Portuguese Tabletop and Giftware Brand, Vista Alegre,
Partners with French Design House, Christian Lacroix
Ílhavo, Portugal, January 2013 – The centenary Portuguese porcelain and crystal brand, Vista Alegre, and renowned French couture icon, Maison Christian Lacroix, have announced a global partnership and collaboration in the tabletop industry. Together, the two companies have created a collection of four lines of tableware and decorative pieces that combine uncompromised quality, cutting edge design and luxurious exclusivity. The lines – Butterfly Parade, Picassiette, Sol y Sombra and Fórum – recently debuted at Maison & Objet, an international exhibition of home décor and design trends in Paris. The collection unites the tabletop expertise and caliber of Vista Alegre with the elegance and aesthetics of the fashion of Maison Christian Lacroix. The result is a sumptuous mix of colors, patterns and images paired with baroque and graphic motifs on irreverent, distinctive and contemporary pieces.
Although the lines are independent of one another, elements of any portion of the collection can be mixed and matched to reflect the individuality of any consumer. Butterfly Parade incorporates a cornucopia of butterflies – both real and imaginary – flying across each piece with an interesting, three-dimensional effect. The Forum line was inspired by 10th century monuments from Arles, the Mediterranean city where the House of Christian LaCroix was born. The traditional landscapes in the pattern are pictured with butterflies as well, adding a whimsical element to these distinctive pieces. Sol y Sombra offers a sophisticated design, mixing Christian LaCroix’s bold signature watercolor lines with touches of platinum and gold – reminiscent of Vista Alegre’s dedication to the art of fine porcelain. Finally, the mosaic on biscuit Picassiette line epitomizes artistic design steeped in culture, capturing historical elements from both the Christian LaCroix and Vista Alegre brands.
In preparation for the collection’s premiere, Vista Alegre and Christian Lacroix had each of the four lines photographed in the gardens and the chapel of the palace of Vista Alegre in Ílhavo. Shot by French photographer Grégoire Alexandre, an avant-garde artist who traditionally works in the fashion world, the collection is beautifully and thoughtfully styled to showcase both the individuality and the overall cohesion of the lines. Additionally, the French press was given a preview of the collection at an event held on the Place Vendome in the heart of Paris.
“Since childhood I have had a fascination with ceramics and porcelain, perhaps through the influence of my grandmother, who was born in Limousin [the birthplace of Limoges porcelain], so it always seemed a natural next step to launch our own collection,” said Sacha Walckhoff, Lacroix’s Creative Director.
Nicolas Topiol, CEO of Maison Christian Lacroix, said in recalling the birth of the project, “We visited the unique site that is the Vista Alegre factory in Ílhavo, which is built around a baroque chapel that was built by a Portuguese visionary in nineteenth century, and immediately knew we had found the ideal partner for this project.”
“Vista Alegre has a unique expertise in the global fine china and crystal industries,” said Nuno Barra, Director of Marketing and External Design for Vista Alegre. The company has 189 years of history, tradition and excellence in the production of distinctive and exclusive pieces that has marked and closely followed the lives of several generations of the Portuguese people. We are constantly innovating, and this global partnership unequivocally marks a new milestone for us: entering new markets; working side by side with one of the world’s most fascinating fashion brands; and bringing the Vista Alegre brand to new territories and audiences. It is a very important achievement for the company, one that offers the opportunity to bring this thoroughly Portuguese brand to the most prestigious markets in the world.”
Vista Alegre’s Christian LaCroix Porcelain Tableware and Giftware Collection is currently available at the Christian Lacroix store in Paris, and will be available in the United States in April via Vista Alegre retail partners. Prices will range from $43 to $70 for dinner plates; $225 to $270 for five-piece settings; $65 to $235 for small gift pieces; $65 to $400 for decorative pieces; and $1,200 to $5,000 for additional decorative pieces and numbered editions.
About Vista Alegre
The Vista Alegre porcelain factory was founded in 1824, in Ílhavo, part of Aveiro district (near the sea, in central Portugal). The company was the product of the heart and mind of a 19th century Portuguese entrepreneur and visionary, João Ferreira Pinto Basto. More than a century later, in 2001, Vista Alegre Group (porcelain, earthenware and stoneware) merged with the Atlantis Group (crystal and glass) giving rise to one of the largest collections of tableware and giftware in Europe, the Vista Alegre Atlantis Group. The company produces nearly 15 million pieces a year – from decorative porcelain, dinnerware and crystal pieces to domestic hospitality collections (which are used in some of Europe’s best hotels and restaurants). Throughout its history, the brand has been closely linked to the cultural life of Portugal, though it has maintained a high level of international renown as well, exporting its products to more than 60 countries. The company harmoniously combines tradition and modernity, has developed products with designers and artists of world renown, and continues to be associated with the highest standards of elegance and functionality.
Vista Alegre products are used officially by the President of the Portuguese Republic, the White House, several Royal Houses and many notable dignitaries from around the world, including Queen Elizabeth II of England, King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. The company also provides the official tableware for various embassies, including Brazil, Spain, Morocco and other public and private national and international institutions.
About Christian Lacroix
Sacha Walckhoff, creative director of the Christian Lacroix brand since 2010, has launched an array of stunning home lines.
Striking, lively and colorful, Christian Lacroix Maison includes not only a line of fabrics, wallpapers and home accessories (e.g. rugs and cushions) edited by Designers Guild; but also a range of decorative wood panels, created in collaboration with Marotte; a line of stationery manufactured by Libretto; and a selection of scented candles for Welton, London.
In addition to its lines of home accessories, Christian Lacroix Maison has added its first porcelain tableware range, in collaboration with Vista Alegre. Throughout all the collections, Sacha Walckhoff reinvents the signature themes of the Lacroix house in order to reach out a new public.
Luxury French brand Christian Lacroix was founded in 1987, in partnership with LVHM (the Moët, Hennessy and Louis Vuitton Group). In 2005, the company was acquired by the Falic Group.
Image courtesy of Christian Lacroix for Vista Alegre.