This is Karma

07.12.2017
At the end of April "Maria" presented a new collection of kitchens, created by the designer Karim Rashid - one of the masters of modern design. World Club could not miss the opportunity to ask the marketing director of the company, Liliya Katz about the details of the project.

Liliya, first of all, wow! Karim Rashid for me – is the modern Andy Warhol – he is as universal and recognizable. The name of this man is known even to those who are far from the world of design. Tell us how the idea of the collaboration came up? And why did you choose Karim Rashid for the next big project instead of Gerard Depardieu? 

Well, Depardieu is a completely different story. First of all it was an advertising project – from 2012 to 2014 Gerard “worked” as the face of the brand “Maria”. And after that, in one of the conversations we decided to create a kitchen based on his ideas. The model “Teatro by G.D.” only exists in one copy – in the showroom of the factory. And the models, created by Karim Rashid will be a part of the “Maria” product line and will be available for order in September.

We cooperated with industrial designers before Karim too. Mainly, of course, with Italian ones – the universally recognized trendsetters. But then we decided to move to a new level and looked far ahead – across the ocean. We wanted the influence of the new world. And we chose a famous American designer who has a unique, recognizable style and a lot of successfully realized projects all over the world. Karim is one of the most productive professionals in the world. Besides, he has a lot of experience in creating kitchen collections.

How did the idea come to life? When we speak about starts of this level, it is probably not possible just to send a personal email, saying: “Hello, Karim! We are a furniture company from Russia and we want to cooperate with you!” Do you remember how the first conversation went?

That was how we began working with Depardieu – our partners wrote an email to his agent. He quickly understood that he could make some money on us and closed the whole conversation on himself. That is why we had many difficulties that were worked through only after we met Gerard in person. After that we solved everything via phone calls. So when we started thinking about cooperation with Karim we tried to find a connection with him without any agents.  It turned out that we have a common friend – a top manager of the company Gorenje at that time. Karim created a line of appliances for them. The question was closed in just two minutes – our friend called Karim and organized a meeting. In April 2016  we met for the first time. It happened at a design exhibition EuroCucina in Milan. Karim agreed to work together. We gave each other contacts of our layers and signed a contract.

Were you afraid that he could refuse?

I knew that Karim is interested in Russia. He came here often, even now he has many meetings and lectures here.  He receives many requests for cooperation from our country. But it all stays at the conversation level. And we did what we said – realized the project in record eight months!

What exactly attracted him in “Maria”?

The fact that we are the largest manufacturer in Russia became the deciding one. It was important for him to know that we have enough technical and financial resources to bring his ideas to life.

Before Karim started working, did he study the history of the brand, research the current model line? Did he give you any feedback? 

Of course he did. Having such a vast experience in kitchen production, he quickly understood what we are. He saw that we work in a contemporary style and use the most advanced materials and technologies. For example, the artificial stone Corian by the company Dupont or MDF, with enamel coating – these are very comfortable materials to work with, they perfectly match the crazy creative ideas. Karim loves both of them.


Did the designer have a complete freedom of creativity? Were you able to say: “No, we can’t do that”, or do the words “by Karim Rashid” mean that is a “Solo performance”?

He sent us 15 concepts and we choose three of them. And after that we started a “ping-pong” conversation between engineers of the factory and Karim’s design bureau in New York. They sent us technical characteristics, we made edits and sent them back. Some of them were accepted, but sometimes they replied: “No, guys, we want this to be done this way. We understand that you don’t have a technology but try your best”. And we did! Karim’s ideas pushed our production forward. For example, in order to bring the model Karma to life in the way that he wanted it, we applied a new glass painting technology, that had never been used at our factory before. It allows the light to be rich and bright and at the same time transmits light. Installation of the glass into the kitchen fronts was also done with a new technology. Another innovation of this model is the lighting of the back walls of the sections evenly across the whole surface. For the concept Klutch we used complicated mechanisms – the top sections of this kitchen open with an electric drive. We also produced the largest radius MDF front for this model. 

