“The bare essence of what we are selling is based on stylish travel and adventure. Everything we sell has a story. Moving people is something as a company we have de- fined as a value which we carry with us. Moving people is what it is all about”. These are the words of Erik Spindler, CEO of Authentic Models, summarising the DNA of Authentic Models and to tell more about how the brand has developed over the last 50 years, what its plans are for the future, and how it has maintained its core value; capturing the spirit of an era.
Established over 50 years ago in 1968, the company began selling handmade miniature scale models like airplanes and boats before going on to design and build small furniture and home décor. As Erik explains, “that’s how the name Authentic Models came about”. Uniquely, all models are based on how people lived and used to travel in the 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s. Erik expresses that this “love for vintage will remain forever and is a crucial element in how we look at designing our collections.”
A personal favourite of Erik’s is the handcrafted state room bar; a fully functional and mobile bar which he describes as “a design of a trunk, based on bygone eras.” He goes on to set the scene. “Picture this, you come home after work, you want to pour yourself a gin and tonic, use a bit of Hendricks. It’s a piece of art, it is a statement you make.”
Nevertheless, if you are up to date with their latest products, you will have noticed the introduction of a new, more contemporary collection. The ACE collection is unlike anything they have done before. Working with bolder colour schemes, “there is a less outspoken link to the past, reflecting the combination of traditional values and contemporary thinking” says Erik. Colour has become increasingly important because of the demand from younger customers but they have been careful to ensure it has been introduced in a logical way.
“Normally, if we have furniture items like our captain’s desk those are entrenched and rooted in how people used to have a captain’s desk. It has a real historical link to those collections. The ACE collection is meant to be more contemporary, working with different colour schemes. We are going to introduce con sole and side tables as part of the ACE Collection in walnut, gold and gold leaf which will attract new types of customers and resellers,” says Erik.
So, as a brand that traverses time with a catalogue offering snapshots of the past, what might the future look like? Erik ensures, “we are not leaving the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, we are expanding. We are going to have a look at exploring ways which we haven’t explored before. Moving forward we are going to complement those collections with original new designs which lean more towards the unexpected and daring.” This will be seen in pro- ducts based on the Shanghai 30’s, a period which saw lots of bright colours like reds and greens. They are also in the process of adding collections based on the 60’s and 70’s.
Whilst Authentic Models continue to push boundaries, experimenting with time and colour, new designs will still always have a historic element. Erik sums up, “As always Authentic Models remains devoted to creating quality handcrafted pieces and our renowned time-honored items with fascinating backstories. You will also see designs that are leaning more towards the unexpected and daring.
This combination of traditional values and contemporary thinking has ignited our creativity, which means we’ll now be introducing more new items right through the year. You’ll be hearing from us a lot more often with news of surprising additions to our collection!”.