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© Marimekko Corporation Puusepänkatu 4 00880 Helsinki Finland Tel. +358 9 75 871 Fax +358 9 755 3051

NO. 2/2012

Off to the woods!

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info@marimekko.fi www.marimekko.com www.marimekko.com/marimekkovillage www.facebook.com/marimekkoglobal www.twitter.com/marimekkousa www.youtube.com/marimekkovideo www.weibo.com/marimekkoofficial A forest with no address

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Introduction

28 For many of us the autumn season is all about transitions. We shift our patterns of behaviour from spending time outdoors to indoors and from a mindset of vacation to productivity at work or school. As the temperatures and colours change, so too does our emotional state of mind. That’s why we dedicated this issue of the Marimekko newspaper to “Off to the woods”. It’s a place that we feel we can enjoy the best parts of the autumn season. In this issue we talk to Hanna Snellman, Professor of Ethnology at Helsinki University, about how woodlands are the perfect place to experience peace of mind. We then explore the many things Marimekko is doing this autumn season. From indoors to outdoors with clothing or interior items and everything in between – including a glimpse into the people behind the Marimekko factory and the vibrant colours that make up the prints and patterns of Marimekko. To read and see more, you can follow Marimekko online at www.marimekko.com and see a collection of new videos, photos and stories of what we’ve been up to at the Marimekko Village www.marimekko.com/marimekkovillage. Wishing you all the best in the comfort of your own little piece of forest this season, whether that be a national park, city park, or garden grown wild.

Greetings from the autumn collection

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The Marimekko team

Marimekko Village spring events

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The art of print making


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Autumn collection premières in Helsinki

Marimekko InsideOut

Off to the woods

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With Thought.

Enjoying autumn – On the Socks

Welcome to Marimekko Village!

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Wrapped in thought

Marimekko PROTO

Dancing in downtown Helsinki

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60 & 61

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My Finland. Positively different.

Store openings & Pop-up

Future events & Friendly visit

Contents

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A forest with no address In conversation with professor Hanna Snellman Photos Marimekko

Forests bring out the storyteller in all of us. We can effortlessly conjure up dark wooded places with mighty bears and sly foxes. But how many of us have ventured into a forest? Picked berries or enjoyed peacefulness at its most natural? Forests – for their part – may be one way to unwind from the hustle and bustle of urban life without the added stress of travelling around the world for a strip of sand. For Hanna Snellman, Professor of Ethnology at Helsinki University, woodlands are the perfect place to experience peace of mind. EVERGREEN EVERYWHERE. Every country has its own signature colour. There is the shamrock green of Ireland or the burnt sienna of Italy. But what colour is Finland? It would definitely have to be the forest green of Scot pines and Norwegian spruce, the two most iconic species of tree in Finland. Even in the coldest winter, these two evergreens stand defiant and never lose their colour – a bit like Finns themselves. “Finland is forest and forest is Finland. To many Finns, this may sound like the worst kind of cliché. But it is based on fact: Finland is the most forested country in Europe. Fly to Helsinki and you can’t but notice the forest. It seems to go on in all directions, with houses and fields barely holding their ground in a sea of green,” says Hanna Snellman, who has been studying the impact of forests and forestry professions on Finnish identity for more than twenty years. “Woodlands also have no address in Finland. There is no Sherwood Forest or Black Forest in Finnish mythology – only a collective sense that if you step outside and walk for a while, you’ll

end up in a forest. In Europe, Swedes and Norwegians are probably the only other people with a similar experience of forests.” PEACE OF MIND. If most Finns live next to wooded areas, it’s not surprising that they put forests to good use. “Finns have always made use of forests – both as a source of food and livelihood. It is not uncommon that entire families go picking wild berries and mushrooms in the forest,” says Hanna. “Interestingly enough, you don’t have to get the landowner’s permission, because everyone is entitled to enjoy the bounty of forests in moderation. Littering and loud noises are absolute noes.” Besides rich pickings, Finns also head off to the woods as a way to reduce stress and find welcome solitude. The story goes that Finns are their true selves in the forest. No urban pretence. No keeping up with the neighbours. Just Mari and Mother Nature. For Hanna, this romantic tale has a grain of truth. “When I studied Finns who had immigrated to the west coast of Sweden in the 1960s, I noticed something interesting. Unlike the local Swedes, who took to the sea on their holidays, the Finns would head inland to the forest. They wanted to get away from other people and find their own peace of mind. I think that’s something everyone can relate to.” A FOREST OF YOUR OWN. But what if you live in London or New York, where the closest forest is a manicured park? Is there a way to plant the Finnish experience of forests into big-city life? “Probably not, but you can still pick up a few things that affect emotional quality of life. One is our need to cope with urban stress. Central Park might not have wild blueberries, but it is still a wonderful place to escape to with friends or alone,” says Hanna. “The best part is that visiting a park or wooded area is free and sustainable.” “Forests can be also incredibly inspirational – just look at Finnish art and design. Even if you live in Tokyo, you can still have a forest of your own – a personal place of inspiration and creativity.”


