Lifestyle & Belief

Marimekko makes a splash at New York Fashion Week


Legendary model Carmen Dell'Orefice, 81, awaits her turn at the make-up table backstage at the Marimekko spring-summer 2013 show during New York fashion week. Dell'Orefice, regarded by many as the original supermodel, walked the Norisol Ferrari and Marimekko shows back to back.


Robert MacPherson

Marimekko made a splash at New York Fashion Week in more ways than one. 

The legendary Finnish textile-maker and clothing company showed it's first-ever collection at NYFW on Monday, Helsinki-based website Helsingin Sanomat reported

Established in 1951, the company exploded in the 1960s after then-first lady Jacqueline Kennedy was seen sporting their dresses, the Telegraph reported.

However, the company has remained relatively small, operating just 90 stores worldwide according to Bloomberg Businessweek

"This fashion show is a big investment for a company of our size," said Marimekko's Marketing Director Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko. 

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The company, which showed their Spring-Summer 2013 collection, made another bold move by having 81-year-old supermodel Carmen Dell'Orefice trot down the runway in their clothes, Agence France Presse reported. Many consider Dell'Orefice, a former Dali muse who lost her life savings in the Bernie Madoff financial scandal, to be the "original supermodel." 

"You know, Marimekko has a philosophy of encouraging people to be who they are and not to hide your identity," the company's president, Mika Ihamuotila, explained of their model casting process. "So we wanted only to have only models share our values, who have their own identity. Not the arrogant-looking, cold 17 year olds."

"We wanted people with life experience, whether they are young or old," Ihamuoltila continued, according to the Telegraph. "And people who can smile. I hate fashion shows where you see anorexic girls who don't show their personality. That would not be right for Marimekko."

We like that refreshing attitude. 

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