Innovative design Contemporary meets tradition Heritage crafts
‘Our motto has been to always stay ahead of the market. We follow fashion, interior and colour trends and forecasts constantly to stay ahead in our new designer range. In our traditional production we are always revising, refining and updating archaic, tribal and classical designs to suit the current market trends.’Reza Zollanvari
Iranian Switzerland-based firm Zollanvari celebrate their diamond jubilee anniversary in 2022, a year that marks 75 years of rug excellence and innovation for the well-respected company. Headed by Reza Zollanvari, the company is a market leader, always pushing design and production boundaries to stay ahead of the rug crowd, a concept clearly demonstrated by the nine special collections created for the anniversary.
The drive for using the best of traditional techniques and materials to produce rugs in tune with the contemporary market began back with Reza’s father Gholamreza Zollanvari, who back in 1947 in Iran took his own father’s rug dealing business to a new level. Gholamreza’s indefatigable determination revolutionised Persian domestic weavings such as gabbehs, and introduced them to an eager European market. Zollanvari were the company to open the world’s eyes to Persian nomadic weaving and it continues to do so today.
Today, company headquarters are in Embrach, outside Zurich, and the Zollanvari design brand is global. Reza’s son Ramin runs the China office from Wuhan while Reza’s nephew is in charge of the South Africa branch and the company’s longest running partnership is with Carpet Gallery Co. in Kobe-City, Japan.. Embargoes in the US, where Zollanvari has a showroom in New Jersey, saw the company begin production in India. Alongside this, Zollanvari have been proud recipients of many awards including numerous Carpet Design Awards and work with cutting-edge designers such as SoFar SoNear Studio Milan and Studio NOV24 Vienna.
Within the nine new rug collections produced for the company’s 75th anniversary the Lion collection is the true star of the show. Not only is the lion the logo of Zollanvari, but Gholamreza was a collector of lion gabbehs and the lion is the symbol of courage and power in Persian culture. In this series, the lion takes on many guises, all contemporary in outlook. Soltan by NOV24 sees a lion’s heading appearing from blooming hydrangeas and giant peonies, which not only reference Chinese textiles and 19/20th century Persian rugs but also fabrics from international catwalks of today.
Within the nine new rug collections produced for the company’s 75th anniversary the Lion The Leoni Guardiani gabbehs by SoFar SoNear were inspired by Venetian cut velvet designs. Available in three colour ways, the hues are vibrant and are rooted in the Persian tradition of tribal lion gabbehs.
‘We have never shied away from trying something new, pushing the boundaries. We are always innovating, finding inspiration in the weaving traditions from across the globe but always giving the designs the Zollanvari twist.’Reza Zollanvari
More designs for Zollanvari’s 75th anniversary include the Crystalia Collection by Zollanvari Studio, which takes inspiration from the multifaceted forms of topaz gemstones, saturated in colour and brimming with energy.
Inspired by design elements from traditional buildings, the Architecture Collection by NOV24 comprises five designs including Mirror Ceiling Geometry (Ayene Kari) 1, whichreferences the intricate mirror work seen in Persian mosques and palaces, such as the Shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad and the Golestan Palace in Tehran.
With the Tiger collection, designed by Zollanvari Studio, the company follows the Persian tradition of depicting tigers in gabbeh rugs. Here they are portrayed as bright and fierce, like the Caspian tigers that once roamed over most of the northern provinces of Iran.
In the eye-catching Dreamtime Chants, the aesthetics of south Persian tribal art and Aborigine ‘soul’ paintings meet contemporary western art movements like Spatialism, in a series of bold expressive compositions.
From bold colour to monochrome delights, the delicate Traces Collection featuring undyed wool has a primal aesthetic. The designed emerged from many sources: from Aborigine art to modern minimalist paintings and sculpture by way of Chinese and Japanese ink paintings and sumi brush strokes. In the exuberant Walk on the Wild Side Collection—inspired by saving our natural environment and celebrating the diversity of its vegetation—rich foliage is set against dark ‘polluted’ grounds or unforgiving industrial stripes representing urbanisation or endangered animal pelts.
From the impressive Designer Minimalist Flatweaves Collection by Soheila Shayegan Studio Cyprus, the Mystic Cypresses Baneh Kelim features parallel horizontal white woollen lines that stop at distinct points in the weave of the kelim to create ‘ghosted’ outlines of cypress trees, a true technical innovation. The number of trees depicted is five, a magical number symbolising the physical body and the planet earth and the elements—earth, ether, air, fire and water.
The last collection for the Zollanvari’s 75th anniversary celebration is the Stained-Glass Collection, which combines elements from the brand’s Gabbehs Flora & Fauna Collections and southern Persian tribal motifs with references to modernist and abstract western stained-glass art to create bold compositions that are beautiful exercises in colour interaction.
Developing so many new collections, as well as adding to recent ones like Ikebana Kyoto, Wandering Beasts and Graffiti, it has been a busy time for the brand. However, the focus for 2022 reminds on looking forwards and developing new plans, new solutions, new gabbeh revolutions.
‘In terms of future plans, we are aiming to add a full interior solution with the amplification of our Home Décor collection—more mafrashes, fabric collections, crockery, decorative boxes, chairs, tote bags and much more are in development!’Reza Zollanvari
A lifetime of experience in developing traditional rug making and keeping up to date with contemporary market needs, means Zollanvari is a company that knows how to stay relevant to the contemporary market while keeping true to the art of rug making.
Gebäude B, Embraport 16
Phone: +41 44 493 28 29