Decoding Marimekko: Unveiling the Meaning Behind the Fashion Icon

Getting Started

Marimekko is a renowned Finnish fashion and design company that has gained international recognition for its distinctive and bold prints. Founded in 1951, Marimekko has become synonymous with unique and vibrant patterns that have become iconic in the world of fashion. The word “Marimekko” itself has a special meaning, reflecting the company’s philosophy and design principles.

The name “Marimekko” is derived from two Finnish words – “Mari”, which is a common female name in Finland, and “mekko”, which means “dress” in Finnish. The combination of these words captures the essence of the brand and represents the strong connection between Marimekko’s designs and the women who wear them.

The Marimekko design philosophy

Marimekko’s design philosophy revolves around the idea of bringing joy and self-expression through visually striking prints and patterns. The company believes in creating designs that are timeless, empowering and celebrate individuality. Marimekko’s prints often feature bold colors, oversized motifs and nature-inspired themes that create a sense of energy and playfulness.
Marimekko’s designers draw inspiration from a variety of sources, including Finnish nature, architecture and cultural heritage. They aim to capture the essence of Finnish design by combining simplicity with boldness. The brand’s commitment to sustainability is also evident in its design process, as Marimekko strives to create products that are durable and long-lasting, reducing the environmental impact of fast fashion.

The rise to international fame

Marimekko gained international recognition and popularity in the 1960s when its bold and unconventional designs caught the attention of the fashion world. One of the key moments that propelled Marimekko to fame was when Jacqueline Kennedy, then First Lady of the United States, wore a Marimekko dress during the 1960 presidential campaign. This iconic moment introduced Marimekko’s unique style to a global audience and the brand became synonymous with modernity and individuality.
Since then, Marimekko has collaborated with numerous international designers and brands, further expanding its reach and influence. The company’s products, including apparel, home textiles, accessories and lifestyle items, are now available in stores worldwide, and Marimekko continues to captivate fashion enthusiasts with its distinctive and timeless designs.

The impact on fashion and design

Marimekko’s innovative approach to fashion and design has had a significant impact on the industry. The brand challenged traditional notions of femininity by introducing bold prints and oversized silhouettes, breaking away from the prevailing trends of the time. Marimekko’s designs have inspired countless fashion designers and artists, and the brand’s influence can be seen in contemporary fashion and interior design.

Marimekko’s emphasis on self-expression and individuality has resonated with consumers seeking unique and authentic fashion choices. The brand’s prints and patterns have become iconic symbols of creativity and confidence, empowering individuals to embrace their personal style and stand out from the crowd.

The enduring legacy of Marimekko

In the more than seven decades since its founding, Marimekko has established a lasting legacy in the world of fashion and design. The brand’s commitment to creating timeless and sustainable designs, combined with its bold and vibrant aesthetic, continues to captivate and inspire people around the world.

Marimekko’s influence extends beyond fashion, as the brand’s prints have been incorporated into various products, including home goods, accessories and even collaborations with renowned brands such as Converse and Clinique. The distinctiveness and versatility of Marimekko’s designs have allowed the brand to remain relevant and influential in an ever-changing fashion landscape.


Marimekko is more than a fashion brand; it is a celebration of individuality, creativity and joy. The name itself, derived from Finnish words meaning “to dress” and a common female name, reflects the brand’s philosophy and connection with its customers. Through its bold prints, timeless designs and commitment to sustainability, Marimekko continues to leave an indelible mark on the world of fashion and design, inspiring people to embrace their unique style and express themselves with confidence.


What does Marimekko mean?

Marimekko is a Finnish design company known for its bold and colorful prints and patterns. The word “Marimekko” itself translates to “Mary’s dress” in Finnish, reflecting the company’s origins in textile and clothing design.

When was Marimekko founded?

Marimekko was founded in 1951 by Armi Ratia and her husband Viljo Ratia. It started as a small textile printing company in Helsinki, Finland, and has since grown into an internationally recognized brand.

What is Marimekko famous for?

Marimekko is famous for its distinctive and vibrant prints that have become iconic in the world of design. The brand gained international recognition in the 1960s when its bold patterns and simple, yet functional designs became popular worldwide.

What are some notable Marimekko designs?

Marimekko has created many notable designs over the years. One of its most famous prints is the “Unikko” (poppy) pattern, which was created by designer Maija Isola in 1964. Other popular designs include the “Kaivo” (well) pattern, the “Tasaraita” (even stripe) pattern, and the “Siirtolapuutarha” (city garden) pattern.

Where can I find Marimekko products?

Marimekko products can be found in their own retail stores located worldwide, as well as in various department stores and design boutiques. Additionally, Marimekko has an online store where you can purchase their products and have them delivered to your location.

Recommended Articles