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Autumn collection premières in Helsinki Photos Joanna Moorhouse & Leena Aro

INTERIOR DECORATION

A mossy forest – a safe nest in the shade of strong trees. On the edge of the forest, a pine cabin faces the open sea, and far on the horizon you can see an island where the autumn wind blusters. Here I am, surrounded by nature. Listening to the sounds of the forest and the sea. On a piece of paper, I write this memory down.


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FASHION SHOW

Goodbye, scorching summer. Autumn is on its way and says: “Off to the woods!” It’s time to enjoy the crisp mornings and go picking wild berries and mushrooms. Just put on something warm, and the autumnal nature with all its surprises is yours. A soft drizzle makes the perfect background for all the colours. The ripe oranges and yellows, the countless shades of forest green... In the evening inside, candles are lit and you proudly admire the day’s pickings. You feel strong, easy and comfortable. Just like Marimekko. Watch a video of the fashion show at www.youtube.com/ marimekkovideo.

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Photos Marimekko

Our autumn interior collection was showcased at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in February in an exhibition entitled Marimekko InsideOut. The exhibition was inspired by how people live their lives during the autumn season in a transition from an unbuilt to a built environment, from outdoors to indoors. The installation featured highlights of the collection of printed fabrics and products for the entire home: the kitchen, living room, bath and bedroom. The range of prints on show included designs created by the young generation of Marimekko designers such as Aino-Maija Metsola, Erja Hirvi, Teresa Moorhouse and Jenni Rope as well as well-known masters Maija Isola and Annika Rimala. “When we worked with the designers to envision our autumn collection, we found ourselves plunging into the topic of the relationship between the built and the unbuilt environment. We investigated this connection on many levels: people meeting the environment, construction meeting nature, and indoors meeting outdoors. This exploration led to the designers interpreting the theme from their own point of view based on their relationship with the environment – whether with plants, construction or landscapes. As a result, the autumn collection appears as a true drama of nature – inside out,” says Minna Kemell-Kutvonen, Creative Director of Marimekko.

At the Stockholm Furniture Fair

Marimekko InsideOut

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OFF TO THE WOODS Photos Kaapo Kamu Locations Studio Karin Widn채s, fields and forests of Finland


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Light & pattern. Always timeless. Always Marimekko.


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Cups and mugs. Blankets and scarves. Away with autumn’s chill.


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Autumn outdoors. A garden indoors.


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Greetings from the autumn collection Photos Mikko Ryh채nen & Paavo Lehtonen

TAXI jacket


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KUUKUNA apron HERMANNI tunic KAUNIS KAURIS bed linen

LEI dress

CALLUNA dress

MAGIC dress PITKÄHIHA T-shirt

OIVA/KAUNIS KAURIS mug MARJAINEN dress


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MIA dress

CONVERSE ♥ MARIMEKKO CHUCK TAYLOR ALL STAR HI / PIRPUT PARPUT

ARONIA dress

HUPPELUS coat

KUUKUNA oven mitt HIPPIÄINEN cushion cover ATSALEA dress

PIIRRIN T-shirt SAKSI trousers KORKKI hat


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JURMO bed linen

REBA bag KIKI dress HYMY dress

OIVA/SIIRTOLAPUUTARHA espresso cup & saucer

NIISI cardigan

MAISA scarf

PIKKUPOJANPAITA shirt

SÄDE bracelet MAJA cushion cover

SARVI bag

IKKUNAPRINSSI tea towels HUPPELUS 2 coat

KOTILO coat

CONVERSE ♥ MARIMEKKO CHUCK TAYLOR ALL STAR HI / KIPPIS

A-NORAK jacket TUHKA dress


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With Thought. Photos Marimekko

Hold a pencil in your hand. Draw. Write a letter. Jot down a note. Just like Sami Ruotsalainen, who recently renewed Marimekko’s classic fabric-covered notebooks and designed a completely new collection of notepads, books, cards and calendars for Marimekko. The name of the new stationery collection is With Thought.

