Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes, by Jane Thompson and me, has finally arrived. To whet your appetite for its many charms, a slideshow at Co. featuring 11 of the hundreds of design icons Ben Thompson brought together and sold to to an admiring public at the iconic Cambridge, New York and San Francisco stores.
D/R’s biggest claim to fame was introducing Finnish textile manufacturer Marimekko to the United States in 1959. The easy cotton dresses in bold, bright patterns became a craze, particularly after Jackie Kennedy was photographed in one on the cover of Sports Illustrated. For many women they were a liberation, since they looked good without benefit of girdle. Thompson and Marimekko founder Armi Ratia became fast friends; key 'mekko designers like Annika Rimala and Maija Isola produced new patterns and silhouettes annually, and their arrival was an event in Harvard Square.