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.

  1. Frida says:

    It`s Maija Isola not Maika Isola

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      sorry guys- we corrected the typo.


  2. K says:

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

  3. Karin says:

    Isn’t the name Maija Isola?

  4. Maija says:

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

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      click refresh- it was fixed about a minute after it went live. you’re viewing a cached version.


  5. Love Marimekko, they have a great store in NYC it’s worth a visit.

  6. Elina says:

    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)

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      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?


  7. Aoife says:

    Current Marimekko designers Aino-Maija Metsola, Mika Piirainen, and Sami Ruotsalainen are in New York next week for a series of talks and events at the Cooper Hewitt for any fans in the NYC area.

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      thanks aoife! we have a special post coming up on marimekko soon- inspired by the series :)


  8. Emmy says:

    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.

  9. Marnie says:

    I think this is a great feminist touch she left the world. Thanks for sharing the story!

  10. We have seen your blog and are so happy about your support of the Marimekko brand! Keep up the good work! Best wishes from Kiitos Marimekko @ NYC!


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