Founded in Milan in 1949 by Giulio Castelli and destined to become a design protagonist, for over 60 years Kartell has been one of the iconic companies of the made in Italy design cachet.
A success story recounted by a remarkable range of products – furniture, furnishing accessories, lighting fixtures - which have become part of the domestic landscape, if not authentic icons of contemporary design.
Since 1988, the successor of the “Kartell spirit” has been Claudio Luti who, thanks to the collaboration of acclaimed international designers (of the ilk of Philippe Starck, Ron Arad, Antonio Citterio, Ferruccio Laviani, Piero Lissoni, Patricia Urquiola, Tokujin Yoshioka, Mario Bellini, Alberto Meda, Nendo and Eugeni Quitllet), continues with the founder’s same zeal and enthusiasm to pursue research into new technologies, forms and styles, fruit of a perfect balance between the design experience of individual designers and the company’s potential and needs.
The Kartell collection is multifunctional and versatile, easy to use and of undisputed aesthetic appeal. Colour, irony, sheer sensorial fun, unique transparencies and forms for unique objects: a Kartell product is recognizable at first sight anywhere in the world for the emotion it regales, its long-lasting functionality and unquestioned quality.
Down through the years Kartell has collected an enviable number of important international awards, comprising nine Golden Compass Awards. In 2000, the museum received the prestigious “Best Business Museum” award from the Guggenheim Foundation. Its collections have been loaned to and exhibited in the Pompidou Centre, the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, the Triennale di Milano, and the New York MoMA. Company activity has branched out into the world of domestic living to offer furniture, furnishing accessories and lighting (the latter was successfully reintroduced to the 2000 catalogue), but also into the contract business and e-commerce. Alongside its home furnishing business, the Kartell à la mode division is engaged in the production and marketing of fashion accessories, Kartell Fragrances is the division dedicated to home fragrances and Kids is the new Kartell line specifically studied for children.
THE WORLD OF RETAIL
The Kartell points of sale are the ideal location for introducing both the product and the brand's philosophy, while at the same time demonstrating its own interpretation of household needs to consumers from around the world. The own-brand Kartell points of sale are designed not only to show off the brand's eclectic product range, but also to transmit its identity and values: design, innovation, industrial manufacture, three-dimensionalism, glamour and vivacity.
Kartell's retail strategy, which was launched in 1997 to coincide with the opening of the brand's first flagship store in its home town of Milan, immediately proved a winner. Located on some of the most popular shopping streets in the world, these stores are neutral containers designed to showcase the brand at its best, enhance the products and make them as attractive as possible.
With its most recent openings, Kartell now has a total of over 140 flagship stores and 300 shop-in-shop stores and 1000 corners. Its products are also available in around 2500 multibrand points of sale in 140 different countries.