Fiskars knows a thing or two about place settings.
Its brands, such as Wedgwood and Waterford, date to the 18th century, when tea parties were the norm, and everyone dressed for dinner. Royal Albert is a relatively young brand at only 100 years old.
But just because a tea or dinner set has a long history doesn’t mean it’s dated. “It’s timeless,” says Jeffrey Chapman, head of visual merchandising at the company. “Even if a set dates back to 1952, you used it then, you can use it now.”
Younger buyers are bringing bone china and crystal stemware back to the table in new ways, whether by mixing and matching prints or playing around with accent plates. In turn, Fiskars is creating interactive showrooms and Instagram-ready packaging to fuel the enthusiasm.
“When people think of crystal and china, they think about old settings and the traditional, formal look,” Chapman says. “We want to get rid of that stigma and not necessarily make it more casual, but make it more of an everyday luxury.”
That means there’s no wrong occasion to break out the fancy stuff, whether it’s Royal Albert’s Modern Vintage, a reimagined tea collection mixing roses and polka dots, or a classic set of perfect white plates by designer Vera Wang.
And Chapman is quick to allay any fears that the tableware isn’t up to everyday use. “We put a car on top of four teacups at a recent show,” he says. “Bone china is very durable.”