HELSINKI, Finland–Riitta Immonen, a founder of iconic Finnish textiles and clothing company Marimekko, died Aug. 24, The New York Times reported. She was 90.
Marimekko was founded when Immonen, a clothing designer running a couture dress shop, suggested that textiles designer Armi Ratia turn her bold patterned cotton cloth into dresses to promote sales. In May 1951, the two women showed 27 dresses designed by Immonen at a Helsinki restaurant, and they became a hit. However, Immonen sold her shares in the new company, preferring to work one-on-one in her dress shop, the Times said. Immonen later produced Cinderella, a line of stylish uniforms, and, in the late 1960s, a ready-to-wear line called Riitta Immonen Sport.
She is survived by a brother, three children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.