July 25, 2013,
Prima Design pairs with Padma Lakshmi for globally inspired collection
By Allison Zisko
The collection is set to debut later this month and encompasses two porcelain dinnerware patterns, oven-to-table items, a slow cooker (made by Cuisinart), drinkware, glass serveware, lanterns and vases, sourced from around the world and reflective of Lakshmi's somewhat eclectic approach to design. The Indian-born Lakshmi wanted a collection that reflected her treks around the globe as well as her love of nature and her philosophy that food is meant to be shared around a common table.
"I wanted it to be ethnic without being too literal," Lakshmi told HFN. "I wanted something special and distinctive, yet it could also slip in nicely with the other pieces in someone's home."
Wild Flower dinnerware and coordinating glassware primadesignusa.com
The resulting collection makes great use of color and pattern--inspired by shapes found in nature such as vines, leaves, water droplets and cardamom pods--and is designed to mix and match for casual everyday dining as well as for special weekend dinners with friends. Minakari dinnerware sports a melding of Moroccan design with Indian filigree jewelry motifs and comes in four colorways, while Wild Flower dinnerware is a botanical pattern of scattered blooms. "We wanted it to be something organic and natural, like you went for a walk in the forest and scattered [the flowers] on the plate," Lakshmi said. "I wanted the dinnerware to feel artisanal, romantic and feminine, but not too off-putting."
Lakshmi is particularly excited about the glassware from Turkey, including jewel-toned pieces that she says are perfect for fall entertaining. An oven-to-table range, meanwhile, features roughly 20 items intended to be merchandised together with little pops of color and the potential to be conversation starters around a shared table.
The slow cooker features an embossed ceramic pot that can be brought to the table as serveware. It is microwave-safe, and can be used on the stovetop and in the oven. It fits into a decorated exterior shell. "They were very patient with me," said Lakshmi of Cuisinart. Lakshmi said she and Cuisinart worked on the piece for one and a half years to make sure all the design and functional details were perfect.
The point of the whole collection, according to Lakshmi's representative Lisa Mitchell of IMG Worldwide Licensing, is to make cooking and entertaining easier and attractive at the same time.
"Padma is very much a taste-maker and a well-known celebrity," said Shawn Solon, Prima's director of design. "She was wonderful to work with--collaborative and open with her time."
The collection is being targeted at upper-end department stores, and it introduces Prima to a new venue. "She has allowed us to broaden the scope of products we have to offer-- a slightly more refined look than we had in the past," Solon said. "It is still very appropriate for every day."
This is Prima's second celebrity-endorsed collection. It also has a partnership with chef Marcela Valladolid.