Finland's Merimekko seeks Indian market with bold designs
Helsinki, June 17 (IANS) Leading Finnish textile and clothing design company Merimekko is keen to enter the Indian market and make a splash with its bold colours and designs, says its chief executive officer Mika Ihamuotila. Helsinki is known as the world's design capital.
Merimekko, a household name in Finland, has over 80 stores in 12 countries, including China and Japan. Buoyed by the response it received in Japan and China, Merimekko is now eyeing the Indian market.
"We are keen to enter the Indian market. We have heard so many positive stories about it. The Indian economic growth is amazing and we know it is the place to be in," Ihamuotila told IANS in an interview here.
Known for its bright and bold prints, the company this year opened its first store in Hong Kong and plans to start 13 more such stores in China.
"We want an Indian partner. We have heard about India and its vibrant people. Merimekko is about bright and bold colours and I have heard Indians are fascinated by bold colours," Ihamuotila said.
He said Marimekko is keen to increase its global visibility as a unique design brand and one that promotes original prints.
Apart from designing dresses for women, men and children, it is also into interior decoration - ranging from furnishing fabrics to tableware as well as bags and other accessories. When Marimekko was founded in 1951, its unparalleled printed fabrics gave it a strong and unique identity.
According to its website, brand sales of Marimekko products worldwide in 2011 amounted to approximately euro 170 million and the company's net sales were euro 77 million.
Merimekko made the first splash in the fashion industry in the 1960s and 1970s with its iconic Unikko or poppy print pattern in 1964.
The brand became world famous when Jacqueline Kennedy bought eight Merimekko dresses which she wore throughout the 1960 John F. Kennedy's US presidential campaign.
In the 1990s, the brand again got lots of publicity when in the popular "Sex and the City" series, one of the characters wore a Merimekko bikni.
"Marimekko is much more than a brand, it's about inspirational and quality lifestyle. We hope to bring this style to India, hopefully soon," added Ihamuotila.
(Kavita Bajeli-Datt can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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