Finnish design house Marimekko has another fabulous collaboration release this week with Japanese apparel brand, Uniqlo. On January 4, we can expect beautiful prints in fresh new colours and styles that convey the sense of elevated cozy wintery comfort in this limited-edition collection.
Marimekko is loved globally for its Nordic nature and wildlife inspiration. For its first collaboration of the new year, Uniqlo has announced the collection has the theme of “New Year Camping”. It’s where family and friends gather and vacation together in the most idyllic winter landscape.
Two of Marimekko’s leading designers Maija Isola and Pentti Rinta inspired the warm wintery setting.
Maija Isola’s (1927–2001) career as a fabric designer began in 1949 at Marimekko’s predecessor, Printex, and lasted 38 years. During that time, she designed more than 500 patterns for Marimekko. Maija Isola laid the foundation for Marimekko as a print house. She lived an unconventional life for her time, painting what she encountered when traveling across Europe, North Africa, and America. On these trips, many of her patterns and colours were born.
Pentti Rinta joined Marimekko in 1969 as a fashion designer. He remained with the company until 1987, also designing bold and colorful Marimekko prints. In the 1970s, Pentti’s Marimekko pieces appeared on the pages of Vogue and other magazines around the world. In 1972, he designed Kuski (driver), a popular corduroy men’s suit that became a classic. Some of Pentti’s most recognizable prints for Marimekko are Kirjo (spectrum) and Haamuruutu (phantom square).
The latest Uniqlo collection for women and girls features nine designs with four selected patterns. Wearers can enjoy peaceful artworks that have been long-time favorites at Marimekko, such as the Kivet pattern inspired by the rough-hewn stone around the home of graphic designer Maija Isola, and Hattara, a traditional Nordic ripple pattern by Pentti Rinta. The items and patterns are an ideal match for HEATTECH and fleece coordinates perfect for a day. The many chic patterns are easily integrated into a wide range of stylings.
Stories about the patterns: (you can see them all here)
Maija Isola’s Kivet (stones) design builds on circles cut with scissors. The pattern was most likely inspired by the big rough-edged stones that were manually cleared from the designer’s atelier home’s grounds. It has since become one of Marimekko’s most recognizable and loved patterns.
Kissapöllö (tawny owl)
In 1961, Maija Isola spent many evenings and nights working in Marimekko’s print factory – painting in gentle, sweeping brushstrokes while listening to music. Meter upon meter of new designs emerged, among them Kissapöllö (tawny owl), a pattern of stylized natural forms.
While traveling in Greece in the early 1960s, Maija Isola got inspired by the movement of water and depicted it in several fabric prints, including Seireeni (siren) from 1964. Named after the mythological sirens, the pattern also recalls the enchanting singing that lured sailors into dangerous waters.
The charming small clouds in Pentti Rinta’s naivistic Hattara (wisp) pattern put a smile on your face and offer a throwback to the sweetest summer memories.