Design Icon: Marimekko Unikko Pattern


Design: Unikko Patern for Marimekko

Designer: Maija Isola (1927-2001)

Year: 1964

Country of Origin: Finland

Manufacturer: Marimekko

Fun Fact: Marimekko’s founder, Armi Ratia, wanted the company’s textile patterns to be bold and decidedly modern. As such, she famously forbade floral patterns from the company’s line of textiles—likely due to their old-fashioned and overtly feminine connotations. When Maija Isola designed the Unikko pattern, it was in direct defiance to this rule. The pattern proved that flowers could be both bold and modern—and it has become one of Marimekko’s top sellers and one of world’s most iconic patterns.

Purchase: $53/yard fabric at Marimekko

Further Reading: Marimekko: Fabrics, Fashion, Architecture by Marianne Aav

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg.


The designer is Maija Isola, just wanted to make that small correction :)


In the “fun fact” Maija’s name is still spelled incorrectly.


In the text it is still Maika ;).

I am glad that a Finnish design is known around the world.
In 2001 Kristina Isola was asked to reform the Unikko. Unfortunately Maija’s daughter Kristina was fired from Marimekko in 2013, after she was caught from plagiarism (plagiarize the work of Maria Primatshenko’s The Rat on Her Travels)

Grace Bonney


do you still see maika in the text? i changed it a while ago and am not seeing it anywhere– if you’re still seeing it could you hit refresh and see if that changes it?



Oh wow, wish I was in NYC for those talks at the Cooper Hewitt! Marimekko is one of my favorite inspirations for home decor and style- I have the Unikko sheets from Crate & Barrel. I didn’t even know Marimekko also made clothing until recently, when I happened upon their store location in Boston. Their dresses especially are so whimsical and great.