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Maija Isola started her career at the textile and fabric company Printex, but her career and designs had a real break-through when she started working at Marimekko. One could say that Maija Isola was one of the designers that made Marimekko famous, in part thanks to her unique design of the Unikko pattern in 1964.
The Unikko pattern was designed partly in protest, after Marimekko’s founder Armi Ratia banned floral patterns from all Marimekko designs. Cheeky Maija Isola rebelled against this by creating an entire collection of large, beautiful poppy flowers. Armi Ratia ended up liking the unique pattern and allowed it. The pattern was named Unikko after the Finnish word for poppy flowers and went on to become one of Marimekko’s biggest successes. The beautiful floral pattern can be found on anything from fabrics to clothes, porcelain, mouse pads and even planes.
Maija Isola’s designs were tremendously versatile and bold. Her designs were always ahead of time, making her a trendsetter in textile and pattern design. Throughout her career she designed more than 500 patters. Throughout the 1980’s, she designed a great deal of fabrics together with her daughter Kristina Isola, who now manages all designs and the legacy her mother Maija Isola left behind.