Upon entering Iittala’s flagship German store, located on bustling Friedrichstraße, you are met with timeless elegance at every angle your curious head might turn. The home accessories that garnish the shelves ooze luxury.They look almost too good to touch. But be brave – get your fingers on those beautiful bowls! In fact it’s their hardiness and durability that’s the other half of the Iittala charm. Because that’s the company philosophy:designer home accessories that will last a lifetime.
The company, named after the small Finnish town where it was founded back in 1881, is proud of its design heritage,and shares this with its customers. With each collection, you’ll find information about the designer and the year of conception. In fact, nearly all of their ranges herald from the 20th century, proving that the timelessness of the products continues to transcend.
Products such as their famous Aalto vase, this year celebrating its 80th birthday, establish the company concept perfectly. First designed in 1936 by architect Alvar Aalto and inspired by Finnish lakes, the vase is still mouth-blown in the company’s factory in Finland. You can even visit the factory and have a look for yourself if you fancy the journey! The vase is now their best-selling item, and has grown to become a statement piece.
Each year the company re-releases the vase,using bold, tasteful colours to reinvent the Aalto again and again. Iittala’s mindfulness for the ‘right now’ is one of the reasons why customers still put faith in their products. Constantly staying true to their designs while constantly making minimal changes keeps them up-to-date. From their seasonal ranges to their Moomin collection (featuring Finland’s most famous cartoon export), Iittala adapts to your wants and needs.
Torben Pahl, manager of Iittala’s Friedrichstraßebranch, told us of his own "love for the Finnish work ethic, of creating and delivering a good quality product that speaks for itself. Other home accessory stores that have a long heritage tend to stick to a traditional image." But Iittala is very much aware of the 21st century, demonstrated most recently through their collaboration with Issey Miyake. The famed Japanese designer has created an exclusive range of textiles and ceramics that blend his own renowned design style with Iittala eclecticism. The fusion of Japanese feng shui with Nordic cool is elegance optimised!
Here in Berlin, they’re even having a party to celebrate on October 29 (10am-7pm), with plenty of Asian food to go around. With three outlets here in Berlin alone (Friedrichstraße, Münzstraße and KaDeWe), Iittala has been promoting Nordic elegance in design since it first opened doors here in Germany back in2008. So indulge, and buy yourself something that is more than just a product, but a concept that has been building itself since 1881.