Annika Rimala studied graphic arts at the Institute of Industrial Arts of Helsinki. Her neighbor noticed Annika's design-eye early on and encouraged her to work at Marimekko. Her first job at Marimekko was in the children’s department in 1959, and within one year her focused attitude led her to a design position in the factory. Eventually Rimala became Marimekko’s chief fashion designer and her innovative ideas led to her reign the design department for over 20 years from 1960 to 1982.