Marimekko in Finland

In a previous post I mentioned that I was in Finland recently. On a train ride, my travel companion asked me if there was anything I’d like to bring back as a souvenir of the trip, and I wasn’t entirely sure…

You might remember that when I went to Hawaii, I brought back fabric as a souvenir.  This time around I wanted to visit the iconic Finnish design company Marimekko.

Marimekko is a Finnish design company based in Helsinki, designs which are recognizable because of brightly-coloured simple (often geometric or abstract floral) prints, usually used for women’s garments and accessories, home decor, and home accessories. The designs became popular in the 1960’s when Jacqueline Kennedy who bought eight Marimekko dresses which she wore through her husband’s Presidential campaign. In the 1990’s after a financial revival, Marimekko appealed to a new group of fashion-lovers when characters on the tv show Sex and the City wore or used products with distinctive Marimekko prints.

In 2007 Marimekko began opening individual stores in the USA and Canada, though the only concept store in Canada is currently in Vancouver. However there is one shop in Calgary that carries Marimekko products. (Click this link to find a store near you which carries Marimekko products.)

Marimekko shop in Turku

Marimekko shop in Turku

While I was in Turku, Finland I saw lovely things in a store window – a Marimekko store!  I popped in, hoping to find a ‘little something’ to bring back as a souvenier.  The bright colours didn’t appeal to me, but I hoped to find something a little more subdued that would suit my style. I had seen many women on the street wearing brightly-coloured, huge prints, and each of these distinctive styles were indeed Marimekko – they were hanging on the racks.

Along with dresses, tops, skirts, scarves, pillows, purses, housewares, and other items, the store also had a small selection of cotton print fabric.

However… I didn’t pick anything out to bring home.

There were a few things that were small enough to pack, subdued enough to appeal to my personal sense of style, still bright and cheery enough to remind me well of the Finnish style… but unfortunately the prices were discouraging.  Although I hadn’t been bothered by the pricing shopping in other areas in Finland (despite the country’s reputation of being very expensive), I can only imagine that this is a higher-end line than I had anticipated as most items were out of my price range.  For instance, a small coin purse that I would expect to pay a few dollars for at home, was 9 Euros (about $11).  Too much for something that didn’t really leap out at me anyways.

Checking out the Marimekko concept store in Vancouver though – the same item is $22 – so the Finnish store would have been a deal in comparison!

I did pick up some fabric at another shop in Finland though… stay tuned and I’ll share my experience in an upcoming post!

Check out Marimekko’s website: 


2 comments on “Marimekko in Finland

  1. Anne Moon says:

    I too love Marimekko and was in Finland 2 years ago. In the store on Helsinki’s main street I found a marked-down long sleeved t shirt that I wear in winter but the best find was at an open air second hand market in Helsinki,where I scored a red and white sailor striped T shirt for just $4. Unfortunately I have worn it so much that there is a little hole–but it is still my bet buy EVER!

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