What Does a Game Changer Mean to You: Marimekko?

The president of Marimekko North America on the company's legacy of game-changing design

The president of Marimekko North America, Isabelle Cadieux-­Fabian, discusses what it feels like to be in the company of Game Changers.

What exciting ideas did you discover or find particularly interesting in our 2015 Game Changers?

The idea behind the “Living Architectures” film series by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine is innovative for its simple approach at looking into the relationship between important, renowned buildings and everyday individuals. The filmmakers have created an entirely new form of architecture critique. The freedom of expression exuded by the filmmakers is a quality that we also cherish at Marimekko and give to our designers, allowing them to create unique designs and follow their own creative guidelines.

What was the original design that established your brand? How have you followed up that game-changing design?

Marimekko’s game changing design is our iconic Unikko print, meaning “poppy” in Finnish. Unikko was born in 1964 after Marimekko founder Armi Ratia publicly announced that Marimekko would never print a floral pattern, stating flowers are much more beautiful in nature. Designer Maija Isola paid no heed to Ratia’s creed and painted red Unikko, along with an entire series of floral patterns, in protest. Unikko looked new, graphic and distinctive, and Ratia immediately included in Marimekko’s collections, where it has been ever since. Each year, Marimekko pays homage to its history by introducing new Unikko colorways. It is the brand’s most iconic and recognizable print.

What should we look for in your 2015 product offerings?

The Marimekko Spring/Summer 2015 interior collection brings together nature and urbanity for a collection influenced by oceans, water and sea life. Finnish artist Kustaa Saksi makes his Marimekko debut with the Merivuokko (sea anemone) and Meriheinä (sea grass) prints – digital prints that are a departure from Marimekko’s painted prints. The brightly colored prints feature both abstract and clear forms of the sea, and encourage people to create their own personal mindscapes that bring joy into their everyday lives.

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