Designer Helen Kontouris has marked the ten year anniversary of her company Helen Kontouris Designs by releasing a product for prominent Italian company Alessi. In her decade long career, Ms Kontouris has to her credit the design of more products under licence in the marketplace than any other Australian designer, achieved from her Melbourne base, next in line to Marc Newson who resides in London.

Designing for Alessi can be an extremely long process, Ms Kontouris, who has 95 percent of her clients based in Europe, said. The ‘Scoop egg cup and spoon’ was four years in the making. “Alessi is one of the largest design companies in Europe, and is so prominent in Italy. I’ve heard stories of people taking ten years to get a product with them,” Ms Kontouris told Neos Kosmos.

“When you think about the volume of designs they are sent, you’re looking at at least 20,000 a year and that’s the reason these projects take so long to get off the ground.” Ms Kontouris approached the company with the idea for a modern egg-cup and built in saucer after identifying gaps in their market. “They only had one or two that were just egg cups without saucers so this started a dialogue with them and we tried to see where a higher end egg cup would be suitable,” Ms Kontouris said.

The design, which is a throwback to the 1970s, fuses function with style, Ms Kontouris said. “In more recent times the eggcup was reduced to the bare minimum. I eat eggs daily; it’s what I have for breakfast and I wanted to revisit that typology and bring back a more contemporary design.” Releasing her first Alessi product, Ms Kontouris is thrilled to mark her tenth year at Helen Kontouris Designs with such an accomplishment. “It’s a great start to the year,” she said.

The Alessi ‘Scoop egg cup and spoon’ was launched at the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) in 2010 and at the Maison&Objet Paris in January 2011.