A global field guide to design, (life)style and secret finds
est. 2007
  1. Happy 50th, Marimekko Unikko

    Marimekko Unikko 50 Colourways via WeeBirdy.com

    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.

    Marimekko Sydney Flagship Store Unikko 50th Celebration via WeeBirdy.comMarimekko Unikko 50th celebration, Sydney Flagship store. Photography by Caroline McCredie.
    Marimekko Sydney Flagship Store Unikko 50th Birthday Celebrations via WeeBirdy.comMarimekko Unikko 50th at the Sydney Flagship store. Photography by Caroline McCredie.
    Architecture in Helsinki DJ at theMarimekko Sydney Flagship Store Unikko 50th Birthday Celebrations via WeeBirdy.comArchitecture in Helsinki at Marimekko’s Sydney Flagship store. Photography by Caroline McCredie.

    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).

    Marimekko Sydney Flagship Store Unikko 50th Birthday Celebrations via WeeBirdy.comMarimekko Unikko 50th celebration, Sydney Flagship store. Photography by Caroline McCredie.
    Marimekko Sydney Flagship Store Unikko 50th Birthday Celebrations via WeeBirdy.comMarimekko Unikko cake, Sydney Flagship store. Photography by Caroline McCredie.
    Marimekko Sydney Flagship Store Unikko 50th Birthday Celebrations via WeeBirdy.comMe, 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.

    Marimekko Unikko Turns 50 Around the World via WeeBirdy.com

    Marimekko Unikko Turns 50 Around the World via WeeBirdy.com

    Marimekko Unikko Turns 50 Around the World via WeeBirdy.com

    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.

    Marimekko 50 Years of Unikko Collection via WeeBirdy.com

    Marimekko Unikko Turns 50 Tableware Collectionvia WeeBirdy.com

    Marimekko Unikko Turns 50 Mug Collection via WeeBirdy.com

    Marimekko Unikko Turns 50 Tableware Collection via WeeBirdy.com

    Marimekko Unikko Turns 50 Fashion Collection via WeeBirdy.com

    Marimekko Unikko Turns 50 Fashion Collection via WeeBirdy.com

    Marimekko Unikko Turns 50 Fashion Collection via WeeBirdy.com

    You can find Marimekko’s 50th Anniversary collection of Unikko in-store and online.

    Marimekko Sydney
    66 King Street
    Sydney NSW 2000
    Tel. +61 2 9299 0372

    Opening hours:
    Monday to Wednesday 10am-6pm
    Thursday 10am-9pm
    Friday and Saturday 10am to 6pm
    Sunday 11am-5pm

    Tell me, do you have a piece of Unikko in your home?

    • CathB

      Love your Marimekko dress! I’ve only got a tea-towel in Unikko but I think some tableware might be coming my way! I love the last dress in the pistachio colours and those pants!!

      • weebirdy

        Thank you! I’m renovating our kitchen and I think the black and white colourway might just have to make an appearance via a natty new pair of tea towels. And tea pot. Hopefully. X

    • jane

      love the tea pot set in unikko too : )

      • weebirdy

        The black and white colourway? Or in the original red and orange? Ahhh… decisions. X

    • theredthread

      I grew up with the original unikko as blinds in our laundry and bathroom. Sadly I dont have any in my life now, but I do love the teapot.

      • weebirdy

        That’s so amazing, Lisa! Your mum had amazing style and taste. X

    • Gemma

      I love love love Marimekko – but this design bores me a bit. Maybe it’s just over done?????