Kartell – Working with the emerging African design market
June 22, 2018
Founded in 1949 by engineer Giulio Castelli in Milan and currently headed by Claudio Luti, Kartell is one of the companies symbolizing Italian design and a leader on the international design market. An amazing string of products have seen the day in 65 years-furniture, accessories, lighting, home accessories becoming part of the domestic landscape, true icons of contemporary design.
Over the years, Kartell has won an impressive number of awards, including nine Compasso d’ora.
A history that looks to the future and continues to grow, the Kartell collection is multi-purpose and transversal, easy to use and with undisputed aesthetic appeal. Colour, irony, playing on the senses, transparency and unique shapes for unique products; Kartell products are instantly recognizable the world over for the excitement they generate, their durable functionality and unquestionable quality.
The many international designers who have worked closely with the company bear witness to its unending ascension, as they apply their passion to an industrial process, creating designs that are transformed from an idea to a product. The team of designers includes Ron Arad, Mario Bellini, Ronan ed Erwan Bouroullec, Antonio Cittero, Rodolfo Dordoni, Patrick Jouin, Ferrucio Laviani, Pierro Lisoni, Alberto Meda, Nendo, Ludovica +Roberto Palomba, Christophe Pillet, Eugini Quitlet, Phillippe Starck, Patricia Urquiola and Tokujin Yoshioka.
In addition to creating amazing products, Kartell also has a clearly defined marketing and communication strategy. Kartell is celebrating 15 years of transparency, a long voyage in technological innovation that marks a turning point in the route of an absolute pioneer in using injection technology with transparent polycarbonate injected in a single dye. Continuing research into perfecting transparency has led over the years to create iconic products from Phillipe Starck’s la marie, the world’s first polycarbonate chair, to the Louis Ghost, Kartell’s most popular item, to the Uncle jack sofa, the latest arrival to the Kartell catalogue.
While we may have reached the ultimate in sophistication in the quality of our products, Kartell is also now taking a different route, the latest result of experimentation: metallization, which adds preciousness to the products, thereby launching our precious line. Thanks to our unending experimentation, we have been able to introduce properties like flexibility, weather resistance, a soft touch, satin finishes, transparency and now even metallic finishes. In this way plastic becomes more and more exclusive and glamorous, a noble material for an industrially manufactured luxury product.
Over the past 15 years, we have developed the brand’s distribution network and its image worldwide through an ambitious growth plan. Today Kartell exports over 75% of sales, has over 130 flagship stores the current one being in Nairobi at the village market, 250 shop-in-shops, and 2,500 retailers and is present in 140 countries.
Kartell is keen to work with the African emerging markets as the designs blend very well with the culture, traditions and style. Kenya is a fast growing economy and provides the right platform for Kartell products to spread even further to the other East African Countries. Kartell represents the “culture of plastics” and remember plastic is the material of the future. Plastic has fully earned a place in the world of contemporary art in the 21st Century. So welcome to the future!