”I’ve always been a big fan of traditional stationery products. I would even say they are foundation for my design work,” says Sami. With practicality foremost in his mind when he designed the new collection, Sami went the extra page figuring out what stationery lovers want. Some of his design details are so clever that you need to try out the product to see the point. He also realized that you can still do so much with paper in this digital age. NOTEBOOKS AND NOTEPADS

Marimekko’s classic fabric-covered notebooks have recorded the thoughts, drawings and intimate scribbling of countless generations. The redesigned notebooks feature a new paper grade that is smoother to write on, while a striped bookmark keeps you on the right page. Sami designed the new single colour notebook covered in sturdy canvas fabric to go along with Marimekko’s classic bags. The new notebooks and notepads with cartonboard covers are full of little surprises: hidden pockets, crafty stitching, accent colours and patterns. Every detail – from line length to page margins – has been designed with the pencil’s interests in mind. Sami loves to work with a clean page of paper – no lines or squares, just the freedom of white space. And he uses several

notepads simultaneously. His notes flow in an unexpected direction: he begins with refined ideas and works towards unfiltered stream of consciousness. Sami’s apartment is packed with new notebooks, each patiently waiting for him to draw the first line. CARDS AND LETTERS

Sami is especially pleased with the collection’s letter writing paper and envelopes. A hand-written letter mailed in an envelope can be a wonderful surprise in an age of email and instant messaging. Happy postcards and folded gift cards are also an invitation to grab a pencil and write a heartfelt message. In the summer, Sami is always sending hand-written letters. And when he’s travelling, he takes the time to send postcards. He says that he has a hard time remembering birthdays and name days, but knows that his friends enjoy his unexpected postcards more than typical greetings. Sami also loves making his own Christmas cards. Sami hopes the new stationery will inspire people to write letters. Just opening a letter can be exciting, and when you see page after page of someone’s familiar handwriting, you feel like that person is sitting next to you. You also experience that same feeling of closeness when you read letters written by grandmothers and grandfathers. And some letters beg to be written by hand – just think of warm thank-you notes and cherished love letters. CALENDARS

A good calendar is useful if managing time is more important than being managed by time. It’s even better if you have more than one calendar: one on the wall, one on your office table, one in your bag. Sami Ruotsalainen’s new calendar designs also feature time-keeping illustrations by Aino-Maija Metsola. At the same time removable covers made from durable canvas fabric are the perfect cover for your calendar and A5-size notepad. Time management is not just for management. It gives us time to slow down, think, draw, and write letters to loved ones.


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Enjoying autumn – On the Socks Photo Kaapo Kamu

The recipe for the cosiest get-togethers of the autumn is simple: combine your nearest friends, good music and a laid-back atmosphere. Then hang out or let your dance shoes do the talking. Except, you’re not wearing any: you’re On the Socks. On the Socks is a new playful sock and tights line by Mai Ohta that includes styles with Ohta’s own patterns as well as iconic Marimekko designs. The whimsical collaboration of colours and patterns has produced a range of delightfully distinctive socks for women, men and children.


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Welcome to Marimekko Village! Photo Marimekko

The Marimekko Village is a place where we tell stories, meet people and do all sorts of things together. The Village is always there where something is going on: in our stores, factories, fairs and markets. Around Finland and across the globe. All the events and encounters are brought together in the virtual Marimekko Village at www.marimekko.com/marimekkovillage. Join in and explore.


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February LAUNCH OF THE MARIMEKKO MAP OF HELSINKI

Marimekko Village spring events

The 3rd of February saw the launch of the Marimekko Map of Helsinki at the Marikiska shop in the heart of the city’s thriving Design District. The map opens up the special personalities of the main Marimekko locations in Helsinki and their cultural heritage. Illustrated by Marimekko designer Aino-Maija Metsola, the map also presents places in Helsinki that have a strong emotional meaning for our designers. At the launch, people were invited to add their emotional memories of Helsinki to the map. It was an inclusive event encouraging people to look for beauty in the everyday moments of life.

Photos Marimekko & Tuukka Koski

February MOMENTS OF LIFE IN HELSINKI – A FUN FAMILY DAY IN MARIMEKKO STORES

April TABLEWARE EXHIBITION BY MARI ISOPAHKALA AND SAMI RUOTSALAINEN

From 13 to 30 April, the Marikiska shop in Helsinki was taken over by a tableware exhibition combining crystal by Mari Isopahkala with ceramics by Sami Ruotsalainen. The idea of a joint exhibition emerged from the admiration the designers had for each other’s work and a wish to create material combinations that had almost been forgotten. All the pieces in the exhibition were independent and unique, yet they formed a harmonious series of dishes that were beautiful and functional, with nothing superfluous.

