Bold & joyful: Marimekko’s new home line for summer

Famous design house Marimekko is set to release a collection of summer apparel and home decor at Target on April 17th.

Marimekko for Target

When Target announced its latest designer collaboration with Finnish design house Marimekko, Julie Guggemos, Target’s Senior Vice President, Product Design and Development, described the collection in one word: “Joy.”

“It’s all about play,” Guggemos said.

Though the 200-piece collection—available April 17, with prices ranging from $8 to $500—will feature sure-to-please clothes, swim suits, shoes, and bags for women and children in Marimekko’s signature bold, vibrant prints, the real show-stoppers are the pieces for home and outdoors.

The bright yellow, pink, and orange patio table runners, napkins, and plates (seen above) capture the essence of every happy summer meal, surrounded by friends and a sun setting in the multicolored sky.

Marimekko products on a child and young model

Black and white stand-up paddle board ($500) Marimekko for Target

Then there’s the black-and-white stand-up paddle board (topping the price points at $500) is not only eye-catching, they’re just too much fun to be missed. A day spent exercising in the water never looked so good. (While you’re at it, why not get the matching beach tote?)

But the family fun doesn’t stop there. Marimekko’s line will also include a white and blue “ric-rac” striped child’s tent. Complete with a string of patterned flags, the tent invites us all back to those summer days spent building forts, camping, or simply escaping the hot sun in cool shade with a good book. That they offer bright blue patterned pillows and “poofs” to recline on, all the better.

While tents and water toys may seem unlikely elements for a design collaboration, it’s completely in keeping with Marimekko’s values. Both as an outdoor-loving Finnish company and as a design house that believes: “Without courage there is no creativity … It helps to be brave if you don’t take things too seriously—and especially not yourself.”

Marimekko’s blue tent for children

Marimekko for Target

Marimekko has been courageous in their bold-designs since Viljo Ratia founded Printex in 1949. Ratia’s wife, Armi, had a vision for fabrics that included the bold and joyful. So she hired artists to design fabrics. Among them was Maija Isola, who designed Amfora, Printex’s first fabric. Together, Armi Ratia and Isola created the fashion line that would become Marimekko in 1951.

The clothes were a hit throughout Europe and exploded in America when Jackie Kennedy was photographed in a Marimekko shift at a marina for the cover of Sports Illustrated. Summer fun and Marimekko have gone joyfully hand-in-hand ever since.

Of course, the joy may get tested a bit for customers and Target alike when the line launches on April 17.

Last year’s Lilly Pulitzer collaboration launch created frustration for in-store and online customers when shoppers were met with Black Friday-like crazed crowds and online customers with a shut-down website. Target hadn’t prepared for the popularity of the line. Even though, according to many, Target might have gauged the frenzy from the social media buzz, as well as the success of previous collaborations, which have included Missoni, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Alexander McQueen designs at Target prices.

Either way, the brand misjudged the popularity of the Lilly Pulitzer line, causing a collection that was meant to last weeks to sell out in only a day. Target acknowledged their mistakes—as well as Targets frustration at customers who immediately put their recently purchased items up for sale on Ebay at hugely inflated prices.

Still, it’s exciting. Though we didn’t need another reason to look forward to summers at the beach and cookouts in the yard, this “happy modern” collection from Marimekko for Target certainly gives us a couple hundred more.

Caryn Rivadeneira
Caryn Rivadeneira
Caryn Rivadeneira is the author of five books and is a columnist for Her.meneutics and ThinkChristian. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, three kids, and one red-nose pit bull. Visit her at carynrivadeneira.com.