Where does design inspiration come from? Of course the answer is anywhere. But for all who give that answer, they may not be thinking of the broadest definition. In the case of Marimekko, something as mundane as rolled down socks generated a line of drinking glasses and pitchers that could be making their way to a Crate & Barrel store near you. And where have you heard the name Marimekko before? Well there was Carrie Bradshaw’s bikini in Season 2 of “Sex and the City.” But go back far enough and none other than style icon, Jacqueline Kennedy wore dresses in Marimekko designed fabrics. The fabrics evolved after the original business, founded in 1951, failed and the founder called on graphic designers to add their stamps to textiles.
Along the way the bold designs of Marimekko would rise in popularity, and then fall almost off the face of the earth. But in the early 1990s a new owner revived it with new business models and of course, astute product placements that turned things around. In the sense that anything old can be re-imagined and renewed, Marimekko recently crafted an agreement with Converse – that Converse. Now Converse footwear will sport funky fabric from the house of Marimekko. Some of the selected fabric designs have been around for four decades. And just for the record, Chuck Taylor, the basketball player never received a commission for the 600 million pairs of Chuck Taylors that have been sold.