Lladro Porcelain: Capturing the Stillness of Life

The First Time I Saw Lladro Porcelain

On one of the many Sunday morning walks with my parents in my little hometown, two family friends who owned a decorative objects shop waved at us and called us in for a quick chat. I knew that shop very well from the outside: it was on the main road and its windows were full of figures in porcelain and crystal, which always fascinated me so much. Little I knew that what they kept inside, safe from the outer world, would fascinate me even more.

That morning, the first memory I have of ever entering that shop, was the first time I saw a Lladro porcelain statuette. It was a dancer gently posing with such grace, and so perfect with its unrealistically shiny and pearly skin-tone.

A Lladro dancer

I was flabbergasted. How could something so hard as porcelain look so delicate and alive? Even if I knew this could never happen, I started waiting for the little figure to become alive and start dancing, like a real ballerina. I guess I was so absorbed in going through all the details of this little figure that the shop owners saw me and, like a granddad does with his little granddaughter, started telling me the story of how someone in Spain handmade this little beauty.

The Lladro Story

Oriental Themes

Lladro started off as a family business when two Valencian brothers began experimenting with porcelain in the 50s, hand-making sculptures under the influence of a major trendsetter from Meissen, Sèvres and Capodimonte. Since then the business has become known worldwide thanks to their innovative production processes, their commitment to fighting inequality on the workplace. And of course, above all, for the beauty of their sculptures, inspired by timeless classics, exquisite floral details and even contemporary fairytales.

A Lladro Angel

I cannot help feeling lighter, more content and in a way inspired whenever I lay my eyes on these figures. Now as when I first saw that ballerina, this shiny porcelain takes my daydreaming to a whole new level of grace and aesthetic perfection. And while I am waiting to have a house of my own to decorate with at least one of these sculptures, as I promised myself to do when I was young enough to make these sort of life goals, I pick my favourite subjects. Like this couple here: how could you not think that a soft spring breeze is actually making her wedding dress gently flutter away?

Lladro’s “Everlasting love” figure

VIBE: What Happens when a Millennial Exports Italian Luxury

Meeting Beatrice de Grandi of VIBE

One of the perks of studying Business in Milan is the different types of people you get to know. And it gets more and more interesting if you actually cultivate your interests through associations, museum exhibitions and cultural events. Few months ago, for example, I got to know Beatrice de Grandi of VIBE through one of the meetings of the Bocconi Students for Fashion Association.

Beatrice de Grandi, Founder of VIBE

Beatrice de Grandi is the founder of VIBE, an e-commerce website specialising in selling Made-in-Italy luxury accessories internationally. Nothing special, you may say. But then, let me add one little detail: she launched her business while at university and, mostly importantly, when she was just 20. Have I sparked you interest now?

As a young woman who relentlessly worked towards the realisation of her business idea no matter how many hurdles she had to overcome, Beatrice taught us that even luxury can be rethought to be closer to younger generations, to be agile in this fast changing and technologically endowed world.

One of the bags on sale on VIBE

As I have been trying to show with these little compositions of mine, luxury is not just about expensive prices and affluent consumers. It is a way to enjoy beauty, design, craftsmanship, uniqueness, creativity, giving full credit to the makers of the experience or object we are benefiting on.

VIBE makes artisans and handmade accessory enthusiasts feel closer, even if they may be geographically very far away. And Beatrice adds her marketing skills to this recipe, finding the right compromise between the artisans creativity and customer needs. So next time you read another article about how the fashion and luxury businesses are doomed to failure because of their inability to innovate, maybe remember that fashion and luxury are not a dictatorship of few big brands. Supporting niche players and artisans, like VIBE does, is the way to keep making the most beautiful and innovative creations to the enjoyment of others.

Some of VIBE’s best sellers at a promotion event
Some of VIBE’s best sellers at a promotion event

 

The VIBE e-commerce site