Shown at the Nordic Heritage Museum Marimekko, With Love is a retrospective look at the company’s origins and role in shaping a new aesthetics and approach to living through fashion and design. Founded in 1951 by visionary designer Armi Ratia and her husband Viljo, Marimekko not only sparked an international revolution in post-WWII pattern and textile production but captured a new philosophy based on the power of design in everyday life – Marimekko was “a cultural phenomenon guiding the quality of living,” Armi recounted in 1962.
In Canada, a groundbreaking design studio called Karelia introduced Marimekko and contemporary Finnish design to international audiences. Named for the historical Finnish region and Armi Ratia’s birthplace, Karelia’s founder – architect, interior and industrial designer Janis Kravis – developed a close relationship with Marimekko’s early creative minds. Objects in the exhibition are primarily drawn from Karelia’s collections and archives.