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marimekko designer maija isola

Maija Isola is arguably Marimekko’s most well-known designer of all time. She was with Marimekko at the very beginning, designing her first printed textiles in 1949 for Printex Oy, Marimekko’s predecessor and working as head designer of Marimekko’s interior fabrics until 1987. She was also an illustrious visual artist.

Maija was a prolific and bold artist, interpreting the events of her era from her own unique perspective while anticipating future trends. Her body of work includes over 500 prints representing different themes and techniques. Her inspirations included traditional folk art, modern visual art, nature and her extensive travels around the globe. One of her design partners was her daughter Kristina. Their fresh floral fabrics, bold abstract patterns have since become Marimekko core designs. When her mother passed away in 2001, Kristina continued designing in her mother’s tradition, reinventing many of Maija’s classic designs. 

Despite Armi Ratia’s (founder of Marimekko) public announcement in 1964 that no floral fabrics were designed at Marimekko, Maija, in protest, designed her “Unikko” (poppy) flower pattern which has become one of the most popular patterns at Marimekko! 

Maija Isola has collaborated with the following brands: Marimekko >

Next designer: Armi Ratia >