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Five Things to Know About Marimekko’s New Creative Director

Photos: Marimekko

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Target's spring collab is almost here: the Marimekko for Target collection launches in stores and online this Sunday, April 17th. This capsule includes some firsts for the Finnish design house, including the first time Marimekko’s ever made bicycles, deck chairs, and boccee ball sets.

Beyond all the Target hoopla, Marimekko’s also been busy reinventing its women’s ready-to-wear collections, thanks to the appointment of creative director Anna Teurnell. Here are five facts to know about the new director and what's next for the 65-year-old brand:

#1: Last worked at & Other Stories

Teurnell was the head of design at & Other Stories for three years, and prior to that she worked as a design director at H&M. The fast fashion veteran even helped design the H&M x Marimekko collection in 2008.

But she says she faces a different set of challenges at Marimekko. "& Other Stories was created from scratch, whereas at Marimekko I have a powerful heritage to lean on," she told Racked. "In both jobs, however, having a great team around me, trusting my intuition and keeping the customer in mind in order to give her a great product and lots of inspiration have been key things."

#2 Drawn to Marimekko for its history

The designer said she's grown up with Marimekko, and that's why she wanted to work with the brand. "What I really appreciate about Marimekko is that it is one of the few heritage brands in the Nordic countries," Teurnell said. "The history of the brand is an endless source of inspiration for the design team – we have an archive of 3,500 prints here in Helsinki – yet it is also interesting to find ways to translate Marimekko’s design philosophy in a way that is relevant today. This dialogue is very inspiring to me."

#3 Her job is to evolve the brand

That means updated materials, modernized colorful silhouettes, and collections with pieces that can be mixed and matched. Marimekko also recently launched new categories like shoes and sunglasses.

"In my mind, the secret to success for brands with heritage lies in their ability to translate their original emotion in a relevant way at each particular time," Marimekko’s president Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko told Racked.

#4 First full collection is out now

"The first collection I directed entirely is Spring / Summer 2016, although some of my influence was seen in the Fall / Winter 2015 collection as well," Teurnell said. Marimekko's also been showing its latest collections during fashion week in Paris now, with elements from its home collection.

#5 She's dialing back the prints too.

Her vision involves wardrobe building blocks, along with the iconic prints. "In addition to printed garments, I have also introduced more solid pieces to our collections," she said. "I find it important to be able to balance the collections with them and to be able to offer our customers everything they need to build a great wardrobe that lasts time."

Photo: Marimekko creative director Anna Teurnell and Marimekko’s president Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko