At one time, Meissen’s famous crossed swords symbol only appeared on precious items made of fine porcelain. But times change.

Via Monte Napoleone is one of Milan’s most elegant addresses. Luxury brand names adorn its tastefully decorated window displays, and price tags are nowhere to be seen. In this prestigious shopping street, beauty, elegance and style reign supreme. Since 2012, Palazzo Numero 3 has housed VILLA MEISSEN – nine hours’ drive from the city of Meissen in Saxony. This new development may turn out to be even more exciting and diverse than the eventful previous history of the “white gold” that first stirred the desires of Europe’s royal courts in 1710 and later made its way into the dining rooms and drawing rooms of the bourgeoisie.

Tradition with a modern interpretation

This is exactly where MEISSEN wants to be again in the future. But the vision extends far beyond fine porcelain tableware for special occasions, as illustrated by the wealth of new products on show in the Milan villa. Folding screens made of silk, leather cushions, furniture, jewellery and works of art are all part of the diverse new portfolio offered by the “luxury brand from Saxony”. Opening the store in Milan was consistent with MEISSEN’s strategy, since the city is renowned for international trade fairs that showcase exclusive interiors. But what do upholstered furniture and lampshades have to do with the crossed swords logo? The answer can be found in the Meissen manufactory in Triebischtal, where a 630-strong workforce preserves the heritage of this long-established brand. When choosing and developing patterns, the manufactory’s skilled craftsmen and women are able to delve into a rich treasure trove of motifs and designs – some of them hundreds of years old. Traditional designs such as the onion pattern are reinterpreted and the famous Ming dragon, designed in around 1740, remains contemporary in countless new variations. It can be found on elegant leather cushions, alongside old and new designs. The crossed swords are also reinterpreted many times in exclusive materials for upholstered furniture and decorative items. These draw on the 300-year-old tradition of the brand and its commitment to the very highest quality, just like all of the other products in VILLA MEISSEN. Every cup, vase and necklace is painted by hand and meticulously finished to make each piece unique.

From Hollywood to the Far East

Perhaps nothing better demonstrates just how well ideas transcend the centuries than the Meissen pug. Barely bigger than a thumb, this little figurine designed in 1740 has become a favourite accessory of Hollywood celebrities. Style icon Sarah Jessica Parker announced she would never part with hers, while Sylvester Stallone bought several as gifts for his wife and daughters. MEISSEN is also recognised as a trusted partner in the art world since the company established the artCAMPUS initiative several years ago to provide an innovative platform for international artists. The company hopes its new diverse portfolio will boost awareness of the brand in western countries and give it the same status it enjoys in Japan and Taiwan, for example, where MEISSEN has long been recognised as a well-known and highly sought-after European brand. A MEISSEN boutique and MEISSEN café opened in Osaka in November 2012 and attract style-conscious Japanese citizens and tourists from all over the world.