The brand new collection between fashion house Issey Miyake and home design brand Iittala has been making waves in the interior design industry this week. Thanks to the fabulously organic shapes and colours inspired by nature and the blend of technologically innovative and traditional materials, the collection is set to make a big impact. Jeremiah Tesolin, Creative Director at Iittala has been speaking to The LuxPad about how this momentous collaboration came about.
How did the idea for the Iittala and Issey Miyake collection come about?
The topic of Iittala and Miyake Design Studio sharing the same values and mutual respect towards each other came up in the discussions between Iittala Design Director Harri Koskinen and Miyake Design Studio. We admire the work of Miyake Design Studio very much and we were thrilled when we got the response that the feeling and the willingness to collaborate was mutual. The discussions and the product development started from there and now, after four years, the collection is ready and launching.
What was the initial concept?
The whole process was pretty discussion and the concept an evolution process. We got very excited on working together, but did not know at all in the beginning what it is that we could do together. Both brands knew the core of each other and the design DNA; in which we have a lot in common. The actual work proceeded through discussion, iteration process, testing and sampling, and went through many streams of design ideas, the collection came together little by little through this iteration work.
What individual elements have each brand brought to the design of the products?
We do share a similar design thinking and the collection came together quite naturally in a very collaborative and iterative process. It was natural that Miyake Design Studio should bring more input to the soft items side and that the Iittala design team should work on the glass and ceramics that we are experts in. We shared the same vision for the concept and through discussions and collaboration, in the end result, that concept became a solid entity. It was a very mutually enriching collaboration; this collection would not exist without this unique collaboration between brands, both of which are known for timeless, iconic design in their own fields.
Iittala & Issey Miyake share many core values, in what ways have these shared values influenced the collection?
The shared values are very much present in the collection. Both brands brought their values to the design process and the outcome is very much influenced by them. This is a collection that looks beyond the trends, we believe it will stand time, and not only for the design and the quality of the objects, but also for the ethos of them. The skills of both brands are visible in the collection.
What inspired the stylish colourscheme of the collection?
Nature has been one of the key inspirations for the collection, and is brought to the product design in a subtle way. The colours we have used are reflections of nature, which is a very important element in the life of both Japanese and Finnish people. The green alludes to the forest and the awakening of the spring after the long winter, and the pink and the grey shades reference the Sakura, the blossoming of the cherry trees in Japan.
The collection has been created to make the everyday blossom, can you explain how the products achieve this concept?
Blossoming has been one theme in the inspiration for the collection, the reference can be seen in the folded products, how the opening and closing of the textile products in the collection create the feeling of the awakening & blossoming of nature. What we wanted to communicate with the products is the pausing for harmony and cherishing the small everyday rituals. In the hectic everyday we have small rituals that set the calming tone: when you place your home keys and your phone on the table flower, you shift from outside world to the home. When you light a candle, you make a small decision on calming down and staying in the home for a moment. The steam of a tea cup is quite meditative, too. This collection cherishes those moments and brings the feeling of harmony to the everyday.
Do you have a favourite Iittala X Issey Miyake piece?
It is very hard to pick a favourite, the collection carries 30 pieces with a lot of meaning, and after the long process, all items are very dear to us. It is a balanced collection of soft and hard objects, where every item has a role in, and every item enriches the everyday with their subtle communication. The collection really communicates, it helps you to pause for harmony. We are living in our homes very differently to only a few years ago, we work, relax, shop and entertain ourselves within our homes. My favourite piece might actually be this thought – what the collection brings to people.
Can you tell us about the craftsmanship that has gone into making each item?
The items carry a lot of skill and expertise with them, in both design and making. The one flower vase is mouth blown by very skilled Iittala glass blowers and the textiles with pleating that has memory is a good example of the very high-technology material skills of the Miyake Design Studio.
Do you feel more designers are now focusing on creating lasting designs to combat the current influx of throwaway products? Do you think this will soon be a thing of the past?
There is an ongoing trend in the world towards essential products. We have been though the time where we can have everything we want but it does not add to your life and happiness. Throughout its long 135 years of history, Iittala has always believed in good design and essential objects. We have always believed in objects that last from one generation to another, both in design and in quality. Our products have been part of the everyday, in every time. This thinking is very much in line with those values of today, where we want less, but essential, functional and combinable objects that bring joy to the everyday.
Don’t miss out on the innovative Iittala X Issey Miyake collection now available at Amara.