In a new collaboration, the longstanding tile manufacturer enlists the Greek designer to put her signature touch on a collection that fuses tradition with nature and high fashion.

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In this short film, Greek designer Mary Katrantzou talks about her work for Villeroy & Boch Fliesen, including what the two brands have in common and what inspired her tile designs

Nothing against minimalist bathrooms! When all the elements and functions are coordinated and white ceramics dominate, it can create a very aesthetic overall picture. In recent years, however, we can clearly observe that trends are increasingly moving towards more homely bathrooms, often resulting in very imaginative and characterful spaces. The same also applies to bars, restaurants and hotel lobbies: the unusual is booming.

  • Victorian - MK9I

    Victorian - MK9I

    Villeroy & Boch Fliesen

  • Victorian - MK9E

    Victorian - MK9E

    Villeroy & Boch Fliesen

The new Victorian series for Villeroy & Boch Fliesen is both playful and illustrative, as well as modular and versatile: not only in bathrooms but also in bars and restaurants, for example, too

Mary Katrantzou combines tradition and modernity for Villeroy & Boch Fliesen | News

The new Victorian series for Villeroy & Boch Fliesen is both playful and illustrative, as well as modular and versatile: not only in bathrooms but also in bars and restaurants, for example, too

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  • Victorian - MK9J

    Victorian - MK9J

    Villeroy & Boch Fliesen

  • Victorian - MK0D

    Victorian - MK0D

    Villeroy & Boch Fliesen

Skilful maximalism

As far as tiles are concerned, decors and ornaments are back in vogue – you don't have to take too much of an excursion into the history of architecture and design to understand how strongly changing styles and motifs have shaped and continue to shape the appearance of rooms. Ornaments act as a mirror of their time and many things, both cultural and sociological, can be read from them.


You don't have to take too much of an excursion into the history of architecture and design to understand how strongly changing styles and motifs have shaped the appearance of rooms


We are familiar with these developments from fashion design, where collages have always been made, quotations played with and new things ventured. In the same spirit, German tile specialist Villeroy & Boch Fliesen recently realised a collection with the Greek-born fashion designer Mary Katrantzou, who works in London. There is a strong connection between the brands: ‘We have the same appreciation for beauty, craftsmanship and history,’ says the designer.

Katrantzou's wildly romantic creations grace the covers of major fashion magazines and are worn by Hollywood stars like Cate Blanchett

Mary Katrantzou combines tradition and modernity for Villeroy & Boch Fliesen | News

Katrantzou's wildly romantic creations grace the covers of major fashion magazines and are worn by Hollywood stars like Cate Blanchett

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  • Victorian - MK0A

    Victorian - MK0A

    Villeroy & Boch Fliesen

Villeroy & Boch Fliesen and Mary Katrantzou

Designers don't need to be told what Villeroy & Boch Fliesen stands for – the umbrella brand has been around for almost 275 years. At Villeroy & Boch Fliesen, in-depth ceramic know-how has a long history. The first ceramic materials were manufactured in 1748, and series production of high-quality tiles began in 1852. Katrantzou, on the other hand, is one of the stars of a younger generation of internationally active fashion designers. One only has to look at her feed on Instagram, which is followed by almost 800,000 fans all over the world.


Katrantzou is one of the stars of a younger generation of international fashion designers


Her wildly romantic, exuberant creations grace the covers of major fashion magazines and are worn by Hollywood stars like Cate Blanchett. Yet Katrantzou, who studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and Central Saint Martins College, is not even 40 years old. She appears at TED conferences, designs costumes for the New York City Ballet – and never seems to run out of ideas.

  • Victorian - MK0B

    Victorian - MK0B

    Villeroy & Boch Fliesen

Fashion-inspired tile design: besides butterflies, stamps with their jagged edges are another element that appear in many of Katrantzou's fashion designs

Mary Katrantzou combines tradition and modernity for Villeroy & Boch Fliesen | News

Fashion-inspired tile design: besides butterflies, stamps with their jagged edges are another element that appear in many of Katrantzou's fashion designs

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A motif with tradition – reinterpreted

The VICTORIAN tile collection by Mary Katrantzou for Villeroy & Boch Fliesen is a good example of this. The butterfly is one of the recurring motifs in Katrantzou's oeuvre, but she is always finding new ways of representing it, as well as using innovative material and colour combinations. In art, the butterfly can be found in numerous still lifes since the 18th century, but also in the work of the naturalist and graphic artist Maria Sibylla Merian, for example, and right up to paintings by contemporary British artist Damien Hirst.


