WORLDS COLLIDE: The historic Italian porcelain company Richard Ginori took a more carefree, experimental approach to its latest collaboration, inviting the young and buzzy British interior designer Luke Edward Hall to lend his quirky eye to a tabletop collection.
“We are one of the oldest porcelain companies and maybe the last one in Italy that creates these very fine porcelains. Having the ability to work with a very young and also talented and super generous artist has been extraordinary for our design team,” said Mehdi Benabadji, the company’s new chief executive officer.
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The new range, dubbed “Il Viaggio di Nettuno” — which is Italian for “Voyage of Neptune” — includes porcelain plates, mugs, vases and bowls featuring illustrations of Neptune, the ancient Roman god of the sea and shells, in Edward Hall’s signature pastel hues.
“The collection speaks to both Ginori and Luke because it’s mixing history with modernity and it’s also very playful with those colors. [Achieving them] has been some kind of a headache to be honest, but we love that because it was a challenge and experimentation is good. It offered this twist that we were looking for,” said Benabadji.
The company toasted the collaboration with a dinner at the private member’s club in London at 5 Hertford Street, whose nostalgic, vintage-inspired interiors blended in with the candy colors of the new line, used to serve guests a three-course meal of hearty Italian dishes.
Edward Hall, dressed in his signature colorful suit and extra-large bow tie, welcomed a crowd of fashion and design industry figures and said that the draw for him in this partnership had to be “the regular work trips to Florence” — and the ability to work with and learn from the Ginori craftsmen in the company’s factory there.
He is a frequent collaborator with many brands and in the past has created artwork for the likes of Burberry, luxury outlet Bicester Village and footwear label Stubbs & Wootton.
For Ginori, this is the first time it has put itself forward in London and British retailers are already responding, with Liberty London and Matchesfashion.com, which has been making a big push in the interiors world in the last year, buying into the collection.