Fashion

Uniqlo+Marimekko Equals a Bold, Playful Designer Collaboration

Learn more about Finnish design house Marimekko and the meaning behind its eccentric prints.
IMAGE COURTESY UNIQLO
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A hundred and one years ago, Finland explored the depths of its newly acquired independence from Russia, leading its people to establish their identity as a design nation.

From then on, design has been engrained into the daily lives of the Finns. The country’s affinity with design evidently reflects in everything from the contemporary structures designed by the late architect Alvar Aalto to the sleek simplicity of the Artek furniture found in a typical Finnish home.

Finnish design has introduced the world to many iconic brands; one of which is design house Marimekko. Celebrated for its daring artistry and lively color palette, Marimekko has been producing unique prints since 1951. The brand integrated these artist-made original prints onto clothing, accessories, bags, home décor, and textiles, establishing it as one of the first lifestyle brands in the world. Each Marimekko print is a joy to behold, and this core value was kept in mind when Japanese retailer Uniqlo formed a collaborative special collection with the Finnish brand for the summer season.

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“The joy of being bold,” the collection’s description reads. It pairs the quality and comfort Uniqlo is best known for and vibrant print design Marimekko champions. The collection holds shift dresses, wide-leg cropped pants, graphic t-shirts, totes, and canvas sneakers all presenting an iconic Marimekko print.


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Similar to a masterpiece, every detail of a Marimekko print holds a meaning. This is what each print means:

Polle


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This pattern might look like the typical polka dot design but in polle, each spot is imperfect. That’s because the pattern is based on an image of a plump pony leaving round hoof prints on the ground.

Nonparelli


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This retro-seeming pattern features circular shapes in different colors and sizes. The name nonparelli comes from the Finnish word used to define the decorative colored sugar popularly topped on baked products. The brand explains that the splashy nonparelli was meant to suggest celebratory elements such as cakes and colorful decorations.

Kukkia Rakkaalle


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Meaning “flowers for the loved one” in English, this playful print was meant to remind you to surprise your beloved with flowers. The printed fabric was used to accent the hems of solid-colored trousers and boldly used to create standout blouses, dresses, and drawstring bags.

Each of the designers at Marimekko is given the freedom of creativity, which is why every design is distinct to its creator. The brand merely guides its young designers and craftsmen to produce timeless and authentic results, which is the same philosophy Armi Ratia founded the company upon.

The Uniqlo and Marimekko collection will be available in stores on April 2. 

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About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Features Editor
Hannah is originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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