of commuters in Taiwan, Manhattan and Hong Kong have travelled in busses and metros decorated with Unikko. Elsewhere, too, Unikko has welcomed city travellers. 28
BLOSSOM IN THE SK Y
In 2011, a hot-air balloon with the Unikko pattern flew over Helsinki as par t of Marimekko’s 60th anniversar y celebrations. The Unikko balloon has also visited the United States.
Fun sneakers that combine Converse’s iconic footwear with Marimekko’s colourful patterns. No wonder Unikko stepped into these shoes almost right away. 31
M A R I M EKKO
F LY W I T H U N I K K O In 2012, Marimekko and Finnair took to the skies together. To symbolize the par tnership, 36 Unikko flowers were painted on a passenger jet flying between Helsinki and Finnairâ€™s destinations in Asia. 32
E XHIBITION DESIGN: IMA ARCHITECTS. PHOTOS: NACĂ SA & PAR TN ERS IN C.
IN A JAPANESE SHRINE In spring 2013, Unikko and a host of other Marimekko fabrics were on display at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine in Japan in an exhibition entitled The Warp and Weft of Finnish Textiles. 34
P H OTOS: AMAN DA H ESTEHAVE
D R ES S ED I N U N I KKO In August 2013, Teemu Muurimäki’s stunning Unikko dresses were the grand finale at Marimekko’s spring fashion show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, the largest fashion event in the Nordic countries.
PEOPLE AND STORIES
KIRSTI PA A K K A N E N
I N T H E S P I R I T O F M A I J A I S O L A ’ S E X A M P L E , 2 0 14 IS A YEAR OF BOLD PERSONALITIES. PEOPLE WHO A L L O W I N S P I R AT I O N A N D C R E AT I V I T Y T O TA K E T H E M TO UNEXPECTED PL ACES. WHO GO AGAINST THE GR AIN, FOLLOW THEIR INSTINCTS – AND MAKE SOMETHING WONDERFUL HAPPEN FOR ALL OF US. P E R H A P S YO U ’ R E O N E O F T H E M? S H A R E Y O U R S T O R Y: M A R I M E K K O . C O M / U N I K K O O N T H E F O L LO W I N G PAG ES YO U ’ L L F I N D F I V E S TO R I ES O F W H Y C O U R A G E M AT T E R S .
had already broken down.
Kirsti Paakkanen became the owner and CEO of Marimekko in 1991. Prior to that, she
On the last page of my book of aphorisms my
had had a distinguished career as the founder
mother wrote some advice I have always tried to
and managing director of a successful ad-
heed: ’Each day one should work a wonder!’ It
vertising agency. Honorary doctorates were
was of par ticular impor tance during the moment
conferred on her by the University of Art and
on 28 September 1991, in the depths of the re-
Design Helsinki in 2001 and by the Helsinki
cession, when I put my signature as buyer to the
School of Economics in 2006. Kirsti Paak-
Marimekko contract. My work and life at Marimekko brought me
kanen managed Marimekko until 31 January
immense joy. I felt that I was of wor th and that
I had something to give. Day-to-day happiness is happiness supreme. Being able each day to
Having sold my adver tising agency, I ac-
work a wonder.
quired a residence in France and decided to settle there. I had hardly had occasion to ful-
Marimekko thrived because we believed in
fil an enduring dream of mine – of driving in a
the future and the power of working together.
conver tible, chiffons and hair blowing in the
We also had something truly special and unique
wind, through mar vellous landscapes and simply
– a strong foundation and heritage on which to
enjoying being alive – when a single telephone
build. And we had the world’s most beautiful
call altered the course of my life: ’Marimekko is
yours’. The call followed negotiations I thought 40
MARISSA M AY E R and so I changed my major.
Marissa Mayer joined Yahoo as President &
JIN XING With
never know what will happen the next night.
CEO in July 2012. Prior to Yahoo, she worked
It was in 1994 that I made that decision. But
ally awarded dance career and having also
for 13 years at Google, where she held nu-
a really amazing thing was yet to happen: the
proven her versatile talents in theatre, film
The turning point of my life, as a female ar t-
Web. That wouldn’t happen for another whole
and telev ision, Jin Xing has become a cultural
ist and as a woman, came with my family. Before
signer, product manager, and executive, and
year, so no one had even really dreamt of the
and social icon in her home country. Through
I became a mother, I had a different attitude to
launched more than 100 well-known features
enormous potential that symbolic systems and
her talk show and her fan base in the blogo-
the world. True reality brings you back to ear th.
and products. Previously, Marissa worked at
computer science could have. Nor did I really
sphere with nearly a million followers, she has
Once you have your feet on the ground, you
the UBS research lab in Zurich, Switzerland
have any idea of what kind of profession I would
a strong impact and she is one of the most
know what real life is. Real life and your imagi-
and at SRI International in Menlo Park, Cali-
have, and what kind of contribution or impact I
influential opinion leaders in China today.
nation, your creativity, become one – you can’t
fornia. She graduated with honours from Stan-
would be able to make.
ford University with a BS in Symbolic Systems and a MS in Computer Science.
