The key to iconic Ger­man brand Rosen­thal’s suc­cess lies in its tal­ent for timely col­lab­o­ra­tions

Since its early days, Rosen­thal has had a knack for spot­ting de­sign tal­ent in its as­cen­dancy and har­ness­ing creative sparks

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style - IN­SIDE STORY ROSEN­THAL

For a porce­lain man­u­fac­turer with a his­tory dat­ing back to 1879, it would be easy for Rosen­thal to rest on its lau­rels. Af­ter all, some of its orig­i­nal prod­ucts, such as the ele­gantly frilly ‘Maria’ table­ware set from 1916, de­signed by founder Philip Rosen­thal for his wife, re­main in pro­duc­tion and are best­sellers. How­ever, the Rosen­thal of to­day, while still based close to its roots in the Bavar­ian town of Selb – with a fac­tory de­signed by Bauhaus mas­ter Wal­ter Gropius – is con­cerned with in­no­va­tion. From its cur­rent head­quar­ters, a build­ing de­signed by artist Otto Piene, the com­pany is fast be­com­ing a home­ware Mecca, pro­duc­ing not only con­tem­po­rary table­ware, but light­ing, fur­ni­ture, and, as of April, bath­room ac­ces­sories with Span­ish brand Pomd’or.

‘ We want to cre­ate new prod­ucts that are rel­e­vant to our time,’ says Robert Suk, who has been head of prod­uct de­vel­op­ment at Rosen­thal for more than 15 years. Much like Philip Rosen­thal, the founder’s son, who ran the com­pany un­til the 1980s, forg­ing col­lab­o­ra­tions with the likes of Andy Warhol, Henry Moore and Ta­pio Wirkkala, Suk too has a knack for spot­ting tal­ent in its as­cen­dancy. He has worked with Jasper Mor­ri­son, de­vel­op­ing his ‘Moon’ table­ware, as well as French de­signer Cedric Ragot.

Since 2009, Rosen­thal has been a part of the Arc­turus Group, a fam­ily of com­pa­nies that in­cludes Ital­ian kitchen and home­ware brands Paderno and Sam­bonet. In 2015, it re­launched ‘In­terieur’, its fur­ni­ture col­lec­tion. De­signs in­clude the sleek ‘Mel­low’ din­ing ta­ble by Ger­man creative duo Diana and Em­manuel Di­et­rich, ‘Shell’ chairs ( both above) and the mod­u­lar ‘Bay’ seat­ing by Se­bas­tian Herkner.

While we now take the con­cept of brand col­lab­o­ra­tion for granted, Philip Rosen­thal’s de­ci­sion to work with upand-com­ing artists was a vi­sion­ary move, and one that’s still driv­ing the brand’s fu­ture. rosen­thal.co.uk

‘Falda’ vase by Se­bas­tian Herkner, £470.50 ‘Mel­low’ ta­ble by Diana and Em­manuel Di­et­rich, £4,630

‘Bay’ sofa in ‘Aubergine’ fab­ric, £9,510

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