A perfect blend of Elegance and Traditions3 December 2017
Several years ago two talented individuals from Azerbaijan’s new wave of contemporary artists, Aida Mahmudova and Farid Rasulov, combined forces to found a new brand in Azerbaijan’s national market named CHELEBI. The idea of creating the brand came after the 55th Venice Biennale, where Farid Rasulov represented Azerbaijan with great éclat. His installation of living room furniture covered in textiles printed with the traditional geometric patterns characteristic of carpets from the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, captured his audience’s attention and aroused a huge interest in Azerbaijani art and culture. Realizing how greatly this particular installation had touched the hearts of people at the Venice Biennale, the creators decided to bring it back home to Azerbaijan as a local brand–CHELEBI.
The name CHELEBI inherently makes this company unique; but, it is also distinctive because of the philosophy which stands behind its products. By artfully and sensitively referencing the cultural nuances of Azerbaijan’s history, CHELEBI pieces are, ultimately, future heirlooms. Merging old designs with new ideas is the core concept of this brand. Each piece of furniture is designed with the handcrafted work of CHELEBI’s talented creative team. Ongoing collaborations with local and international artists, illustrators, and designers are key to producing their beautiful, original home wares, which offer a modern approach to the Azeri aesthetic.
Today CHELEBI offers a wide range of goods: furniture, home décor and other home accessories such as cushions, lampshades, ceramics, trays, frames, lighting, textiles and mirrors. One of CHELEBI’s most popular products is its line of decorative cushions featuring the famous Azerbaijani artist Arif Huseynov’s illustrations. Colorful Azerbaijani fairy tales come to life on the surface of these cushions. The core idea of these fairy tales is the struggle of good versus evil, where good always wins. These plots are universal and comprehensible all over the world. This product line is popular not only among local customers, but also among foreigners, many of whom are eager to purchase special gifts that reflect the national traditions of Azerbaijan. Each product of CHELEBI’s is a true work of functional art. The unique aesthetic is what one might call‘ fairytale chic’ for its mixture of traditional folk tales and sleek modern design. Every person who acquires one of these unique products will better learn and embrace Azerbaijani culture and traditions.
The positive reception of CHELEBI products by both foreigners and locals has inspired its creators to continue moving forward with new and exciting designs. CHELEBI is constantly manufacturing new products; however, its key collections are released once a year. Currently, CHELEBI is developing a new collection which will be launched this fall. An update to the cushions line, so beloved by customers, is among the new products in the Spring Collection, this time based on the paintings in the Sheki Khan Palace. Creators are also working on launching a CHELEBI clothing line that will feature modern designs of attire based on traditional Azerbaijani motives and ornaments.
CHELEBI has a commitment to making its products accessible to all people around the world. “Though CHELEBI clients are mostly people with high and middle incomes, we purposefully make our accessories affordable for the majority of people. We want our products to adorn every single house,”says the brand’ creative director, Orkhan Huseynov. CHELEBI General Manager, Saimon Ahmed adds,“To this end, we have to produce products that will last a long time, products our customers can pass from generation to generation. This is the main criteria for us. In our company, we stick to the saying, ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated. ’Nobody wants to buy a product which will fall apart over time. We feel the same way. We want our customers to pass CHELEBI products from generation to generation in their families. That is why we pay great attention to the quality of each product we produce.
”This spring CHELEBI successfully participated in the Baku Shopping Festival. The brand has branched out into the international market as well. It has already exported products to London, Moscow, Dubai, and the USA. Their strategic plan for this year is to maximize CHELEBI’s exportability, and hence broaden their market.“For the last two years we have had proposals from abroad to open franchises in Kazakhstan, Qatar, and Germany. After analyzing all the offers, our team came to the conclusion that if we decide to open abroad, we will adopt the CHELEBI brand to the culture of each country in which the franchise is located. That means if we open a store in Europe or the Middle East, we will leverage their traditional aesthetics and design value and bring a product to them which their people will understand,”explains Saimon Ahmed.
In the meantime, CHELEBI’s online shop on its official website, chelebi.az/en/, gives everyone the opportunity to find the perfect modern Azerbaijani product for their home, even if they are a customer from abroad. Baku citizens and guests to our city are even more fortunate because they have the opportunity to physically step into the magical world of CHELEBI, with its fascinating mixture of tradition and modernity, at its shop located in Port Baku (151, Uzeyir Hajibeyov St, Baku, Azerbaijan).