CROSSING THE ‘FINNISH’ LINE: Marimekko has tapped Satu Maaranen as head designer of ready-to-wear, bags and accessories.
She assumes responsibilities that were previously handled by Anna Teurnell, who exited as creative director last February. Since her departure, Marimekko’s design and product development team has collectively worked on the brand’s ready-to-wear collections.
As head designer of that sector along with bags and accessories, Maaranen now leads the design of those collections and will work closely with Minna Kemell-Kutvonen, who heads up the label’s print design and home collection. Both report to Marimekko president and chief executive officer Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko.
As a graduate of the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Maaranen is no stranger to the Helsinki-based brand. She has designed clothes and prints for Marimekko since 2010. Maaranen is also a cofounder and creative director of Pre Helsinki, an organization committed to the internationalization and export of Finnish fashion. In 2013 she won the Grand Prix at the Hyères Fashion Festival. She has also been honored at the Finnish Elle Style Awards and at Copenhagen Fashion Week. In 2015, she was one of eight nominees in the fashion category of the British Design Museum’s annual Designs of the Year Awards. In her career she has worked for such other international brands as France’s Petit Bateau and China’s Exception de Mixmind.
Maaranen’s familiarity with Marimekko’s creative network and deep knowledge of printmaking are major advantages, according to Rebekka Bay, a member of Marimekko’s board of directors. The latest addition to the company was selected from several international candidates. Excited to follow in the footsteps of pioneering Marimekko designers, Maaranen said, “Marimekko has always been a brand of strong, independent women, which makes it more relevant now than ever before. I have lots of ideas about how to continue to develop Marimekko’s collections for international clientele.”
Marimekko jogged people’s memories with an upbeat spring 2018 collection that illustrated the staying power of its patterns — Unikko poppies, the unisex Tasaraita print and stripes in all forms. Together they were a gentle reminder that the label’s message was clear: Gender equality? Lifestyle? Wake up, folks — Marimekko’s been doing this since the Fifties and Sixties.