Gifts Today magazine

Artel receives retail nomination

Luxury crystal couture brand Artel secures nomination for Czech Grand Design Awards Retail Store of the Year

In a highly auspicious kickoff to 2016, Artel – the globally renowned producer of luxury crystal couture – has been nominated for Retail Store of the Year 2015 in the upcoming Czech Grand Design Awards, conferred annually by the Czech Academy of Design.

The award ceremony will be held on March 19, 2016 at Prague’s historic Estates Theatre.

According to Artel founder / director Karen Feldman, the nomination was based specifically on the Academy’s appreciation for SMER: A Toy Retrospective Artel’s exhibition of vintage toys, games, and models produced by the iconic SMER plastics company, which is currently on view in the downstairs gallery space of its retail store at Platnérˇská 7.

Initially scheduled to close earlier this month, the exhibition has been extended indefinitely in celebration of the award nomination.

This year marks the second time that Artel has been recognised by the Czech Grand Design awards: in 2009, amidst stiff competition from the country’s best-known designers, Artel won third place in the Showroom of the Year 2008 category and also tied with industry giant Moser for the Manufacturer of the Year 2008 award.

“I’m thrilled to be returning to the Czech Grand Design Awards on behalf of Artel,” says Feldman.

“Regardless of whether or not we win the award, it’s such an honor to even be considered. I’m hopeful that the additional publicity generated by the nomination will lead not only to the SMER company receiving more acknowledgement for their important contributions to Czech design, but also to more people visiting the SMER gallery exhibit.

As one of the very few toy companies whose products were available during the Communist era, SMER toys evoke a common feeling of nostalgia
among Czech adults who grew up playing with them – as well as general delight among young children who’ve never encountered them before. The show has been extremely popular and well received, so we’re excited to keep it on view for as long as possible.”

Established in 1998 by American designer and entrepreneur Karen Feldman, Artel specialises in handcrafted, functional crystal glassware of high design.

The company takes its name from an early-20th-century collective of Czech artisans whose dedication to preserving the traditional methods of
handcraftsmanship led them to reject industrial production techniques.

Artel carries on the spirit of these artisans and their commitment to producing – entirely by hand – lasting objects of impeccable quality, design, and functionality.

Artel’s innovative product line can be found on the shelves of Asprey, Paul Smith and Christian Dior, among other exclusive retailers.

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