The popularity of Finnish design brand Iittala in Australia might not have come as a surprise to International Brand Manager of Iittala Siru Nori during her recent trip to Australia to rerelease the brand. But the ubiquity of Iittala glassware – in particular classic designs such as the Ultima Thule from the 1960s – and the number of collectors that the brand has here might have been less expected.
Perhaps the enduring power of Iittala is due to its timelessness – many of these collectibles look just as good now as they did when they were first released. The Alvar Aalto Vase is a perfect example of this, retaining its relevance thanks to its sculptural, architectural form without dipping in and out of fashion as so many other pieces do. Originally designed in 1936, this vase is mouth blown in Iittala’s Finnish factory where it takes seven people to make one vase.
More recently released products include those designed by contemporary international designers such as Rowan and Erwan Bouroullec, whose Ruutu range combines sharp geometric angles with the imperfections of glass blowing to create clean lines with character, a result that Iittala can only achieve through 80 years of experience glass blowing.
Also exciting is Iittala’s first collaboration with a fashion designer – the Iittala X Issey Miyake range features textiles, ceramics and glass, with fabric folds and pentagon shapes creating complementary textures and soft geometries. “The two brands have always been true to their philosophy of timeless design and creative thinking. They also value tradition, functionality, craftsmanship and the use of innovative materials and methodologies in their design work”, says Harri Koskinen, Design Director of Iittala.
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