Minä Perhonen – the Japanese Marimekko

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I was absolutely breathless with excitement when I came across the Japanese label Minä Perhonen. I love Marimekko and I love everything Japanese. And Minä Perhonen is the Japanese Marimekko 🙂 . It is a spectacular display of beautiful beautiful colours and patterns. I love it. I love it 🙂 .

Too late I found out that Akira Minigawa – the designer of Minä Perhonen – was actually in Copenhagen this April. As a butterfly dancing over the melting snow, there was an exciting event in the Danish concept store Black on Gammel Kongevej in Copenhagen. The event was called ‘black butterfly’ and it was showcasing Minä Perhonen’s universe with the variety of items ranging from women’s and children’s wear to home ware such as cushions and tableware. Minä Perhonen’s designer Akira Minagawa was present at the reception. If only I could turn back time…

Tokyo-based designer Akira Minagawa started his brand Minä in 1995, and changed the name to Minä Perhonen in 2003. Minagawa has become famous for his charming, hand-drawn prints (he has published several art books) and innovative use of textiles (he also creates furniture upholstery). Think of Minä Perhonen as Japan’s answer to Marimekko, albeit designed with a distinctly Japanese avant-garde appeal.

Minä Perhonen is a fashion brand working to produce clothes which do not lose their allure through lapse of time. The design process begins with sketches, which are made into original fabrics. Also, Minä Perhonen aspires to develop new materials and techniques with production centers home and abroad.

The name of the brand originates in Finnish as the designer sympathized with the lifestyle and the culture of Finland. He has travelled many times through northern European countries. ‘Minä’ means ‘I’ and ‘Perhonen’ means ‘butterfly’ – a wish to make many beautiful designs like those of butterflies’ wings. The brand logo signifies ‘various characters (dots) within oneself (rectangle shape).’ Just like the species of butterflies are countless, the designs too continue to increase.

2003: In collaboration with Danish furniture manufacturer Fritz Hansen (produces Arne Jacobsen’s classic Egg and Swan chairs)  Minä Perhonen presented furniture dressed with Minä Perhonen fabrics.

2006: Danish textile manufacturer Kvadrat released fabrics designed by Akira Minagawa.

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