From porcelain to jewelery. A link with tradition and a leap towards innovation, starting from the magical setting of the Villa of the same name in Milan - the rapid rise of the luxury and lifestyle brand.Text by Donatella Zappieri
In its three hundred years Meissen, founded in 1710 thanks to King Augustus II Forte, was initially developed as the first porcelain manufacturer in Europe to then become a luxury brand and contemporary company with a collection of products ranging from table and home accessories, to lines of fine jewelry and recently also accessories and high fashion.
Meissen production still has its headquarters in Saxony (Germany), in the historic production unit. Housed here is the competence center for the production of fine porcelain objects and components used for the various creations of jewelry and high fashion. The group employs approximately 650 employees worldwide and has been owned by the free state of Saxony Vacant since 1918.
In Milan, Italy, Meissen decided to create its own strategic center for developing products such as Couture, Joaillerie and Home. Here, an international distribution center and flag-ship of the group has been set up: Villa Meissen. The space is located in a historic internal courtyard in Via Montenapoleone, a refined and elegant address for the most demanding customers.
We asked Paolo Novembri, manager of the important luxury and high jewelry section and for two years Chairman of Meissen Italy, the reason for chosing Milan as "headquarters" of image and product development. "Five years ago the decision to relaunch the brand globally was made in order to create a lifestyle concept, starting from the incredible history and cultural tradition of the brand, which could effectively interpret the needs of an international consumer. This great effort had to begin from Milan, as the capital of a culture of luxury, life-style, quality and product craftsmanship."
For the launch of the fine jewelry line, the most important challenge was to figure out how to integrate a centuries old tradition of ceramic production in a design that could speak to the female body and integrate not only the stylistic identity of the brand but also the demands of the taste and style of a cosmopolitan clientele.
As Novembri explains, "every Meissen product has iconographic elements from its tradition within that give the collection a strong product identity and perfectly represent the philosophy of the brand itself. Tradition, however, is not everything. It is also important to look to a global market and a consumer who likes to choose. The continuous search for materials, observation, and interpretation of trends, innovation in forms and colors are all part of the everyday life of the Meissen team. A significant example is the Meissen Gem. A fusion of elements of hand-painted porcelain that incorporate diamonds and blend with rock crystal, which, set in gold, are unique pieces. "
Thus comes the collection "My Little Mystery" which has recently been extended, with unique jewels, eye-catching and timeless, where triumphant porcelain, finely hand-painted in an alchemical style in pleasant pastel shades and then covered with rock crystal. These individual precious pieces, shaped by the skilled hands of German craftsmen combine with rows of princess cut diamonds, gemstones of the most appropriate cuts and colors to create an elegant harmonic sequence of timeless jewels. Another remarkable collection of Meissen jewelry is the 1739 Royal Blossom Collection. The target audience is younger, but no less demanding in terms of quality and refinement. The line is inspired by viburnum flowers, which King Augustus II of Saxony used to give to his wife, Maria Josepha. It is a new way of thinking about jewelry, where simplicity and a more informal character become eye-catching elements of charm.
Flower ring in diamond pavé with white ceramic element covered in rock crystal
The pug pendant has always been an icon of Meissen collections.
Kombi ring with three diamond pavé flowers and pink gold
Novembri explains that "Meissen has two souls: both strong and distinct. An artistic and cultural soul represented by unique pieces of porcelain chosen each year from our immense historical archives and brought back to life by very limited reproduction and the other more modern, contemporary which instead follows trends and seasonality of luxury products. "
Novembri adds that Meissen, a rapidly growing company, which started with twelve stores in Germany and Villa Meissen in Milan, inaugurated an exhibition space in 2013 for the home collection at Harrods in London and in June it opened a store in Beirut. Openings are scheduled before the end of the year in Moscow, Baku, Beijing, Istanbul and soon new openings in the Middle East region are to be announced. In short, there are big milestones on the horizon for Meissen and valuable continuity in a tradition of centuries.