Finnish designer, Mika Piirainen, loves Australia. He comes here once a year to get ‘inspiration’ for upcoming collections. Trained as a fashion designer, he has been with Marimekko since 1994 and has “done it all”, creating clothing, homewares, bags and footware for the brand during this time.
As well as the natural landscape and wildlife, what Piirainen loves most is “the very relaxed lifestyle. I like how you dress up, I call it a 24-hour dress, so the girls go to Bondi, and then go to work and they just have the same dress non-stop.”
While here, he has been photographing madly (sights range from the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne to Bronte cemetery). These images will be abstracted, sketched and developed to become new prints for the summer 2012 collection.
The Marimekko known to Australia is colourful, bold and graphic, however there is a more sophisticated side to the brand, “very quiet” as Piirainen describes it.
The winter ranges feature darker colours and quality fabrics, with characteristic Marimekko quirk in the structural forms. These, along with new summer, babies and children’s wear, accessories and
homewares were launched to Australian audiences in August/September 2010
and are in stores now.
Marimekko already has a cult following, but they also continue to attract new and young followers with selective collaborations with brands such as Havaianas thongs and, recently announced, Converse. The popular sneakers will be printed with vibrant Marimekko designs (available from February 2011) to bring one of Finland’s best-known brands into a new era.
Marimekko products are available throughout Australia, for a full list of stockists click here.