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Marimekko names new head designer of ready-to-wear

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Jan 9, 2018


Finnish design company, Marimekko, known for its original prints and colours, has named Satu Maaranen as head designer of ready-to-wear, bags and accessories, with immediate effect.

Maaranen, a graduate of Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, is an international award-winning and experienced designer, she won the Grand Prix at the Hyères Fashion Festival in France, and has been designing clothes and prints for Marimekko since 2010, but will now join as the full-time head designer.

Succeeding Anna Teurnell, who exited as creative director last February, Maaranen will be responsible for the direction and visual aspects of the design for Marimekko's ready-to-wear, bags and accessories, and she will also work closely with Minna Kemell-Kutvonen, who is in charge of Marimekko’s print design and home collection. Both report to Marimekko president and chief executive Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko.

Commenting on the appointment, Alahuhta-Kasko said: “We wanted to find the most suitable approach to design management for us. Marimekko is known as one of the world's first lifestyle brands, and our design has been based from the start on the idea of a community in which designers from different backgrounds create something new together. We believe this is still unique in our field.

“Satu Maaranen's highly international profile and experience, and – above all – her fresh and modern views on the direction of Marimekko's ready-to-wear, bag and accessory design were decisive factors in her selection. Satu's vision and ambition are exquisitely combined with her knowledge of our form idiom and our heritage of design. I believe that this combination will be a great asset as we build Marimekko internationally as a phenomenon that engages an ever-wider clientele.”

Finnish label Marimekko appoints Satu Maaranen as head designer

Maaranen added: “I’m excited about my appointment and having the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of pioneering Marimekko designers. 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.”

As well as designing in the past for Marimekko, Maaranen also worked for international brands including Petit Bateau and Exception de Mixmind. In addition, she is one of the founders of Pre Helsinki, an organisation focusing on the internationalisation of Finnish fashion designers.

Rebekka Bay, a member of Marimekko’s board of directors, commented: “Satu Maaranen, who was chosen from among several excellent international candidates, has the fresh vision and great passion to drive the development of the global relevance of Marimekko’s ready-to-wear, bag and accessory collections. She is already familiar with Marimekko’s creative community and has a deep knowledge of its art of print making, which I think is a major advantage.”

Marimekko, founded in 1951 is currently sold in around 40 countries and has 160 stores. In 2016, brand sales of the products worldwide amounted to 199 million euros and the company's net sales were close to 100 million euros. The label’s key markets are Northern Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

Image: Marimekko Facebook