Who thinks Meissen, thinks royal porcelain. Undeniably. Moreover, this city of Germany has acquired all its reputation and became a luxury symbol, thanks to the tercentenary house of fine porcelain that bears its name, Meissen. Evolving over time, the Group has diversified its products and created the Meissen Couture House. On the occasion of the upcoming opening of its first store in Beirut and the Middle East, Paolo Novembri tells Prestige the story of the metamorphosis of the porcelain maker into a fashion and lifestyle stylist, combining royalty, modernity, culture and nobility.
Paolo Novembri, CEO Sales & Distribution, Meissen Italia
You speak of Meissen Couture Group, while Meissen is historically known for its Royal porcelain … Meissen was founded in August 1710, 300 years back, by the King of Saxony. It was the first Western company and the largest producing white porcelain in Europe, after China. Its production was for the royal family, unique pieces, works of art, now exhibited in European museums. Since five years, plans have been established to revive the brand, while emphasizing its heritage, its credibility and importance to collectors of fine porcelain.
Tell us about the evolution from porcelain to clothing … Meissen has diversified in recent years its production, creating several product categories, including Meissen Couture. The second collection of the House was recently presented at the Villa Meissen, in Milan, including couture dresses, evening dresses, cocktail and bridal Italian inspired and made with the best fabrics from Italy and the best finishing. The brand will be well positioned as a luxury fashion house. From there, we had the idea to create relatedproducts. We developed jewelry with elements of gold, platinum, porcelain and decorative products for the home, tableware, dinnerware, and accessories in leather and silk. Clothing draws its inspiration from the great spirit of the house. Meissen was inspired by research and sewing, which led us to the world of accessories in different styles.
All this has been developed in five years. Don’t you think that it’s a little fast? The truth is that all these elements are reflected in their inspiration. Meissen is a trademark for a king. All Meissen elements, from porcelain to sewing, accessories for the home, are lines, designs produced by a king, who remained faithful to this legacy. Our intention is to reach the peak of the iceberg. Sewing is inspired by research, heritage, jewelry, lifestyles, and our designs are discrete and elegant patterns.
In your porcelain creations, we see a lot of modern pieces alongside those more traditional … Some elements are inspired by Fine Arts, but the beauty of Meissen’s work lies in this combination between the old and the modern. Our Couture House today is based on a rich history. It is the expression of a design. It is not a new concept for the client, who is more interested in the categories offered and the overall vision of Meissen.
As a fashion house, don’t you think that the competition is fierce, especially that the brand is new? Meissen Couture is a unique brand that has a global heritage. The product was created for a king, so it is the total royal luxury! Our collections are presented each season during the Fashion Week in Milan, in the intimate setting of the Villa Meissen. There are characteristic features that distinguish Meissen from other brands, which reflect the research on design, involving the consumer, who immediately recognizes the DNA of the brand. Like handmade porcelain buds that were produced for kings and their wives, and we find delicately embroidered on different evening dresses.
How do we recognize Meissen’s signature?Dresses, jewelry, fine porcelain, accessories and watches, are elements that confirm our identity. We provide high quality products, a new classic collection, craft, platinum, gold plated, in porcelain …
Projects in the horizon? Lebanon is our entrance door to the Middle East. As we open with our partner Tamer Group, Meissen Couture Beirut, our first store in Lebanon and the Middle East. On three floors, the store includes a jewelry space, another for tableware and home decoration, and a third boudoir space for sewing dresses. We also open the first store of furniture and accessories in Hamburg. In addition to our shops in Milan, where the entire collection is on display, in Germany, Shanghai, Taipei, London, and Baku and today in Beirut, we plan five new openings in 2014.
What is your idea of luxury? I think the difference between the design and style, is the culture, elegance and royal heritage … The collection is the interpretation of Meissen’s evolution, with excellent staff.
How would you like to conclude? Our partnership with Tamer Group allows us to enter in the Middle East, from Beirut. This interesting development undertaken in collaboration with Tamer allows a good positioning of Meissen in the region. A Meissen franchise will be given to prospective partners, enjoying a vast culture and able to develop Meissen in the same spirit, the same direction and the same vision. That of seeing in Meissen a German product, derived from 300 years of history, a royal family heritage passed down through the generations. Meissen is an education, an inheritance, a tradition, a culture, a respect for innovation. Tamer is also a success storydue to endurance, culture and respect since 1895. Interviewed by MARIA NADIM.