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.