This isn’t the first time.

Marimekko fends off new plagiarism claims

The Finnish design firm Marimekko is facing fresh plagiarism allegations over a new pattern launched this autumn. The iconic design company has come under heavy scrutiny recently since one of its long-standing designers admitted to plagiarism back in May.

The bag pictured on the left was purchased in Barcelona in 2001 and was manufactured by a spanish company; the Marimekko design “Moments” on the right appeared in 2003. Image: Yle / Marimekko

Professor and artist Heljä Liukko-Sundström suspects that the new Marimekko print is a copy of her own work. However she says she’s not prepared to take the matter to the courts.

“Marimekko copies others’ designs,” she stated flatly.

Heljä Liukko-Sundström has been a designer for the Arabia brand, best known for its avant-garde ceramics and flatware, since 1962, and is an acclaimed artist in her own right.

Marimekko denies cover up

Marimekko denied that the pattern had been copied and that the matter had been covered up. The company later said that it had been in talks with Liukko-Sundström but had not discussed the matter with her.

Marimekko also disclosed that the artist had proposed a private settlement of the matter.

The design firm said it has rigorously and comprehensively documented the creation of the contested pattern, known as “Kuuskajaskari”, including its conception, design and its sources of inspiration.

It added that the fabric was the result of cooperation by many professionals. Fabric designer Aino-Maija Metsola said in a Marimekko release that she was proud of the work and of the finished product.

Questions surface over new case

Meanwhile another Marimekko design appearing to be a copy was pointed out by a Finnish woman who has asked to remain anonymous.

The woman said that she was surprised to see a Marimekko pattern known as “Moments”(“Hetkiä”) launched in 2003, that seemed identical to a print on bag that she had purchased in Barcelona in 2001. The bag had been produced by a company in Catalonia.

The 2003 Marimekko print had been designed by Maija Louekari. When contacted by Yle Wednesday evening, Marimekko said it would issue a statement on the matter Thursday.  Yle was not able to contact Louekari.



2 Responses

  1. That image is from Helsinki city center, near the corner of Fabianinkatu and Etelä-Esplanadi — there’s no question about it.

    Now the question is did someone from Catalania come to Finland, draw the image, press the bag and have Louekari see the bag so that she could make a version of it with less color and detail…


    Did a random tourist remember wrong the year and place of purchase of a bag she/he has had for over 10 years? Do we have any proof that the bag was bought from Catalania in 2001 and not 2003 or later? Like images of the person carrying the bag in Barcelona back in 2001 or anywhere before 2003?

    What’s your bet?

    1. It sounds like someone is desperate to believe anything in hope that it’s true. For me, it’s just an interesting story, especially in light of the recent PROVEN case of plagiarism by a Marimekko print. I fail so see how anyone can pin point any city from the pattern, it could very well be any major city in Scandinavia, or even from the island territory of Curaçao Netherlands Antilles.

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