INFORMA are pleased to introduce world-renowned company Lladró to Decor + Design in Melbourne this year.
Heirs to the age-old tradition of porcelain, the brothers Juan, José and Vicente Lladró founded the company in 1953 in Valencia, Spain. Today, the family-owned company continues to represent the finest examples of handcrafted porcelain figurines, vases and sculptures which are highly prized by collectors. Now more than 60 years later, Lladró is beyond doubt one of the most universally recognised Spanish brands synonymous with prestige, beauty and quality.
Lladró Australia’s Business Development Representative Kathy Qiu says the family business is now a multinational company with over 1,000 employees. It has grown to include more than 4000 retailers in 123 countries on five continents.
The company boasts eight international subsidiaries and a select network of its own boutiques in some of the world’s major cities including New York, Beverly Hills, Moscow, Tokyo, London, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Delhi, Mumbai, Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.
“For its quality, for its highly personal style and for the creative ambition of its pieces, Lladró is one of the leading Spanish brands on a global level and a benchmark when speaking about internationally renowned luxury Spanish brands,” Qiu says.
“Thanks to the level of excellence in its creative processes, Lladró has not allowed itself to lag behind on the creative front. It is no longer just a sign of identity of a certain kind of product but instead has evolved to become a world famous reputable porcelain design brand with its own identity, capable of defining its own aesthetic world and guaranteeing a level of quality sustained on the reputation of its handmade products.”
Innovation has always been part of the Lladró philosophy. Throughout the early years and decades of the company, the brothers experimented with firing techniques and finishes and explored new forms to expand on their range of classical porcelain figurines.
The High Porcelain collection represents the brand’s most technically complex designs. Limited production figurines and sculptures exemplify the highest level of excellence and artistry by the company’s master craftsmen.
“Lladró has never stopped exploring,” Qiu says. “Recently, Lladró has successfully expanded its classical porcelain figurines to lighting with a range of spectacular chandeliers, pendants, wall lamps and table lamps, tableware and more contemporary and functional pieces.”
Over the last decade, Lladró has collaborated with several acclaimed international designers such as Spanish designer Jaime Hayon who is also the artistic director of the Lladró Atelier and designer of the Guest collection and the Fantasy collection. Hayon’s designs for Lladró include earrings, cufflinks, lamps, vases, candle holders, ornaments and figurines.
Hayon invited American artist Tim Biskup and Japanese designers Devilrobots to create their own versions of The Guest in 2011. In 2014, UK fashion designer Paul Smith added his artistic inspiration to The Guest collection with limited edition figurines in two sizes.
Lladró also invited London product designers Bodo Sperlein to design several collections for the company. The Re-Cyclos Magical collection reinterprets Surrealism in fine dining dinnerware, home accessories, jewellery and lighting. Bodo Sperlein’s grand Niagara Chandeliers launched between 2006 and 2008 are famous for their scale – the largest is two metres in diameter – and hundreds of delicate porcelain fairies suspended on illuminated fibre-optic strands. Porcelain fairy wall lights and Papageno wall lights available in white and dramatic black were launched in 2007.
“These stylish and elegant objects combine modernism, art, design and craftsmanship to light up our lifestyle,” Qiu says. “We hope the craftsmanship, beauty and functionality go hand in hand in pieces whose artistic value goes far beyond their decorative potential.”
Lladró designs continue to build on the artistry and skill of their in-house team of sculptors, artisans and designers to expand beyond traditional heritage figurines with the introduction of contemporary designs that will lead the company into the future. The home decor range includes framed and unframed mirrors and a bathroom collection of trays, candleholders, vases, tumblers, boxes and soap dispensers in black and white porcelain.
“Our mission is not only to introduce the classic Lladró pieces to the public, but also to present the most innovative and contemporary creations such as Lladró lighting, mirror, and more functional objects to appeal to the next generation of clientele,” Qui explains. “Of utmost importance though, is to maintain the traditional handmade craftsmanship and quality for which the company is renowned.”
Lladró has established a loyal community of distributors in Australia who Qui says also help to educate new customers about their brand, history, culture and core values. At the same time, the company strives to continue the relationship they have developed over the years with a loyal following of customers who already understand and value the refined quality and craftsmanship of each piece.
Qui says the next step is to continue the traditional business model by showing Lladró in traditional malls and department stores and to “collaborate with interior designers and other valued distributors to provide more options and opportunities for home decorations.”
She says the company is honoured to bring a diverse range of products to present to Australian retailers and designers who appreciate art, design and elegant products.
“Visitors to our stand will have the opportunity to explore new release classic designs and select products from our range. We will also debut new lighting and functional pieces to the Australian market.”