In today's designer spotlight, meet Maija Loukari! Maija designs home decor fabrics for world famous brand Marimekko.
Maia has designed many of Marimekko's most iconic prints, like this Rsymatto Cotton Black Fabric.
This Finnish broadcloth fabric features a crisp hand and bold prints that are perfect for mod apparel creations like crisp button-downs, lined dresses and skirts, bags, and lighter home decor uses like curtains, toss pillows, duvet covers, and more.
Marimekko's fabric quality is second to none. Check out this behind the scenes look at Marimekko's amazing fabric dye process!
Q&A with Maija Louekari
Now let's get to know Maija Louekari!
When did you realize you had a passion for art and design?
There wasn’t a real moment when I realized it. I have always loved everything beautiful in life; like music, colours in the sky or fantastic interior.
Describe your aesthetic in 3 words.
Bright colours. 50 shades of white. Flowers.
What was the inspiration behind your latest fabric release?
The Kaalimetsä (cabbage forest) fabric I designed for Marimekko’s Fall 2018 collection is inspired by our own home garden here in Helsinki. We have lots of kale there; it looks like a miniature forest.
How did you first partner with Marimekko? How has Marimekko helped bring your designs to life on fabric?
In 2003 I won a design competition co-organised by Marimekko and the University of Art and Design Helsinki. The pattern that I designed for the competition, Hetkiä (moments), is still part of Marimekko’s fabric collection. We designers have a great freedom in designing new patterns with different kinds of hand drawn techniques. Marimekko’s design studio is located in the same building with the in-house printing factory where 1 million meters of fabric is printed every year – this allows us designers to work closely with the craftsmen printing our designs to fabric step by step.
If you had to choose one favorite fabric from all of your designs, what would it be and why?
That changes all the time as I tend to like the most my latest designs. The dearest Marimekko project for me was the designs I did for Marimekko’s Oiva (superb) tableware series that was launched in 2009. I first designed the prints that were inspired by small city gardens in Helsinki to match the shapes of ceramics. Later the same prints were scaled for fabrics and other products too.
What are your current favorite trends in home décor or DIY?
Functionality first in home décor too: anything to hide all the Legos we have currently on the floor at home.
What do you love most about creating a DIY project with your fabric (or seeing customers creating DIY projects with your fabric)?
I love to see customers creating DIY projects with my fabric that are meaningful for them and that bring joy to the everyday life. I would be honored to see for example a blanket created for a newborn baby with one of my fabrics.
What other blogs/brands/designers inspire you most?
From home décor, I like Danish brand Hay and visit their store always when I have a chance. From fashion, I love Balenciaga and Vetements!
What’s coming up for you in 2018/2019? What’s next?
Marimekko’s Oiva (superb) tableware and its Siirtolapuutarha (city garden) prints will have their 10th anniversary next year. I have designed a new print to celebrate this milestone and we have other celebratory items in the making too.
What do you love to do when you aren’t designing and creating?
Bicycling next to the sea here in Helsinki with my kids and husband. And eat everything colourful, especially now during summer!
Tell us one thing people might not know about you.
Maija: I eat chocolate every day.
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