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By
AFP
Published
Aug 25, 2008
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Founder of Finnish Marimekko dies at age of 90

By
AFP
Published
Aug 25, 2008


Les deux fondatrices de Marimekko
Photo : Marimekko
HELSINKI, Aug 25, 2008 (AFP) - Riitta Immonen, one of the two founders of Finnish fashion and textile design company Marimekko known for its bold and colourful prints, has died at the age of 90, her biographer said on Monday August 25th.

"She died last night (Sunday), her son called me," Ritva Koskennurmi-Sivonen, a University of Helsinki lecturer who wrote three books about Immonen and what she meant to the fashion and textile industry, told AFP.

"She was not so interested in designing clothes but in dressing people. She was inspired by people," Koskennurmi-Sivonen said.

Immonen opened her first design boutique in 1942 with a friend, and then in 1951 she and Armi Ratia started up Marimekko to sell fabrics made by Finnish textile firm Printex.

"She had a nose for new things."

She left Marimekko some years later, but continued to design clothes her entire life. In 1987-1990 she was still designing unique dresses for a company called Atelierika.

Koskennurmi-Sivonen's latest book, entitled "Fashion Artist Riitta Immonen" was published on May 13, on Immonen's 90th birthday, when an exhibit about her opened at the Design Museum as part of the celebrations.

"She took it all calmly. She was always a cool and calm lady."

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