Despite the dense snowfall on the first Saturday of February, spring was in full bloom in Marimekko stores around Finland. The stores were staged as a market place where people could meet and greet each other in an atmosphere of colourful stalls and fresh coffee. The village troubadour led a playful spring parade around the market place, and the kids’ corner got creative with writing cards to the Laivakoira sailor dog. The doors kept on opening so frequently that in the afternoon the temperature in the shops dropped quite a bit, reminding people that although spring was in our minds, the winter was not yet over.


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May FACTORY TOURS

In May, the Marimekko house in Helsinki opened its doors to the public. Twice a week guided tours took visitors around the house: the offices, the stores, and the textile printing factory. The tours attracted people of all ages and from all parts of the world, including groups of schoolchildren and hobbyists, tourists, students, and former staff members. The next factory tours will take place in October.

May JOY OF FLOWERS AND PATTERNS IN THE HELSINKI FLAGSHIP STORE

March BÖKARS REVIVAL PHOTO EXHIBITION

From 9 to 24 March, designer Erja Hirvi’s photos from Marimekko’s 60th anniversary party were on show in the Marikiska shop in Helsinki. The exhibition, entitled Bökars Revival, originated from Erja’s idea in 2011 to create a photo exhibition of the 60-year-old Marimekko for the flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue. From the Big Apple, the exhibition, consisting of 15 photos, travelled straight to Marikiska. Bökars, the manor house where Marimekko’s founder Armi Ratia used to have parties for guests and the Marimekko staff, turned out to play a bigger role in the exhibition than anticipated. “The idea was to shoot the production process in the textile printing factory in Helsinki, but I also had the camera with me at Marimekko’s 60th anniversary party. Almost by accident, the exhibition turned into a celebration of Bökars and parties, and I’m happy about that,” says Erja Hirvi.

Horticultural business Biolan and Marimekko joined forces to conjure up a display of flowers and patterns in Marimekko’s flagship store in Helsinki. On Saturday 12 May, visitors to the store received gardening advice from Biolan and were invited to dress their plant pots in colourful Marimekko fabric. The main focus of the event was how to grow things in an urban home environment – how to plant a bit of joy in our daily lives.


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The thoughts printed here represent the harvest of our online campaign

To find out more, please visit www.marimekko.com/ marimekkovillage.

The heart of a person is as beautiful as anything in nature.

Having breakfast outside.

Heading into the sun with a positive and colourful attitude. Head up high even if it takes a safety pin.

the house spider has arrived look at what the light did now... the tulips popped up look at what the light did now... the smell of us is in the walls look at what the light did now... it’s pouring all over the room and you are singing together we are all giggling

My first-born.

Emotional quality of life is doing the things I love to do.

A feeling of optimism even on a rainy day. There is no such thing as bad weather – just badly dressed people.

Asking for a favour and hearing a gracious offer to help: Speak no more of it.

Watching a moment go by. Meeting friends. Feeling safe.

Those mornings when we had all the time in the world. We would spend the whole day in our pyjamas and pick blueberries in the forest and drink our first cup of coffee by the field, while our kids were coming up with new games. And when I was little, my parents and I had plenty of fun wearing the same kind of pyjamas all day long.

Happiness is when you’ve finally cleaned up and everything is in cute order!

Look at the world topsy-turvy: Remarkable! The ducks are feeding bread to children. Unbelievable! The adorable cocker spaniel is taking her owner out for a walk. Wonderful! The kites are twisting backwards. Incredible! The hot air balloons are flying away together.

Kindness is not just all about generosity in giving away material things but also about how we treat others and togetherness. Close family ties, making new friends, cherished friendships.

Wild cranes dancing on a peat bog, a winter storm, a morning swim, an evening swim, a forest carpeted in lingonberries. Green, orange, driftwood grey. Books, armchair, ginger tea. Yoga, skiing and snow mounds, kayaking at night. To learn something new. Conversations, pretty words, a smile, a look of approval, tolerance. And caring – especially caring.

To greet each day with a thank you. To count the stars amidst the blackness. To make compassion our daily rhythm. To look beyond surface and pretence. To live simply.

My home is my sanctuary. My eyes dictate my style. Light, colour and texture determine my peace of mind.

A huge thank-you to each and every one of those who participated. We hope to continue Armi’s legacy for years to come – together with passionate people like you.

Taking the time to look at your world through a different lens every once in a while.

But Marimekko would not be Marimekko without Armi Ratia, the company’s founder and visionary. On July 13th 2012, Armi would have celebrated her 100th birthday. To honour her passion for writing and design, we created this wrapping paper.

