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Marimekko for X and Y.

April 28th, 2008 · No Comments

Finnish textile design company Marimekko, known for its bold prints and geometrically informed patterns, has been around since 1951. In its heyday of the 60s and 70s, clients could purchase material at local stores and create one-of-a-kind, statement-making pieces — I imagine sewing a long sun dress and pairing it with some sunjuns and a floppy straw hat, creating the perfect summer attire. That was the past.

Over the next 20 or so years, somewhere between Reagonomics and the Gulf War, Marimekko faded from the limelight and into niche-culture obscurity — its founder died in 1985 and shortly thereafter the company was considering bankruptcy. But it didn’t mean that Marimekko had shutdown shop; it was still producing unique textiles that were being used around the world.

With the dawn of the Internet age and a new owner at the helm, Marimekko stuck it out and has had quite a rebirth since the tumultuous 1980s. The launch of its Web site allowed customers to preview fabrics and other products online and then search locally for retailers, once again connecting the classic Finnish company with the community and bringing us to the present, where Marimekko has come full circle.

In a much deserved and long-awaited fashion industry nod, you can now add Marimekko to the exhaustive trend of “this designer for [insert retailer here].” It has joined forces with both H&M and Manolo Blahnik (in the same season no less!) to create limited edition designs. And I find it quite amusing that the same fabric that five year’s ago adorned my dorm-mate’s duvet is now covering the limited edition Manolo Blahnik heels. It’s a genious move on Marimekko’s part: “If you thought you got compliments on your bed set, imagine the nods you’ll get now that you’re wearing it on your feet!” It’s a subtle jab (although I’m sure unintentional) at the shoppers who are suckers enough to buy the limited edition shoe, selling for upwards of $580 — the duvet cover was significantly cheaper. But I’m ecstatic for Marimekko, really. Credit is surely due.

Unfortunately, the uninformed shopper ruined my peaked interest in the Marimekko for H&M line. Two weeks ago as I stood waiting for my friend at the cash-wrap, I watched the fashion lemmings paw through the Marimekko merchandise. I listened to their “Oh this is sooo cute” coos and held back my urge to school them on what they were about to buy. Witnessing this fashion frenzy, complete with horrible mispronunciations of “Marimekko,” confirmed that the “X for Y” limited edition equation will always draw a crowd, even if it is (and yes, it usually is) an uninformed crowd of fashion lemmings.

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Posted by: kimberly phillips · Tags: current events · fashion

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Cindy Jackson // Jul 29, 2008 at 10:38 am

    I also love Marimekko Fabrics and have just found a Web Site with the most fabulous range of Marimekko Fabric Wall Hangings which I would like to share with you.

    http://www.wallartsuk.com

  • 2 Becky // Feb 13, 2009 at 5:38 am

    I also love Marimekko Fabrics and have just found a Web Site with the most fabulous range of Marimekko Fabric Wall Hangings which I would like to share with you.

    http://www.wallartsuk.com