The Lalique luxury brand is a jewel in the crown of the French crystal glass industry. It can look back on a long and successful tradition, with a history going back over 130 years. The brand has moved with the times and was sometimes ahead of them but has always remained true to itself. Lalique continues to thrive as a truly timeless lifestyle brand.
Lalique is a name that stands for elegant design coupled with supreme craftsmanship – a name that inspires dreams. Without doubt the House of Lalique represents an extraordinary tradition and an amazing history that it can be proud of. One hundred and thirty years of savoir-faire and creative excellence in the French “Art of Living”, producing timeless creations “made in France”. The brand’s brilliant founder René Lalique (1860-1945) was a multi-talented, avant-garde artist: designer, goldsmith of Art Nouveau, master glassmaker of Art Deco, decorator and industrial entrepreneur. He was captivated by the effects of transparency and opalescence intrinsic to glass, which he harnessed to create a new, aesthetic form of light.
Revolution in the art of jewellery
René Lalique was undoubtedly one of the greatest creative forces of French decorative art in the 19th and 20th centuries and a leading jewellery designer of the late 19th century. Early in his career, he placed his sublime talent at the service of renowned jewellers such as Cartier and Boucheron. In 1888 he founded his own company and registered his initials “RL” as his hallmark. Lalique then set about reinventing the art of jewellery, indeed his impact was nothing short of revolutionary. He combined enamel, horn, ivory, mother-of-pearl and semi-precious stones in his creations, suffusing them with a rich profusion of shapes and colours to represent his three inspirations: flora, fauna and the female form. The result was something never seen before.
Beginning of a new creative period
In 1912 René Lalique decided to concentrate exclusively on the art of glass. He experimented with the effects of transparency, opacity and opalescence inherent in glass. Prompted by the success of his series of perfume flacons, René Lalique ordered the building of the Verrerie d’Alsaceat Wingen-sur-Moder in 1921. The advent of Art Deco marked the beginning of a new creative period for René Lalique. He achieved consummate perfection in the style through his geometric representation of forms in decorative objects, architectural projects and tableware, which he presented at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris in 1925. A further step in René Lalique’s career followed in 1935 with the opening of his first boutique at 11 Rue Royale in Paris.
In 1945, following the death of René Lalique, his son Marc replaced glass with crystal, enabling the House of Lalique to become the largest producer of crystalware, in France and abroad. His granddaughter, Marie-Claude, took the helm of the family enterprise in 1977, skilfully combining modernity with tradition. She brought a breath of fresh air to the jewellery business, while the manufacture of perfume flacons flourished under her leadership.
Continuity and savoir-faire
In 2008 the House of Lalique was acquired by the Swiss company Art & Fragrance, headed by Silvio Denz. It was subsequently renamed Lalique Group in 2016. Great value is placed on continuity of development to do full justice to the brand’s glorious past. The traditional know-how and expertise in the art of crystal-making, a tradition passed down by generations of artists and French craftsmen, are treated with due respect and carefully nurtured. It takes more than twelve years to become a master glassmaker. Lalique is committed to training a number of young people every year to ensure that these skills, a unique part of French cultural heritage, are not lost. And as in the early days of the Lalique brand story, every crystal piece is intricately handcrafted at Lalique’s sole manufacturing site, at Wingen-sur-Moder in Alsace. In addition to enduring classics, a new contemporary collection is launched on the market every year, with pieces that bear the distinctive Lalique signature: the contrast between satin-finished and clear crystal glass, which has earned the traditional brand the honorific of “sculptor of light”.
Development as a lifestyle brand
In the throes of the takeover and repositioning of Lalique, the traditional house has evolved from a specialist crystal manufacturer into a diversified lifestyle brand, rediscovering its original identity in the roots of its over 100-year-old history. Today, Lalique is founded on six pillars which reflect the legacy of the company’s founder René Lalique: decorative objects and tableware, interior design, jewellery, art, perfume and hospitality. In 2015 it opened a five-star hotel at Villa René Lalique with its own restaurant, now honoured with two Michelin stars. In 2016, the Group opened Château Hochberg, also in Wingen-sur-Moder in Alsace, where Musée Lalique, a French national museum, is located. The five-star hotel-restaurant Lalique at Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey opened in 2018 in the Sauternes region, coinciding with the 400th anniversary of the vineyard. Its restaurant was awarded a first Michelin star in January 2019. Lalique forges links between different worlds: crystal, wine, art and hospitality in order to create emotional resonance. A marriage between the French art of living and savoir-faire.
The House of Lalique, which now numbers around 500 points of sale around the world, regularly enters into collaborations with luxury brands, artists and designers, to create exceptional and unique objects which draw on the expertise of both partners. Lalique Maison emerged in 2011 from the collaboration between Lalique and the internationally renowned interior designers Lady Tina Green and Pietro Mingarelli. Over the years, it has engaged in successful collaborations with internationally celebrated artists such as the sculptor, painter and conceptual artist Damien Hirst, singer-songwriter Elton John and sculptor Anish Kapoor. As part of one such collaboration, the renowned architect and designer Zaha Hadid (1950-2016) created exclusive vases. Lalique has also cooperated with great luxury brands, including piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons, the car makers Bentley Motors and Bugatti, the watchmaker Parmigiani Fleurier, the designers Olivia Putman and Pierre-Yves Rochon, the manufacturer of writing instruments Caran d’Ache, wine critic James Suckling and spirit brands such as The Macallan, Tequila Patrón, Cognac Hardy and Vodka Beluga.
The House of Lalique, which today represents luxury lifestyle in all its forms, is constantly reinventing itself to express its artistic individuality through modern creations and historic re-editions that embody the brand’s timeless qualities and creative flair. Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Lalique and discover the nearest point of sale under www.lalique.com.