My little daughter brings me joy. The love and respect my husband and I have for each other.

The magical moment when something you have created expresses the passion in your heart.

Marimekko is about passionate people: designers, printmakers, loyal friends and customers. Together we make Marimekko great.

where we invited people to think about what emotional quality of life meant to them. We received thousands of stories, poems, and thoughts from around the world, from people of various ages and backgrounds.

Life is a flicker of candlelight. A wink from a firefly. A pebble on the beach – the one you found that you will hold on to forever.

In celebration of Armi Ratia.

Walking through the snow on a clear sunny winter day. Snow crunching under my feet. Birds singing and water trickling down. That was my weekend.

Happiness is the freedom to think aloud, mow the lawn, share a meal – to leave an imprint.

Wrapped in thought

...nature, sun, water... my moment of happiness!


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To laugh and to smile. Happiness is simple and special – yet easily forgotten in the bustle of modern society. A crackling campfire in the dark. The wheeze of a birch whisk in a sauna. Wild strawberries strung on a straw. Foxes playing on a frozen sea. A bouquet of wood anemones and my friend next to me.

I almost cry as she reads the letter aloud in front of her classmates and teacher.

Picking up a book that draws you into the story. Looking at art that cascades a wave of awe over you.

Mix together the dry goods. Add tears and whisk until fluffy.

The ingredients of a good life: Plenty of imagination. Two kilograms of courage. A dash of tears of joy. A teaspoon of winks. One loved one.

Everything in moderation.

A big hug and kiss from your child. A warm summer day or a muddy puddle for the kids.

The people you love. The things that are worth doing. The beauty in uselessness.

Sunshine on a cold winter day. To stop and pause. To notice the many beautiful things happening around us. Let go, tune in, have fun! When I discovered the power in these words, my creativity blossomed.

“Thank you for taking care of me until now. Good luck for your work. Please keep making yummy meals for me. Be with me forever. Live longer.”

Seeing beautiful things in daily life.

An autumn night. I am at my summer cabin. The wood sauna is warming up – outside the sound of rain on the cabin roof. The scent of birch twigs and tar soap. The gentle calm takes hold of me. I feel peaceful.

The perfect balance between change and stability.

Building a snow castle together with the whole family.

Break the mould. Routines make life safe, but they can also make us feel bored. Yet you find beauty and grandeur in the most unexpected places. Take the bus to work instead of your car. Travel the long road instead of taking a shortcut. Forget the couch and lie on a rug. Dance while cooking. Roll around in the snow. Little changes with surprising consequences: you will notice a world you’ve never seen before. Beauty in beauty. Beauty in ugliness. Open your eyes and see the moment outside the box.

My daughter is 10 years old. She has written a letter to me for her coming-of-age ceremony at school. This exact moment. No less. No more.

What’s the secret to a good life? I put on a new morning, a rainbow’s seven colour shirts, the rising sun’s golden trousers, the happy socks made from my child’s morning chores, and you and the colourful pattern of fabric woven from our shared years.

I live in Tokyo. He lives in Helsinki. We are separated by a time difference of seven hours. So I usually fall asleep before he gets off from work. But on Valentine’s Day, we defy time and talk early into the Tokyo morning.

My husband + my library card.

Rough land beneath my feet. Real land. Not some city pavement, not some attempt at creating earth. And so I smile. Simply. For the air that hugs my shoulders calms all fear. The earth and the air and a smile. This must be all I need. And so I listen to those who sing and rejoice and dance in the light with love for the earth and the air. And I smile.

I miss those carefree years – when everything seemed magical and nothing could ever go wrong. Moments of innocence and imaginary games. I miss my childhood.

A tea party is always welcome!

It’s about being friendly with people. Creating relationships based on trust and sincerity.

The simple glow of snow against a midnight backdrop.

A good night’s sleep is a sure thing to bring happiness!

*happiness is* a crisp winter afternoon. Lilac-tinted light and glimmering weightless snow. The silence broken only by the wind. The bare birch trees like wisps of opalescent filigree and a doe cantering across a forest path.

It comes from within and often unannounced. When you see a painting in museum or beautiful landscape. You remember the moment.

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Four young designers. Leftover fabrics. Unique design for Marimekko. Marimekko PROTO Photos Miikka Lommi & Tuomas Järvelä

Unused materials were transformed into four original collections reflecting a love for stripes, chocolate liquorice and peach sweets, a balance between psychedelia and harmony, the 70s classic Great Gatsby film and 90s rap music, as well as lines and silhouettes drawn with a black marker.

