Vogue: What’s your history with Marimekko?
Rebekka Bay: Of course, I have known Marimekko my entire life growing up in Denmark…. When I visited Marimekko the first time, which was probably five years ago [when I joined the board], there was this immediate wanting to be part of something that is bigger than just—and I’m saying that in quotation marks—just fashion. [Sometimes] you have these turning points in your life when you visit a place and you [meet] with people where you immediately feel that there’s a connection. I was already in love with Finnish design, I’m a huge [Alvar] Aalto fan, so it was a short distance to fall in love with Marimekko and the city [Helsinki]. I fell in love with the people, and the brand, and the printing mill—this idea of printing fabric in your headquarters.
How do you make the leap from the minimalism of a Cos, say, to the print explosion that is Marimekko?
I have always admired Marimekko prints the same way as I [do] furniture, architecture, and art. For me, Marimekko was always about creating great art that was applied to a canvas—and the canvas just happened to be a dress. I love all the components of Marimekko, this idea that a dress is something you can run in, [that a] dress will have pockets, and [be] versatile, and for every day: It’s my entire belief system in fashion. I have this opportunity now to apply great art, or great wearable art, to ready-to-wear. I feel like I’m just celebrating diving into this archive of prints. A lot of Marimekko prints are super bold, very architectural, very graphic, which is everything that I have always used as reference.