Marimekko has named former Gap creative chief Rebekka Bay as its new Creative Director, starting in September.
Bay has been Creative Director of the Uniqlo Global Innovation Center for the past three years and has split her time between New York and Tokyo in that role. But she has worked closely with Marimekko too — the Finnish company has released regular capsule collections through Uniqlo and Bay has been a member of Marimekko’s board since April 2017. But she will step down from that position when she takes up her new post.
Instead, she will be part of Marimekko’s Management Group, reporting to CEO Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko. She will also oversee Satu Maaranen, who will continue as Marimekko’s Head Designer of Ready-to-Wear, Bags and Accessories, and Minna Kemell-Kutvonen, who is Design and Product Development Director of Home Products and Prints.
She starts in her new job on September 1 with Alahuhta-Kasko saying: “I am extremely happy that the internationally recognized Rebekka Bay will join us in strengthening our global growth story. Rebekka is a visionary creative leader with a unique ability to combine a strong creative vision with commercial thinking”.
The chief executive also highlighted the global experience Bay has, and especially her knowledge of the Asian market. “In Marimekko, we have already for several years successfully modernized our brand and developed collections to appeal to a broader global audience,” she said. “Rebekka is well acquainted with Marimekko, and her versatile international experience and knowledge of the Asian markets will support our creative community in developing the appeal of our collections even further.”
As mentioned, Bay is currently at Uniqlo. She has previously worked as Head of Design and Product of Everlane in New York and San Francisco (2015–2017) as well as Creative Director EVP of Gap Global Design in New York (2012–2015). She has experience of other Scandinavian businesses too and was Creative Director of Bruuns Bazaar in Copenhagen (2011–2012) and Creative Director of Swedish giant H&M’s COS, being based in London (2006–2011). Her earlier experience was also in London where she started in trend forecasting.