Uniqlo x Marimekko, launching on Black Friday, Nov. 29 at all Uniqlo stores and uniqlo.com, will mark the second limited-edition collaboration between the Japanese apparel giant and Finnish design house. Marimekko‘s bold colors and graphic prints will appear on Uniqlo LifeWear such as Ultra Light Down, cashmere, and, for the first time, Heattech, elevating the functional wardrobe essentials with some of the most celebrated Finnish prints.
Among the Marimekko prints featured in the new limited edition collection – which includes items such as Ultra Light Down cocoon coat, wool cashmere hoodie, shirt dresses and jumpsuits – are some of Marimekko’s signature prints: Kivet, designed in 1956 by Maija Isola, and Tasaraita, designed in 1968 by Annika Rimala, along with a more recent pattern, Siirtolapuutarha, designed by Maija Louekari in 2009.
Prices for the collection, which has been expanded to include girls and babies, range from $6.90 for Heattech items such as socks to $129.90 for coats.
“What we share as brands is a mission to bring joy to people’s every day lives,” said Sanna-Kaisa Niikko, global brand marketing director of Marimekko. “We also share an interest functionality.”
Niikko said the 33 products in the collection all speak the same design language. “The art of printmaking is in Marimekko’s heritage and DNA. We’re experts in using prints in an inspirational and fun way.”
Finland’s “insanely long and dark winters” gave rise to Marimekko, which in 1951 was founded to sate a craving for color during the cold months. “When Marimekko was born, the idea was to bring fresh ideas and joy to consumers,” Niikko said. “The brand was about empowering people to be happy the way they are. Artists created things that were unforeseen and joyful and that’s where our art of printmaking comes from.”
Rebekka Bay, Uniqlo’s creative director, said functional items can sometimes seem bland or boring, but when the collaboration with Marimekko launches, consumers will notice the addition of playful and joyous elements.
“We’re committed to functionality and affordability in everyday items,” Bay said. “Merging that with the beauty and very artistic feel of Marimekko will make getting dressed to stay warm more colorful and joyous. My favorite item is the cocoon coat with a multi-color, very bold City Garden pattern. It’s one of our most iconic colors, and one of Marimekko’s most iconic prints. Dressing warm becomes much more of a statement and celebration.”
Bay summed up the collection in one word: “Impactful. It’s a very visual collaboration. We can both agree that a collaboration like this has to be bold and impactful. The beauty is that a lot of women are reluctant to wear colorful or bold patterns. They may be a little scared, but there’s an architectural or graphic quality to these prints.”