I spent the last year working on a book about Marimekko and its founder, Armi Ratia, who, 70 years ago, set out to change the world with textiles. This wasn’t premeditated; her husband bought an oilcloth firm, and Ratia, who had been planning to leave advertising to write a novel, joined with him in the new venture. She had some experience working with fabrics, but more importantly, the strong-willed Ratia had a vision. Inspired by the Bauhaus, she aimed to uplift daily life through quality design.
In 1941, Helsinki, though war-torn, was home to many idealistic and creative Finns who