After 72 years in the fashion game, Finnish heritage brand Marimekko just unveiled its first-ever denim collection, Maridenim, at Copenhagen Fashion Week
In 1968, Finnish designer Annika Rimala – who helmed Marimekko for 22 influential years, through to 1982 – designed the Tasarita jersey collection. “It was inspired to act as the perfect styling piece for denim,” Rebekka Bay, the brand’s current creative director tells me. Now, Marimekko – which has always produced inherently utilitarian and hard-working pieces – has delivered on denim itself, for the very first time.
The new category, named Maridenim, was unveiled yesterday on the brand's autumn/winter ‘24 runway at the National Gallery of Denmark. Amongst the splashes of colour and beloved, blown-up Unikko print (which the denim itself is not immune to), three denim cuts were unveiled with, in Bay's words, “three different, individual attitudes in mind”: the legacy straight, classic wide, and cool barrel, as well as two full looks – as selected to open the AW24 runway showcase.
“We wanted to design denim as if it were invented today,” says Bay. “Whenever we venture into a new category, we do so with the intent to address all aspects of the process, from raw material, to fabric, design, production, to care and repair, and after life and recyclability.”
We wanted to design denim as if it were invented today.
Rebekka Bay, creative director of Marimekko
To do so, Bay and the team decided to follow The Jeans Redesign guidelines by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which was developed based on principles of a circular economy by 80 experts from various NGOs, academia and the fashion and production industry. As a result, the denim is made with monomaterial cotton with no stretch, of which 80 per cent is organic cotton and 20 per cent recycled cotton.
Hardware is minimal across the designs, as per The Jeans Redesign recommendations, while the wash, finish and chemical treatment of the garments also follows the environment-conscious guidelines. And, of course, the wider AW24 collection that the denim pieces feature in was – in order to show on the Copenhagen Fashion Week schedule – in adherence with its stringent sustainability Minimum Standards.
When asked about what we can expect next from Maridenim, Bay responds with an elusive “watch this space”, describing the possibilities of the newly-launched line as “limitless”. “We now presented our first patterned denim styles with Unikko in the first drop, and an exclusive outline Unikko pattern,” she elaborates. “Considering that Marimekko’s archive consists of over 3,500 unique print designs and that we are exploring different natural dyes, as well as styles, I do not think we will run out of options any time soon.”