We could all use a bit of joy right now – and joy is exactly what inspired Uniqlo’s latest limited-edition collection with Marimekko. An ode to Finnish summer living, the apparel and accessories in the collection feature a selection of iconic prints from the Finnish design house combined with the signature functionality of Uniqlo’s LifeWear line. This drop, which launches online on May 7, marks the retailer’s third collaboration with Marimekko.
You might be wondering, what exactly is “Finnish summer living”? We posed the question to Uniqlo’s head of design, Rebekka Bay. “After the long cold winter, Finns embrace the precious rays of sunshine and the fresh breeze of early summer on their skin,” she says. “They enjoy family gatherings outdoors: swimming in the clear blue lake, picking berries and reading books in the tranquility.”
The collection draws from these traditions and the excitement of a long summer ahead. New styles introduced are V-neck maxi dresses in a linen-blend and cotton, and a lightweight pocketable parka in two lengths (it comes with a pouch for easy storage). Raffia-inspired accessories including a hat, a tote bag and espadrilles complete the look. “We wanted to use linen as a key material to create the summer feel in the collection,” adds Bay. “[It] allows us to keep cool and fresh in humid weather.”
All six prints in the collection were created by late Marimekko designers Maija Isola (1927-2001) and Annika Rimala (1936-2014), and each has its own unique origin story. The vibrant fruit print, inspired by the atmosphere of a market, was created by Isola in 1970, while the black-and-white “Laine” (wave) print was designed by Rimala in 1966 and showcases her graphic design background.
Like Uniqlo’s many other collections, these pieces are meant to be easily worn together or integrated into an existing wardrobe. What is Bay’s must-have from the line? “My go-to ‘uniform’ has always been a white shirt and it’s not a secret that I rarely wear pattern, but that said, the linen dress with Annika Rimala’s “Papajo” pattern is an absolute must have,” she says. “I’ll be wearing it oversized and unbelted, with black Birkenstocks for warm weather or easy slip-on mules.”
SHOP OUR PICKS HERE:
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.