Just weeks after Anna Teurnell was detailing her plans for & Other Stories's upcoming expansion to the U.S., news broke that the designer is departing to take up the role of creative director at Marimekko. A longtime employee of H&M, the parent company of & Other Stories, Teurnell will begin position at the Finnish fashion house in July.
Current Marimekko creative director Minna Kemell-Kutvonen will stay on in the company to work on its "core competence," print design, CEO Mika Ihamuotila said in a release.
As she's proven at & Other Stories, Teurnell has a knack for creating exceptionally cool, understated (dare we say "Scandinavian") collections that resonate with women today. While Teurnell will be working within Marimekko's bright, quirky sensibility, she could well lend the brand a chicer vibe. And the designer is no stranger to Marimekko: She grew up with the brand and in 2008 created H&M's "Tribute to Marimekko" collection.
Does that mean the brand will soon have broader consumer appeal? Potentially, though Ihamuotila said back in 2012 that Marimekko doesn't aim to be mainstream.
“When we inspire our designers, we always say to them, 'Never try to please the market. Don’t do something you think is trendy today,'" he said. "I often as a CEO say, 'Let’s not be too commercial and please that segment of the market. Go to your own sensitivities, go to your own art, and do something that you think is relevant at this moment.'”
At this point, Marimekko is better known for the iconic prints it developed in the '60s rather than for its current collections — the brand's last runway show took place in September of 2012. & Other Stories may not be commercial in the same way H&M is, but Teurnell knows how to make product that sells. This just might put Marimekko on the map again.