The Michael Aram Collection for Artistic Tile—the tile company’s first collaboration with an outside designer—started long before the designer and Artistic Tile founder-CEO Nancy Epstein discussed it. For years, says Epstein, clients have been visiting her tile showroom, seeking to match her tile with pieces from Michael Aram’s home collection. “I have a special place in my heart for Michael Aram’s products,” she tells EAL.
Artistic Tile had also been seeking to use decorative metal, the likes of which Aram is known for manipulating, in their tile. “We had been working with our vendor in India to incorporate decorative metal into our waterjet patterns and textured stone tiles for years, but had not been very successful,” explains Epstein. “I found myself comparing everything to the magnificent metal craftsmanship done by Michael Aram in his products. Since I had met Michael years ago when we were both starting out in our respective businesses, I decided to call him and see if he wanted to collaborate with us. We were thrilled when he said yes. Our initial plan was to add Michael’s metal into our products. However, after much experimentation, I was not satisfied with the results. We decided to enlarge the molds of Michael Aram’s most famous patterns.” On tap are the Leaf, Molten and Gotham patterns, which the tile company sent to a partner in Japan. “The outcome,” says Epstein, “was exquisite.”
Shares Aram, “Both of our brands embody a similar sense of luxury in design and quality. Also, we are both artisanal brands whose work is like jewelry for the home. For our launch collection, I wanted to insure that the functionality of the pieces was such that they could be used in a variety of applications. I hope this is a long collaboration, and that the collection evolves over the years but that at its heart it is a collection rooted in motifs and materials dear to me which have a soulfulness inherent in artisan-made work and feature designs which are nature inspired and organic.”
The collection, which debuted last week with a launch party, is now available at Artistic Tile’s New York showroom. As Epstein says, “We’ve had clients coming into our NYC flagship showroom with their Michael Aram home accessories and asking if we have tile to match for years. I am so proud and honored to be able to now say that we do.”