Vuokko Nurmesniemi

Vuokko Hillevi Lilian Eskolin-Nurmesniemi (born 12 February 1930 in Helsinki) is a Finnish textile designer. She is best known for her work as one of the two leading designers of the Marimekko company. Her signature striped Jokapoika shirt helped to make the company's name.

Vuokko Eskolin-Nurmesniemi
Vuokko and Antti Nurmesniemi (right) receiving a medal from the Finnish minister of education Jussi Saukkonen in 1965.
Vuokko Hillevi Lilian Eskolin

(1930-02-12) 12 February 1930 (age 90)
Alma materInstitute of Industrial Arts (Helsinki)
Known forTextile design at Marimekko
Antti Nurmesniemi (died 2003)


Vuokko Eskolin-Nurmesniemi studied ceramics at the Institute of Industrial Arts (in Finnish: Taideteollinen oppilaitos) in Helsinki, Finland. After graduating, she designed glassware and ceramics for Arabia and Nuutajärvi. In 1957, she received a gold medal at the Milan Triennial XI for her glassware.[1]

Vuokko Eskolin-Nurmesniemi joined the Finnish company Marimekko in 1953. She designed patterns for many of their printed fabrics in the 1950s; together with Maija Isola, she was responsible for most of Marimekko's patterns.[2][3] Nurmesniemi's signature product was a simply striped red and white shirt named Jokapoika, in 1956; she went on to create a large number of striking designs.[4]

Nurmesniemi left Marimekko in 1960 due to conflicts with Marimekko founder Armi Ratia.[5] She founded her own company, Vuokko Oy, in 1964, and designed textiles as well as ready-to-wear clothing and accessories.[1] This company closed its doors in 1988. In 1990 Nurmesniemi founded a second company, Vuokko Nurmesniemi Oy.[6]

She received the Milan Triennial XIII grand prix[7] and Lunning Prize for design in 1964, the Prince Eugen Medal in 1986 and the Kaj Franck Design Prize in 1997.[citation needed]

She was married to designer Antti Nurmesniemi until his death in 2003.

Museums and exhibitionsEdit

A selection of her designs are in the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[8]

In the summer of 2009, the Röhsska museum in Gothenburg, Sweden, held an exhibition of her designs.[9]


Ted Hesselbom of the Swedish Röhsska Museum wrote of Vuokko's Retrospective in 2009:[10]

Vuokko Nurmesniemi's collections for fashion and interior design have a strong graphic and colourful design. Their style and expression is clearly from the same era as Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko and Roy Lichtenstein.[10]


  • Jackson, Lesley. Twentieth Century Pattern Design. Princeton Architectural Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1-56898-712-5


  1. ^ a b Hiesinger, Kathryn B.; Marcus, George H., eds. (1983). "Biographies of Designers". Design Since 1945. Philadelphia Museum of Art. p. 229. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  2. ^ Jackson, 2007, page 128
  3. ^ Finn Guide Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine Vuokko Nurmesniemi - Fashion Designer. 25 May 2007. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  4. ^ Marimekko Timeline Archived 2011-10-27 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 30 October 2011
  5. ^ Jackson, Leslie (2003). "Textile Patterns in an International Context: Precursors, Contemporaries, and Successors". In Aav, Marianne (ed.). Marimekko: Fabrics, Fashion, Architecture. Yale University Press, for the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, New York, and the Design Museum, Finland. pp. 66, 82. ISBN 9780300101836.
  6. ^ "Design x Finland Participants". VUOKKO. Hirameki. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  7. ^ "The golden age of Finnish design at the Triennales - Forthzine - Jonas Forth ". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  8. ^ Metropolitan Museum of Art: Vuokko Eskolin-Nurmesniemi. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  9. ^ Kristoffersson, Sara (25 July 2009). "Kultur på tvären". Svenska Dagbladet. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Hirameki Design Finland". Vuokko. Retrieved October 12, 2012.

External linksEdit