Direct from Market: Frankfurt
Bessie Nestoras -- Casual Living, February 21, 2013
Just under 4,700 vendors from 81 countries exhibited at Ambiente, held February 15-19 in Frankfurt, Germany. There were more than 140,000 visitors, with the U.S.A. being one of the top 10 visitor nations.
Luxury items were prevalent throughout the show in all areas. In tabletop, WWRD focused on luxury in both its Waterford and Wedgwood brands. This market, Waterford focused on a new way to modernize the brand taking a lifestyle approach with three new collections. London is an executive desk collection featuring crystal accessories, including iPad and iPod chargers. The new line also includes a barware collection comprised of decanters, a pair of DOF and hi-ball glasses, and a coaster set. The Elysian collection is a nod to old world opulence. The line, which is designed for a "crystal life" party, features limited edition amethyst cased crystal used for the first time, including a gold bar tray, an ice bucket with tongs, a pair of brandy glasses, a pair of rock glasses, a pair of flutes and a bowl. The Glacia collection is for the elegant woman. It was inspired by the polar regions and includes pieces for a lady's boudoir. Featuring metal pieces with a white powder metal coating and crystal and gold accents, the line includes a jewelry box, makeup brush, hand mirror, ring holder, perfume bottle with atomizer, votive, frame and more.
Royal Crown Derby
Not to be outdone, Wedgwood also launched its own Luxury Collection. The line includes jewelry, decorative accents, candles, espresso cups, scarves and more. It is made entirely in England with the exception of the silk scarves which are made in Italy. Wedgwood also introduced Ashlar a multi-shaped dinnerware collection that brings an architectural element to the table. Included are round-, square- and octagonal-shaped plates allowing the end user to play and create their own tablescape. Palladian is another new dinnerware collection that features two sketches originally used in Catherine the Great's Frog service. The dinnerware was commissioned by her in 1773.
Royal Crown Derby turned to its archives this market and offered Windsor, an archival pattern featuring an ornate gold pattern with accents of cerulean and light blue, as well as Heritage, another archival pattern from 1909.
For the ultimate in luxury goods, how about dinnerware, flatware and glassware from Aston Martin? The pattern is simply elegant with a gray and platinum geometric pattern, coordinating flatware and stemware. And for an afternoon excursion, a picnic basket for two complete with plates, flatware, bottle opener, cups and salt and pepper shakers.
Rosenthal's Versace collection is always about glamour and luxury. And this market the designer takes a nod to ancient Greece with Iconic Heroes. The pattern features the Greek key around the dinner plate and warriors "marching" around the bread and butter plate.
Luxury goods weren't just limited to the table. Fur—whether real or faux—throws and pillows were spotted throughout the show. And new to this year's fair was Luxury Scents-an area located in the Living section that highlighted high-end home and personal fragrances from Italy, France, Great Britain and Germany.
Rosenthal's other introductions take a more modern approach. Partnering with Regual Stüdli, a Swiss textile designer, this new dinnerware pattern features a delicate, yet colorful floral pattern. The Nendoo collection is now being offered in apricot and light green. And in giftware, Rosenthal introduced a collection of titanium-covered porcelain items in gold, blue and silver. The collection is sleek and chic. From Thomas, a new ikat pattern was introduced, as well as a dinnerware collection featuring square and coupe shapes and accented with a floral tile pattern called Quadrando.
Villeroy & Boch
Continuing with a more modern-yet no less stylish-approach to the table, Villeroy & Boch introduced Artesano, which the company describes as modern country chic. It is a comprehensive collection made up of dinnerware and serveware offered in wood and ceramic. It is designed to be used for pasta, pizza, tapas and barbecues. The company is celebrating its 265th anniversary and in honor of this, Villeroy & Boch took its Old Luxembourg pattern and placed it on New Wave, Flow and Urban Nature. Adding to the charm, Boch's ceramic recipe is also featured. The collection is limited to this year.
Barbecue accessories seemed to be everywhere at this market. From grills to accessories to tools, there was no way one could miss that this is a category that is trending up. Villeroy & Boch's Artesano collection is an all-purpose line, but the company is selling it more as a barbecue collection. It includes an array of accessories, including dipping bowls, serving plates in various sizes to be used for antipasti, salads or vegetables. Also included is a shaker for dried herbs or chili flakes and a jug for olive oil. The company is also offering barbecue accessories in its Urban Nature collection. The line is made up of two different sized steak plates, fish plates, salad plates, dipping bowls and more. Plus, the company is also offering barbecue cutlery and tools-tongs, barbecue fork, pincers, a spatula, a fish slice, marinade brush and cleaning brush. Royal VKB offered a BBQ Bowl with a built-in skewer. It is designed to make it easy for you to eat while standing up, and it features two segments to keep foods separate. Also new from the company is a napkin and toothpick holder-it is a cup with an extended compartment shaped like a tube for the toothpicks.
Grills also made an appearance at the fair. Among them Weber, familiar to the U.S. market, exhibited its selection of grills and Lotus Grill, a company based in Germany, offered a compact, smoke-free barbecue perfect for taking on a picnic and available in six bright colors.
France was this year's partner country and legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve visited the fair and was taken on a tour with Detlef Braun, member of the executive board of Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH. Deneuve met with French manufacturers and also visited the special presentation of French goods curated by Olivia Putman, artistic director of Studio Putman and ambassador of the Partner Country France project. Deneuve also attended the Partner Country Handing Over Ceremony. Next year's partner country is Japan.