Did the designer have a complete freedom of creativity? Were you able to say: “No, we can’t do that”, or do the words “by Karim Rashid” mean that is a “Solo performance”?

He sent us 15 concepts and we choose three of them. And after that we started a “ping-pong” conversation between engineers of the factory and Karim’s design bureau in New York. They sent us technical characteristics, we made edits and sent them back. Some of them were accepted, but sometimes they replied: “No, guys, we want this to be done this way. We understand that you don’t have a technology but try your best”. And we did! Karim’s ideas pushed our production forward. For example, in order to bring the model Karma to life in the way that he wanted it, we applied a new glass painting technology, that had never been used at our factory before. It allows the light to be rich and bright and at the same time transmits light. Installation of the glass into the kitchen fronts was also done with a new technology. Another innovation of this model is the lighting of the back walls of the sections evenly across the whole surface. For the concept Klutch we used complicated mechanisms – the top sections of this kitchen open with an electric drive. We also produced the largest radius MDF front for this model. 

If you started speaking about “priceless” – tell us about the price of “Maria” kitchens by Karim Rashid.

   In the fall all of the three models, created by Karim may be ordered for your home. The price of Karma starts at 150 000 rubles, depending on the size and package. This model was created for customers and is available in various color schemes. This summer we will start to install it in all of the 300 “Maria” studios all over Russia and the CIS. Klutch and Volna are art objects – high fashion. You can only purchase them by a special order.


Karim’s style is looking forward, into the future. It feels as if you are allowed to enter a spaceship and look at a new “Star Wars” film set. How close is Karim’s style to the Russian customers?  

Karim has his own style. In the whole world, not only in Russia there are both those who like it and those who prefer different design. If you like Karim – we are happy! If not – wait for our next project.

Who is the target audience of the cooperation?

In November “Maria” turns 18. We went through a long path from the first developed model that was, by the way, named “Econom” to the project Karma. We developed together with the market. And gradually we came to an understanding that a kitchen is not just a set of cabinets – it is a living space that has to be comfortable and beautiful. We paid a lot of attention to aesthetics, worked with Italian companies, After that we decided to develop models on our own. Now “Maria” is not just about beauty – it has a recognized style. The core of our audience are “artists”. Women that understand kitchen not only as a space for cooking food and greeting guests but also as a way to express themselves, their style and taste. The second audience of the project “Karma” are professional interior designers that are in a certain way agents of our clients. They are concentrated on world tendencies and trends, strive to use interesting furniture in their projects and to be proud of them.

Although, among 28 models of the “Maria” brand any customer can find an interesting and comfortable kitchen for himself. The “target audience” is a relative conception that was made up by marketers.

Source: World Club

For cooperation with the furniture factory «Maria» contact our central informational service 8 800 100 31 31 (a call is free in Russia). We will be happy to help you!

Our geography

Furniture factory «Maria» is a great example of a dynamically developing company.

The network of brand shops includes 500 workshops «Edim Doma!», kitchen studios «MIA kitchens» and «Maria» in 165 cities of Russia – Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Saratov, Ekaterinburg, Izhevsk, Tula, Rostov-on-Don, Voronezh, Orenburg, Volgograd, Samara, Ulan-Ude and others. «Maria» kitchens can also be purchased in the CIS countries. A wide model range is represented in Kazakhstan and Belarus.

No matter what studio or workshop you choose, you can always count on the top service, best quality and original design of «Maria» kitchens. All of the shops exhibit the whole variety of kitchen samples and qualified designers are always ready to create a unique design project and choose a kitchen that perfectly matches your preferences and taste.

After visiting a kitchen studio «Maria» you can choose the right kitchen together with a highly qualified designer, that perfectly matches your preferences and create a unique design project of your future kitchen or bathroom furniture.


The central office

Adress: 410076 Russia, Saratov,
Ordzhonikidze, 24

Telephone: (8452) 96-44-44

Email: info@marya.ru

Moscow office

Adress:Moscow, Business-park «Kozhevniki»,
Paveletskaya metro, Derbenevskaya, 20, str. 32

Email: msk@marya.ru