The butterfly is one of the recurring motifs in Katrantzou's oeuvre, but she is always finding new ways of depicting it as well as using innovative combinations of materials and colours


Tiled in a repeat pattern, butterflies radiate something light and summery – the whole room is transformed, takes on something playful and becomes a special place where you can relax and enjoy spending time. After all, it is precisely the decorative accents that one sets in interiors that contribute to their cosiness.

  • Victorian - MKB4

    Victorian - MKB4

    Villeroy & Boch Fliesen

  • Victorian - MK0I

    Victorian - MK0I

    Villeroy & Boch Fliesen

Above: the Victorian collection also contains numerous abstract motifs that can be used to create modern repeats. Below, a close-up of a butterfly from the series

Mary Katrantzou combines tradition and modernity for Villeroy & Boch Fliesen | News

Above: the Victorian collection also contains numerous abstract motifs that can be used to create modern repeats. Below, a close-up of a butterfly from the series

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  • Victorian - MK0B

    Victorian - MK0B

    Villeroy & Boch Fliesen

Complementary elements

Katrantzou has deliberately chosen the butterfly as a poetic, playful motif. By repeating the same or incorporating different butterflies, a pattern is created, for example as a frieze running along the wall. She offers a total of eight decorative sets with four butterfly motifs each, which are all different and yet similar – and cover different styles.


What makes VICTORIAN a tile series that offers impressive combination possibilities are all those elements that complement the butterfly motifs


But what makes VICTORIAN a tile series that offers impressive combination possibilities are all those elements that complement the butterfly motifs. These include, for example, tiles in black and white marble look, which are also available as squares (20 x 20 and 60 x 60 cm) in the same look, as well as a variety of black and white square tiles (20 x 20 cm), which in turn play with the square motif as an ornament on an abstract level.

  • Victorian - MK0C

    Victorian - MK0C

    Villeroy & Boch Fliesen

  • Victorian - MKB5

    Victorian - MKB5

    Villeroy & Boch Fliesen

In addition, there are Victorian tile motifs that can be used to border illustrative tiles. In this area, the series offers numerous choices in terms of sizes and decors

Mary Katrantzou combines tradition and modernity for Villeroy & Boch Fliesen | News

In addition, there are Victorian tile motifs that can be used to border illustrative tiles. In this area, the series offers numerous choices in terms of sizes and decors

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  • Victorian - MK9K

    Victorian - MK9K

    Villeroy & Boch Fliesen

Great freedom of design

In addition, there are Victorian tile motifs that can be used to border, frame and accentuate the illustrative tiles. Here, too, there is a choice of size and decor: as a 20 x 20 cm square, in 7.5 x 40 cm and in 12.5 x 40 cm – sometimes as butterfly borders, sometimes as black and white borders.


For interior designers, the modularly conceived collection offers numerous possibilities for embellishing bathrooms, bars, kitchens or lobbies, depending on taste and spatial conditions


Stamps with their distinctive jagged edges are another element that appear in many of Katrantzou's designs – to an extent, they could be described as one of the Greek designer's trademarks – and are also cited in her new collection for Villeroy & Boch Fliesen, for example in the Single perforation and Border perforated tiles.

Whether strict chequerboard patterns or freer, looser combinations with abstract and/or illustrative elements, with Katrantzou's collections, many different tile patterns are possible

Mary Katrantzou combines tradition and modernity for Villeroy & Boch Fliesen | News

Whether strict chequerboard patterns or freer, looser combinations with abstract and/or illustrative elements, with Katrantzou's collections, many different tile patterns are possible

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  • Victorian - MK0H

    Victorian - MK0H

    Villeroy & Boch Fliesen

  • Victorian - MK0K

    Victorian - MK0K

    Villeroy & Boch Fliesen

For interior designers, the modularly conceived collection offers numerous possibilities for embellishing bathrooms, bars, kitchens or lobbies, depending on taste and spatial conditions. You can rely solely on the abstract, black and white elements of the series and accentuate a room in a cautious and restrained manner, or enliven a room with the spirit of Katrantzou's fashion designs. The transformation may then be similar to one we know from nature: from the inconspicuous caterpillar to the butterfly.

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