Marimekko was founded in 1951 by Viljo and Armi Ratia after the former's oilcloth factory project failed and was converted to a garment plant. Armi asked some artist friends to apply their graphic designs to textiles. In order to show how the fabric could be used, the company then designed and sold a line of simple dresses using their fabric.
They have made important contributions to fashion especially in the 1960s and 1970s. They are particularly noted for brightly-colored printed fabrics and simple styles, used both in women's garments and in home furnishings.
Marimekko shot to fame in the US when Jackie Kennedy starting wearing their dresses in the 60's. And then Sex & the City brought Marimekko back again years later. Not only was Carrie seen in a Marimekko bikini and dress, but her curtains were Marimekko as well.
In the Fall Inspiration 01 issue of Crate & Barrel I fell in love with the Kaivo Bed Linens. The design was originally created in 1964 by Maija Isola for Marimekko. Kaivo ("well") was inspired by the circular ripples that surfaced as she lowered a bucket to fetch water from the well.
I love this graphic pattern for its simplicity and story.
And what fun would some of the other Marimekko patterns be, say in a nursery?
Image and Content Sources: Domino, Kaboodle, Apartment Therapy, Crate & Barrel, Wikipedia