PROTO was born when Marimekko wanted to give young fashion designers a chance to create something surprising and exceptional. Noora Niinikoski, Head of Fashion Design of Marimekko, also wanted to see what exciting things could be made from the company’s leftover fabrics. The young talents Riikka Buri, Yonna Moriya, Elina Määttänen and Emmakaisa Soisalo were free to design their own collections which turned out to be very different from each other. Amazing and captivating, the collections displayed playfulness, inspirations drawn from a variety of periods and bold combinations of different materials. ”The starting point for this project was to experiment with the Marimekko fabrics that had been left over from production. I chose four young designers and gave them an open brief. The designers managed their projects very independently from choosing the fabrics to sketching and pattern making. They worked closely with Marimekko’s sewing professionals who in the end made the products. We also made a very nice video about the project. The models and the set were styled by the designers themselves. Most of all, PROTO challenged our young talents to design their own Marimekko. Boldly, out of the box,” says Noora Niinikoski. The PROTO video directed by Miikka Lommi is available at www.youtube.com/marimekkovideo.


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Marimekko and the Finnish National Ballet get dancing in downtown Helsinki Photos Marek Sabogal

Music and song. Colour and motion. Joy and warm sunlight. Marimekko and the Finnish National Ballet staged an open-air dance in the Esplanadi Park in downtown Helsinki. Dancers and young ballet students swirled and twirled in Marimekko’s new summer dresses. The event was Marimekko’s 21st consecutive fashion show in the park. The show is open to the general public. .


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What’s unique about Marimekko’s use of colour? It’s the chemistry between our designers and production. Lots of listening. Lots of learning. Even the occasional social drink together after a hard day of printing. In other words — plenty of dyed-in-Marimekko spirit.

THE ART OF PRINT MAKING SINCE 1951 Photos Tuukka Koski


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Colours change with light. And every eye sees shades differently.

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How does it work? The designer chooses the right colours for the pattern, after which the printing team prepares colour recipes and printing screens. There is no room for error as the dye must fix firmly to the cotton fibre. A test sample is then printed and tested repeatedly depending on the pattern and colour selection. When all the colours are right, final printing can begin.


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© MARIMEKKO OYJ SUOMI- FINL AND AINO- MAIJA METSOL A 2011 : “JURMO”

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© MARIMEKKO OYJ SUOMI- FINL AND VILLE SILVENNOINEN 2011 : “MAJA”

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© MARIMEKKO OYJ SUOMI- FINL AND JENNI ROPE 2011 : “KL API”

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© MARIMEKKO OYJ SUOMI- FINL AND ERJA HIRVI 2011 : “IKKUNAPRINSSI”

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© MARIMEKKO OYJ SUOMI- FINL AND JENNI TUOMINEN 2010 : “KUUKUNA”

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My Finland. Positively different. In conversation with Mika Ihamuotila and Aki Riihilahti Photos Kaapo Kamu

Marimekko’s CEO Mika Ihamuotila and former top footballer and The Times columnist Aki Riihilahti got together at Marimekko’s head office in Helsinki to talk about what it means to be a Finn. The two men had met for the first time three years ago, when they took part in the Finnish national brand project. With years of experience working and studying abroad and fiercely proud of their Finnish roots, Mika and Aki believe that Finland might have something to offer when it comes to making the world a better place. The conversation kicked off with, what is Finnishness?

STRAIGHT TALKING, STRAIGHT DOING AKI: I played football overseas for over ten years. What’s interesting is that my feeling of being Finnish grew stronger during that time. A few years ago I returned to Finland, because I missed the company of other Finns – that very Finnish way to be and do things.

we talk about our problems and want to deal with them head-on. Sweeping them under the rug is not an option. MIKA: I think the world would really benefit from the positive side of being Finnish – our sense of trust and belonging together. In my opinion, one reason why there is so much political and religious disagreement in the world is that people don’t trust one another. And this is because there is no sense of belonging together.

MIKA: How would you describe an archetypical Finn?

TEAM SPIRIT WITH A FINNISH GOAL AKI: A quiet, trustworthy doer who – when the going gets

tough – gets the job done without any of the fuss and bellyaching you hear nowadays. If a Finn promises to do something, he or she will do it. Finland is not a football powerhouse like England or Spain, but Finnish footballers have made it on international pitches, because a lot of people feel that Finns have a positive morale and get along with others. You can trust a Finn, rain or shine. I’d believe there is global demand for Finland’s unique brand of trustworthiness.

