I ask my colleagues to tell me if I start to smell like a vintage store!
Almost a year ago, Anna Teurnell was appointed as Creative Director of Marimekko – the Finnish brand that was founded back in 1951 by Armi Ratia. Prior to her new position, Anna was Head of Design at & Other Stories, and prior to that she spent several years working for H&M within brand management and design.
A few weeks ago, Anna showcased her very first collection for Marimekko and we took the opportunity to ask her some questions about fashion, style – and what things she does to make it last.
How would your mom describe your style?
– Oh, I am not sure. But she often appreciates that I add “guldkant på vardagen” (Swedish saying, something like “makes a weekday brighter”). One of the best things about my mother is that she puts this little extra effort into her everyday life. At home; in a table setting; at parties; in the way she dresses herself. That’s what I love about Marimekko as well – adding that little extra in order to bring beauty to the everyday life.
Name an element that’s typical for your style?
– I love a good coat, a printed dress, a men’s shirt, men’s style pants.
Most revolutionary fashion memory?
– Wanting to wear high heels as a really young girl. I loved the sound of high heels on asphalt. The ultimate sound of being an adult. Because I didn’t have any, I made some myself out of planks, tape and textile. It was fantastic to realize my own vision, and that feeling is still what inspires me every day in my work.
In what way is fashion present in your life?
– I appreciate good qualities and a good fit, and like it when shapes and silhouettes change in time. How something you don’t like so much or have forgotten about suddenly looks super interesting again. Like wide 70s pants do now, for example.
When designing clothes, is sustainability something you have in mind? If so, in what way?
– I enjoy making pieces that last long, have a sense of timelessness in them and are of high quality. These things have been some of the key elements of Marimekko design ever since the company was founded and that’s what I find important looking forward as well. When I find qualities that are sustainable I prefer them. Like organic cotton and wool with recycled wool in it, for example.
How do you reason when you shop for clothes or beauty products?
– I only buy things that I really love. I don’t shop so much on sale, for example. I try to plan and invest in things I will love and wear for a long time. I have really changed my way of shopping and wearing clothes. I almost always invest in good design with a strong idea behind it, because then I will love it and wear it very often.
– I also buy a lot of vintage and I like the idea of recycling things. For example, I have a vintage Marimekko dress from the 1960s – older than me – that I still wear a lot. I have sometimes asked my friends and colleagues to tell me if I start to smell like a vintage store – that’s how much vintage I wear! I like Emmaus, Myrorna and auctions like Bukowskis market, but I also love to stop by flea markets when I pass them when traveling around.
What’s the best advice about how to live life in better balance with nature that you’ve ever been given?
– To me it means investing in things you really like and using them a lot. Eating more greens and buying a lot of organic food. I used to be a vegetarian for quite a long time but now I eat meat every now and then. Not very often though.
– To me it also means shopping in stores that offer more than only shopping – stores that offer a complete and enjoyable experience, and inspiration. I appreciate good service and a beautiful environment. I like nice grocery stores and bakeries with lovely bread, for instance. I search for raw food restaurants and can walk that extra mile to get good coffee.
What is your best sustainable product?
– Maybe my Marimekko dress from the 1960s. Must be very eco-friendly to be a relevant dress for such a long time.
What inspires you?
– My sons, my family, friends, culture, music, good food, beautiful clothes, craft, nice homes, nature, the sun, snow, books, magazines, vintage stores, horses… At the moment I’m extremely inspired by the archives of prints and photos at Marimekko. Did you know we have more than 3 500 prints in the archive?
Name: Anna Teurnell
Occupation: Creative Director at Marimekko
Current projects in life: Building a summer house in Roslagen just by the sea.
Motto in life: I don’t have a motto but I try to combine things I love in life: my family, my work and my friends.
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