Going back ten years, being a young art student, about to graduate, you find
out about this competition, set out by the legendary Marimekko company no
less. The brief is just perfect for your training - that is to design a pattern for
them. What's there to lose, you think, and perhaps you didn't have much time
(or talent) for a serious proposal, so you decide to source some old obscure
photos, trace the outlines, an voilà, that's your entry!
You may not have anticipated in your dreams winning the first prize, and being
offered a full-time designer position with Marimekko, but that's what happened,
and you went for it. The design soon becomes a 'classic' and appears on
fabrics, quilts, mouse pads, etc. And soon you're amongst the young hot
designers to take Marimekko to a new era, and you produce some decent
designs over the years. Too late to fess up.
And confess you didn't, even on Wednesday, when the cat was out of the bag -
you were busy explaining in which street corner you were at sketching the
design and some such. On Thursday Marimekko had to come clean, and to
admit the pattern is indeed based on a 1960's photo by Markus Leppo of The Esplanade
avenue in Helsinki.
Oh, Marimekko, bring back the strong director Armi Ratia and the strong designer Maija Isola.
(Before you lose what's left of your credibility.)
(this is just the last of the 'copying' scandals dragging Marimekko down this year)
Photo Markus Leppo, Pohjois Esplanadi, Helsinki, 1960's
I overlayed the Leppo photo with the Marimekko Hetkia mouse pad design.
Marimekko Hetkiä/Moments Mousepad, design by Maija Louekari
Marimekko Hetkiä/Moments Fabric, design by Maija Louekari