5 Questions for . . . Christian Sieger
Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles: The porcelain pieces are quite fashion-forward. For instance, the gold-plated, cushioned champagne goblet with 24-karat polished gold—it’s like drinking champagne from a Chanel bag. Describe your typical Sieger customer.
Christian Sieger: Sieger customers are no usual target group, no simple sum of age, looks or nationalities. It is a certain state of mind that makes Sieger customers. People who count the blessings of luxury, quality, culture and style. Our brand values round up the pillars of aesthetics with no compromises. This approach appeals to many people, and there are no boundaries between them, be it national, be it cultural or be it age. It is the approach to stage your lifestyle in a self-assured way.
AH&L: Most of your designs are so opulent, they border on the purely self-indulgent, whether it’s the miniature paintings on the men’s cufflinks or the hand-painted and hand-gilded Asian-inspired motifs on the “My China!” porcelain collection. Has the reception from American consumers differed from that of your European audience?
CS: If you define luxury as “everything beyond what’s necessary,” then you will find indulgence everywhere. But the moment you open your eyes to the wonderful results of human tradition and modern comforts in arts or craftsmanship, you will understand how important it is to preserve them. The best way is to cooperate with the best manufacturers remaining and to develop modern things in the old ways: by hand. This “cosmopolitical” design is well-received on both sides of the Atlantic, because the culture of art and craftsmanship is common heritage.
AH&L: Sieger has a hand in everything from furniture and porcelain to neckties and decorative collectibles. Is it difficult to balance the sensual, sexy appeal with the purely functional?
CS: On the one hand, yes, we must admit, that it is anything but easy. But we are not concerned with the difficulties; we are motivated by the challenge. My brother, Michael, works tirelessly on new designs to keep up his own approach toward aesthetics and functionality while I forge relationships with new German manufacturers for collaboration, keeping in touch with customers and retailers, spotting new chances for improvement and keeping up the high level of communication and exchange.
AH&L: Which eras, design movements or particular designers have been influential on Sieger’s designs? Where do you most often find inspiration for future collections?
CS: For Michael, who is the creative head of Sieger, Bauhaus and baroque have been the most influential eras, and he was good friends with Ettore Sottsass, one of the most important designers of the 20th century, who died late last year. Michael is inspired by everything beautiful in life: historical paintings, a flower or a palm in the wind, the sunrise and the tides and blue sky. His wife, of course, is his overall inspiration, his muse. Once hit, he works tirelessly, proofs, improves, checks and double-checks everything over and over again until he reaches the best result possible.
AH&L: What’s next on the horizon?
CS: To get even better rooted in the American market and to develop tableware further—glasses and linen, for instance.
Sieger is available exclusively in the Southeast through Owen Lawrence, (404) 869-7360; owenlawrence.com.