Happy 50th, Marimekko Unikko
Marimekko’s iconic ‘Unikko’ print has turned 50 – and she’s never looked more splendid. Last week, I popped along to the Sydney flagship store for the 50th birthday celebrations, which was a suitably colourful and cheery event with the over-sized poppy print making an appearance on just about every pot, pan and pouff.
There were boys serving blackberry-infused Champagne in stripes (swoon), Architecture in Helsinki djing in stripes (double swoon) and a delectable array of Finnish-themed culinary delights, courtesy of Café Paci (raspberry-topped fairy floss: triple swoon).
Me, right, and Belinda Barnard. Marimekko Unikko 50th celebration, Sydney Flagship store. Photography by Caroline McCredie.
I’m rather charmed by the back-story of Unikko, where this floral print, a classic example of mid-20th century design, almost didn’t exist.
Back in 1964, Marimekko’s founder, Armi Ratia, decided that the company would never print a flower pattern. In rebellion, designer Maija Isola created an entire series of floral prints, including Unikko. She managed to changed the head honcho’s mind, and in doing so, created an icon which is emblematic of ’60s pop art, flower power and female feistiness. Bravo.
The 50th celebrations have taken off around the world, with the poppy print proudly emblazoned on all manner of planes, trains and automobiles, and naturally, a hashtag #Unikko50.
Since Unikko blossomed in 1964, she has been reinvented in over 80 colourways. To celebrate her 50th year, Marimekko has released a limited edition anniversary collection of tableware, fashion and accessories.
I’m still rather fond of the original colours, but the striking black and white tableware has caught my eye, capturing the spirit of Unikko while serving her up as a fresh and bang-on-monotone-trend new design.
You can find Marimekko’s 50th Anniversary collection of Unikko in-store and online.
66 King Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel. +61 2 9299 0372
Monday to Wednesday 10am-6pm
Friday and Saturday 10am to 6pm
Tell me, do you have a piece of Unikko in your home?