When Google was about a year old, I took
In ever y thing I have done, in my dance ca-
Before I became a mother, I just wanted to
a trip to Switzerland and I saw the website on
reer and in my personal life, I have trusted my
fly as a free bird. Now, when I am a mother, I
someone’s screen. At that time no one in Swit-
know why I fly. Freedom has substance now.
Growing up, I was ver y, ver y cer tain that I
zerland was supposed to know about Google.
I like walking a path that nobody else has
was going to be a doctor. When I was in college
When I saw that this little website I was work-
walked before. It’s not always accessible, but
I was doing biology and chemistr y; I was good at
ing on with 20 of my friends was already being
I can learn from failures. Slowly the path be-
it but I wasn’t that excited about it.
used halfway around the world by people whom
comes a road, and there’s a free world in front
Then I took my first computer science
we didn’t know, and who were really enjoying it
course, and suddenly there was something that
and learning from it, I realized the impact of the
I have openness and curiosity in my hear t
really unlocked my creativity, my passion, and
internet and the impact that being involved with
– a curiosity about the world. Like a flower: in
meant a fundamental shift in my overall life
computer science and technology could have,
the springtime flowers come up and they don’t
view. I realized that I wanted to be a par t of it,
and it made my decision so wor thwhile.
know what is going to happen over the year. You
Just let things come and let things go.
S VA N T E ÖQUIST
tor-in-chief for ELLE Decoration.’
Svante Öquist is the editor-in-chief of the
My answer was ver y quick and ver y deter-
Swedish edition of Elle Decoration magazine.
mined: ‘No, I will NOT – because I CAN not!’
Prior to his current position, he worked for
N A O KO OGIGAMI
Naoko Ogigami is an internationally award-
to work freely and do something that nobody
ed Japanese film director. Educated both in
had ever done before. I travelled to Finland
Japan and in the United States, she received
and made my film Kamome Shokudo (Kamome
several years as art director for Elle fashion
Eva: ‘Yes, you CAN!’
attention for her 2003 directorial debut Bar-
D iner) there. On the premiere day, I instantly
magazine as well as for Elle Decoration.
I: ‘No, I CAN not. I prefer to be “just” an ar t
ber Yoshino (Yoshino’s Barber Shop), which
forgot my struggles and was filled with a sense
won a special mention at the Berlin Interna-
of accomplishment when I saw the long lines of
tional Film Festival. Her third film, Kamome
people waiting to see the film.
director, that’s my profession!’ Eva: ‘OK, sleep on it! But remember, the de-
The year is 1995. I’m the ar t director for
cision is already made and it’s non-negotiable.’
both ELLE and ELLE Decoration, the latter having star ted in Sweden three years earlier. Eva
A couple of months later Eva left the com-
Abrahamsson, a sor t of iron lady, was then the
pany and I became the new editor-in-chief for
CEO of Hachette Sweden as well as the editor-
in-chief for the two ELLE magazines. At some point she decided that enough was enough. At the end of August 1995, Eva said to me: ‘Svante, we need to talk. You’ll be the new edi44
Shokudo (Kamome Diner), shot in Helsinki, Finland, has enjoyed great success both domestically and internationally.
Since that moment I’ve never, ever had the
Having got tired of the conser vative Japan
slightest feeling of regret. I still love ever y sin-
ese film industr y, I asked my producer if I could
gle day, and next year I will have been doing it
make a film abroad. Film-making is quite hard
for 20 years!
work, so if I had to struggle, I wanted at least 45
SO ME SIX T Y YE ARS AGO, THE BO LD C O L O U R S A N D U N C O N V E N T I O N A L P AT T E R N S O F T H E N E W LY E S TA B L I S H E D F A S H I O N AN D D ES I G N H O U S E MAR IM EKKO TRANSFORMED THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY I N F I N L A N D . T O D AY, O U R I N V E N T I V E , YE T TIMELESS DIALO GUE BE T WEEN COLOUR, P AT T E R N A N D S H A P E T R A N S L AT E S I N T O D I S T I N C T I V E D E S I G N S T H AT C E L E B R AT E T H E AR T O F PR IN T MAKIN G ALL OVER THE WO R LD.
Marimekko Corporation P.O. Box 107, FI-00811 Helsinki Puusep채nkatu 4, FI-00880 Helsinki Finland
Tel. +358 9 758 71 Fax +358 9 755 3051
E-mail: email@example.com w w w.marimekko.com
Published on May 30, 2016
Explore a Modern Classic Collection of unique Marimekko Flower pattern printed on various Home accessories and Pillows at https://www.goodsh...