MIKA: You’ve played in a number of European countries on different teams. How do you think Finns understand team spirit? AKI: When it comes to football elsewhere in Europe, the competition among players can be fierce. In Finland, everyone is playing toward a common goal – no pun intended. You can also trust your fellow players without having to make a fuss about it or worrying somebody will play solo. Anyway, there are so few of us – I mean Finns – that we get more done working together than alone.

MIKA: I agree. My experience is that Finns probably have the most trustworthy handshake in the world. I also admire how we never leave a friend behind. We’re not prima ballerinas. If you look at Finnish identity from a historical perspective, it’s a success story against all odds. We have built one of the world’s wealthiest and best-educated nations – literally from nothing. I think one explanation for our success is our attitude towards cooperation. Early on, you learn to respect the contribution of others and realize that sometimes the best way to deal with adversity is to work together.

MIKA: Finns have an easy time cooperating because we don’t have a tradition of inequality. I feel that every morning when I eat breakfast at our factory canteen together with our printmakers, office staff and designers. You experience an incredible sense of cohesion – a feeling that we’re here to work together.

AKI: We Finns can also be almost fanatical about our sense of fairness. Even if Finland is incredibly well off compared to many countries, we still have plenty of problems. What’s good is that

MIKA: I may be going out on a limb, but I think Finland is one of the best functioning societies in the world. Of course, things work in other societies too. But Finns have been able to combine

ACTIVELY CREATIVE


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The new Marimekko knits for men will hit the stores in October.

their trustworthiness and desire to get the job done with a knack for coming up with odd and creative solutions. A great example of what I call everyday creativity is Finnish design – especially how it merges beauty and the unexpected with functionality and timelessness. That’s modern sustainable development at its best. It’s better to design something durable and functional – something that will retain its beauty over generations – than make things that serve no purpose and are obsolete in no time. AKI: Finnish functionality also includes a talent for mixing things up. I combined playing football with writing – neither of which I was particularly good at. Yet I was quick to adapt, learn new things and specialize in what I wanted to do. In the end, my football career overseas lasted over ten years, and I am still the longest running football columnist to write for The Times. And because the world is changing so rapidly, there is no one single career path or way to do things. In Finland as elsewhere, there is plenty of retooling, relearning and readapting. But I think we’re using only half of our full potential. I like how in Finland we’re starting to see lifelong learning as part of sustainable development. The best way to sell Finland is to share our positive experiences and our fresh approach to familiar problems. MIKA: It’s a shame that we can’t always make the most of

our talents. As a Finn, I don’t think about what is trendy or what is not, but rather focus on finding my own sustainable answers. Marimekko has always had this atmosphere of exuberant creativity and fearlessness – and I feel it’s something we need to believe in even more than ever. AKI: When I’m travelling, I sometimes feel annoyed that we Finns – regardless of our expertise and great products – have not been able to stand out from the global crowd.

UNCOMMONLY COMMON SENSE AKI: There is a certain basic logic to how Finns think. You don’t have to get overly complicated, which makes it easier for us to understand and trust each other. MIKA: At Marimekko, one of our values is common sense. I can’t say the world would be worse off if everybody tried a little old-fashioned Finnish common sense. You don’t have to complicate matters to solve many of our problems. Some of the best answers – more often than not – are simple and straightforward like good

design. I once asked Annika Rimala, the designer of Marimekko’s classic Tasaraita pattern, what she would like to design right now. She took her time before answering: I would design something that I would never have to design again. A joke or wise words? Isn’t that very Finnish? AKI: I learned something from my 7-year-old godchild. He wanted to sell me his school’s annual spring magazine. I too had written in the same magazine as a schoolkid, so I had plenty of fond memories. I was prepared to buy three copies of the magazine. He looked at me and said that he would sell me only one copy. “Aki, you need only one magazine.” How true! MIKA: I couldn’t have said it better myself. We Finns take pride in being unassuming and down-to-earth. I can’t think of any other people who dislike pretence and theatrics as much as Finns. This attitude might also be something the world needs more of. My impression is that people nowadays are willing to do almost anything to be admired or accepted and – in the process – lose their own sense of self. As a Finn, I am not afraid to be myself – most of the time. (Smile) AKI: I’ve always thought the most interesting people carry themselves with dignity and are honest. For me, it speaks of warmth and beauty, even though modesty and simplicity may seem cold and bleak to some. I feel safer when I know the people I am with. MIKA: That’s us – positively different.


