This is shaping up to be a stellar year for Italian brand Kartell; opening this week, the company’s first London flagship store will introduce a new lifestyle concept to the brand’s retail offering.
‘London has been our goal for years,’ says Lorenza Luti, marketing and retail director of the family company. After almost two years of searching for the right location, the brand’s space is now opening its doors on Brompton Road, in the heart of the eponymous Design District.
Planned as a mini department store, the shop will be home to the brand’s Habitat lines as well as the table range, home fragrances and fashion collections. ‘We want to show the different souls of the company,’ adds Luti. ‘Not just mix and match the products, but to identify them to give a 360 degree view of what we can offer.’
Luti stresses how important the city is for the brand: ‘London is an international platform, reaching territories such as the Middle East and Asia, and acting as a base for some of our most important contract projects, the fulcrum of a network.’
The lifestyle component is ever more important to Kartell, and the new space will enhance this element by presenting the brand’s complete vision. ‘We have a strong brand that can easily stretch beyond furniture,’ notes Luti. Its roots lie both in plastics and in a playful take on design, as exemplified by the recent Memphis collection, which will be a prominent feature in the new store. Kartell’s homage to the late Ettore Sottsass – and the Italian designer’s signature colorful geometric forms – takes shape as a collection of previously unreleased vases and stools designed in 2006. The range also includes a series of chairs in distinctive fabrics by Sottsass and fellow Memphis designers.