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by Marta Leite Castro

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Vista Alegre

Vista Alegre extends its collections to new fields, reinforcing ties with design, art and culture, and remaining linked to projects under the scope of social responsibility.

2020 will be a year with renowned collaborations such as Marcel Wanders and Ross Lovegrove. Two Vista Alegre projects that reveal its proximity with the best of contemporary design.

And it will also be marked by the partnership with the international fashion icon, Claudia Schiffer. Three new pieces are part of the recognized Unique collection and make the link between the world of fashion and of decorative pieces.

The new collection was presented at Maison & Objet in Paris. How was it received?

The new collections were very well received. Regarding Vista Alegre, Duality stands out, a collection with exuberant intense blue flowers, based on drawings of the late 19th century from the Vista Alegre Museum collection, complemented with petroleum blue crystal bar pieces.

Also noteworthy is the Cloudy Butterflies collection, the first collection developed in partnership with Claudia Schiffer for Vista Alegre and Bordallo Pinheiro, which includes crystal jars from Vista Alegre and several pieces by Bordallo Pinheiro.

An international reference in the fashion world, Claudia Schiffer associated her taste for the English countryside and butterflies with Bordallo Pinheiro’s identity, creating pieces of great elegance and sensitivity. Combining a personal vision with the decorative naturalism and functional vocation of the brand, Claudia Schiffer created a set of pieces that stand out due to their artistic manual painting and abstract character.

And you have received awards from the main national entities in design and innovation. What prizes did you win?

Over the years, Vista Alegre has been one of the most awarded brands by the main international entities, in the ​​design and innovation sector. In 2019, for example, the brand won 39 international awards and distinctions. The brand has already been awarded and distinguished by the following entities: Wallpaper Awards, RedDot Awards, German Design Awards, European Product Awards, Iconic Awards, LIT Design Awards, Good Design Awards and A’Design Awards.

One of the most award-winning collections in the last two years is the lamp collection E2H – Earth To Humanity, designed by Ross Lovegrove, one of the great international design references.

Vista Alegre has a strong social responsibility side. How do you manifest it?

This is a brand concern that is not new. Since the time of Vista Alegre’s founder, social responsibility was already a brand concern, although the concept of “social responsibility” did not yet exist in those days. The founder, José Ferreira Pinto Basto, created the Lugar da Vista Alegre with houses for the workers, a cooperative where they could buy cheaper food, a nursery and school, firemen and a theater.

Nowadays, responsibility remains present. It is with this spirit of social responsibility that projects such as the Amazónia and Endangered collections were created.

More recently, we launched two contests on social media to encourage creativity in times of confinement, where followers and those interested in the brand were invited to illustrate a mug and frame from VA and a sardine from Bordallo Pinheiro. The winning illustrations will, in the meantime, be produced and the entire revenues will go towards the acquisition of equipment for the NHS.

Launched in partnership with the Brazilian NGO Ecoarts Amazônia, the popular Amazon collection continues to grow.

The three new decorative pieces, a result of the joint work of the Manufatura Vista Alegre painters and the Kayapó tribe Indians, continue to draw attention to the cultural, social and environmental wealth of the largest tropical forest in the world and part of the collection’s revenues revert to the reforestation of the Mato Grosso area, where Ecoarts operates.

Are you one of the centenary Portuguese brands with a constant focus on innovation?

Indeed, one of the brand’s values is innovation. VA is constantly looking for new challenges. The various awards that specifically reward this feature of the brand are proof of this focus on innovation. One of the awards that the brand recently received was a German Innovation Award Winner 2019, with the E2H – Earth To Humanity collection, designed by Ross Lovegrove.

In this area and this year we highlight the Vortex collection, presented in January at Maison & Objet in Paris, also designed by Ross Lovegrove and resulting in work of great skill and technical complexity. The Vortex collection launched a real challenge to the production of porcelain, taking it to its limits. Three large decorative pieces, which would normally be composed of several glued parts, constitute a single element shaped in biscuit, later hand polished, capturing the rotating force of energy.

About Vista Alegre

Founded in 1824, the Vista Alegre Porcelain Factory was the first industrial unit dedicated to the production of porcelain in Portugal. The spirit of persistence of its founder, José Ferreira Pinto Basto, was decisive for the foundation and success of this risky industrial enterprise. A prominent figure of the Portuguese society in the 19th century, land owner and daring trader, he wisely incorporated the liberal ideas of the century, having become “the first example of free enterprise” in Portugal.

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