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NO. 2/2012

GOTHENBURG Store openings in Northern Europe, Asia, America... Korsgatan 15 / Vallgatan 26, Göteborg

In April/May, we opened two retail stores of our own in Sweden. One is a gallery-type special store located in the creative area of SoFo in Stockholm. The other store opened in the west coast of Sweden in Gothenburg in a charming 19th-century brick building in the city centre. This two-storey store carries a wide range of items from all our product lines. On 3 May, we celebrated the opening of the first Marimekko store in Hong Kong. The store is located in Causeway Bay and it showcases the whole colourful world of Marimekko at its best. In the United States, we opened our third own store at the end of July. The new two-storey store is situated in Boston which is a very attractive location for Marimekko. During the autumn, store openings are planned in Sydney and Melbourne, Tokyo, Palo Alto, and Helsinki.

SOFO

SoFo, Skånegatan 71, Stockholm


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HONG KONG

Ground Floor, 42 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

BOSTON

140 Newbury Street, Boston

STOCKMANN POP-UP A factory in the heart of Helsinki For the summer, we have brought the milieu of our textile printing factory to the middle of the city. Our pop-up shop in the Argos Hall of the Stockmann department store will be open until 24Â August.


Future events

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Design Colours Life – Contemporary Finnish Design and Marimekko exhibition at MOCA Shanghai in autumn 2012 Photo MOCA Shanghai

Design Colours Life – Contemporary Finnish Design and Marimekko, organized by the Radical Design Week, Marimekko and Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Shanghai, is an exhibition that explores Finland, the Finnish design tradition and how design is manifested in the everyday lives of people – literally colouring their lives. The exhibition taking place from 26 October until 9 December 2012 at the reputed MOCA Shanghai has two parts – Marimekko and Contemporary Finnish Design – together forming a holistic viewpoint of Finnish design today. Marimekko opens the topic as a forerunner and example of the inclusive, democratic approach of Finnish design thinking. It shares the story on how its bold patterns and colours, timeless designs, play an important international role in increasing the emotional wellbeing of people. In the heart of the Contemporary Finnish Design exhibition lies a display of the history and tradition of Finnish design; how nature is seen in the form language, where simplicity and functionality come from and how the success story of Finnish Design was born. From the tradition stems the breadth of today’s design scene in Finland. The exhibited designers break up conventions, work with attitude, reach for the highest level and are part of the phenomena that make Finland an extraordinary country.

“The exhibition at the worldwide renowned MOCA Shanghai is a unique opportunity for Finland to lift the lid on the insights and stories behind the Finnish design tradition and inspire people in Shanghai about our way of creating. We cannot wait to see what kinds of creative bridges between Finland and China the exhibition may open,” says Minna Kemell-Kutvonen, Creative Director of Marimekko. ”The exhibition will paint an exciting landscape of Finnish Design and portrays a set of insightful designers from the past to the present era. Visitors will experience how design is embedded in the daily life of people in Finland. The exhibition shows how the aesthetic language of Finnish Design increases beauty of the world around us. Good design is the luxury of everyday life,” says Tuuli Sotamaa, Curator of the Contemporary Finnish Design part of the exhibition. Design Colours Life – Contemporary Finnish Design and Marimekko is curated by Tuuli Sotamaa, Jeremiah Tesolin and Sami Ruotsalainen. The Design Museum in Helsinki has supported the Marimekko part of the exhibition by opening up its extensive Marimekko archives for the use of this exhibition. Design Colours Life – Contemporary Finnish Design and Marimekko is the spearhead event of the Radical Design Week 2012 taking place in Shanghai from 26 October to 4 November 2012.


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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Marimekko’s CEO Mika Ihamuotila, US Ambassador to Finland Bruce J. Oreck and his wife Cody Oreck greet the cheering Marimekko staff.

A “pilgrimage” to the Marimekko factory Friendly visit

Photos Kaapo Kamu

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the Marimekko house in Helsinki on 27 June 2012. She got to know Marimekko design and the textile printing factory, and afterwards she spent time shopping in our store. We are extremely happy and proud to have hosted such an important guest! When leaving the Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs to come to our factory, Clinton said that she was going

Madame Clinton is shown how Marimekko’s fabrics are printed.

to make her long-awaited pilgrimage to Marimekko. ”Madame Clinton suggested a new slogan for us: Marimekko – Breathe Happiness. She totally charmed our personnel and the customers in our store by her intelligent sense of humor and approachable personality,” says Mika Ihamuotila, CEO of Marimekko.


© MARIMEKKO OYJ SUOMI- FINL AND TERESA MOORHOUSE 2011 : “SATUMETSÄ”

100% CO

© MARIMEKKO OYJ SUOMI- FINL AND TERESA MOORHOUSE 2011 : “SATUMETSÄ”

100% CO

© MARIME

Profile for Marimekko

Marimekko paper autumn 2012  

Marimekko paper autumn 2012