May 27, 2014 1 Comment
Translated literally, Marimekko means “Mary-dress”, but it has other connotations as well. Mekko is an old Finnish word that means “little girl’s dress” which suited the fresh, new look of Marimekko in 1951, while at the same time connecting to Finnish tradition. There is further resonance in the name: “Mari” is an anagram for “Armi”, thus linking the company closely to its charismatic founder, Armi Ratia. The depth of association of the company name extends to the names chosen for the fabric patterns and fashions. While many are straightforward, others defy translation. Some may have been chosen for their phonetic qualities or are deliberate misspellings that will be understood only by Finns as either humorous or old-fashioned. Others are in dialect or are old adages that may be unfamiliar today even to Finns. These will still have a phonetic impact or emotional content for most Finns, but probably not for others.