Marimekko is one of the icons of Finnish design. Many Finns have at least one piece of Marimekko on their shelf – be it a striped t-shirt, bag, dress, towel or package of napkins.
Last fall we organised an international event at work, and we Finns discussed if we should have Marimekko shirts on as a team swag. Almost no-one had a Marimekko striped t-shirt. So we gave up with the idea. One of the activities in the program of the event was pool party. At the pool it turned out (without agreeing anything in advance) that almost every Finn had a Marimekko bathrobe – so eventually we had our team swag!
For me Marimekko is not only a colourful design company. I’m fascinated by the founder of the company, Armi Ratia, one of the most visible female CEOs throughout the history of Finnish business scene. Her leadership style may not bit suitable for today’s world and her personal story is kind of a tragedy too, but her vision and courage has lasted for decades – even to such extent that Marimekko has been criticised about the inability to renew and develop.
Marimekko is not the friendliest gear to your wallet. I never buy Marimekko stuff on full price. I have three secrets to more affordable design shopping:
- Marimekko Outlet in Herttoniemi: sample pieces, leftovers from previous season, B quality pieces and discount fabrics. Don’t expect to get any discount from the current collection, but if you’re open for archive gems, this is your place. Japanese tourists have already found the outlet.
- Season sale in the end of June and end of December. During the sale most of the gear is -30% or -40%, excluding the classics.
- Online flash campaigns for loyalty program members. Every now and then they have -30% discount weekends in their web shop or 4 days of “sale for friends”.
Closest metro station: Herttoniemi (about 800 m walk from the metro station)