Here at the ‘ZU we have a bit of a fascination for Spain. We aren’t alone – the world has an ever expanding love affair with the skilled European State, and with good reason. A land bearing some of the worlds most successful and well-known creatives in history is worthy of a humble mention here on the KE-ZU Blog.
The undeniable talent across every sector which has emerged from Spain is unstoppable and almost unfathomable. Think perhaps the genius brushstrokes of Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, fashion giant Balenciaga, every girls’ footwear fantasy Manolo Blahnik, the “L’enfant terrible” fashionista Paco Rabbane, marketing genius and comfort guru Camper, a huge spectrum of architectural brilliance delivered by Antoni Gaudi and Santiago Calatrava, multi-talented designer Javier Mariscal and culinary brain Ferran Adrià – what a list, and that’s just the start!
Spain has captured our hearts, and for more than just these monumental reasons – the work of the wider Spanish community in the cultural arts arena is nothing short of beautiful and while we’re on that, check out the astoundingly picturesque layout of the website Love Spain.
Love Spain is dedicated to creativity in Spanish design, architecture, art, fashion and food and the rolling image bank is a non-stop repertoire of all things creative hailing from the European land we adore.
All KE-ZU’s Spanish suppliers are featured on the site; nanimarquina in her award winning range of rugs immortalising the Spanish artist Edward Chillida (and the greater nanimarquina collection), Vondom’s progressive outdoor pieces, bd Barcelona’s Dali works and a selection of Sancal’s products!
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Brands of mass consumption have long seen the benefit in aligning themselves with notable designers in a bid to edge themselves up the ladder of credibility and extend their appeal to a more discerning buyer.
We’ve had Zaha Hadid for Lacoste, Jaime Hayon‘s long standing collaborations with Camper in both their products and their stores, and Marc Newson for QANTAS but perhaps the most peculiar pairing in recent years is Patrick Norguet and McDonalds.
The mammoth all American brand has taken a rather tangential approach to overhauling its French eateries by commissioning one of the countries biggest design exports: Patrick Norguet.
Having cut his teeth on all manner of product designs from lighting to lounge chairs, his exploration of interior design sees the rollout across France converting McDonalds stores into a more family friendly environment with upholstered booths, larger tables, more dynamic use of each locations space and absolutely no sign of Ronald or the Hamburglar!
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Cuba, 1948. Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and romantic desire unites them, but their journey – in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero – brings heartache and torment. From Havana to New York, Paris, Hollywood and Las Vegas, two passionate individuals battle impossible odds to unite in music and love.
Javier Mariscal, the man behind some of the most iconic designs and artwork of this generation, has turned his hand to movies! The full length feature film “Chico & Rita” was premiered earlier this year and is the culmination of years animating and re-imagining New York and Cuba of the 1940’s and 50’s, through an artists eyes. The tale of love, heartbreak and music is set against an intensely dramtic political backdrop that serves to create some of the most memorable animated scenes in recent times.
Whilst Mariscal may be better known for his work designing furniture for Nanimarquina, Moroso, Andreu World, Vondom and Magis, as well as his interior and graphic projects for Absolut, Camper, Barcelona City and Amnesty International – his first foray into feature film direction has won him high praise from around the world.
Impeccable work of art – TIMEOUT
One of the 10 best films of the year – BBC
The film is being released in different markets in stages, having premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in late 2010. Also available to purchase is the accompanying graphic novel that captures the story through Mariscal’s unique and evocative drawings.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Mariscal will also launch a new chair on at Milan this April. The 100% recycled and 100% recyclable chair sensibly named: GREEN will be manufactured by his fellow Spaniards Mobles 114. For more on the chair…. click here.
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For the want of a nail the shoe was lost…
..and so the rhyme goes, a ramshackle chain of events that ultimately see a battle lost and a kingdom conquered.
Ok…. ok, so humour us for a moment: dismissing the tenuous shoe analogy and the context being that of a horse shoe, we can all concede (rather clumsily) that the fine folk over at Camper have had no such misfortune befall them in over a century. Rather, the strength of their empire has been built on the back of their trendy footwear being sought after globally. Adding weight to their image as luxury lifestyle brand, is the recent opening of their second designer hotel in central Berlin: Casa Camper. It would seem these guys are not mere cobblers!
The hotel boasts 51 rooms, the eight storey building decked out in the finest Spanish furnishings from Sancal, bd Barcelona, Nanimarquina, Andreu World and Sellex, a line-up that could see the whole venture justifiably stand in as KE-ZU‘s Berlin showroom!
The project has been underway for four years helmed by architect Jordi Tió and interior designer Fernando Amat, a response to the runaway success of Camper first hotel in Barcelona which was unveiled in 2005. In Camper’s words:
Its design hinges on the idea of understated luxury as well as on sustainability, and aims to inspire its clients to share these positive values.
Having previously worked with man on the rise: Jaime Hayon and made extensive use of his showtime collection in their boutiques, the brand aligns itself closely with creativity and the design community wherever it finds itself trading, a deliberate move rationalised here:
Camper’s philosophy is that luxury can also be found in simplicity, discretion, authenticity and a healthy lifestyle.
Can’t argue with that and neither, it seems, can the consumers. Afterall, if the shoe fits…
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