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May 27, 2024,

Rockaway is becoming a strategic investor in the Designblok Festival, the Czech Grand Design Awards, and the Křehký brand

Rockaway is becoming a strategic investor in the Designblok Festival, the Czech Grand Design Awards, and the Křehký brand

Rockaway Capital, Jakub Havrlant’s investment group, is linking its name to another successful brand several years after investing in the KV IFF and Colours of Ostrava – it is becoming a strategic investor in Designblok, one of the most important international festivals of design and fashion for the public. Through its investment, the group wants to support Czech design internationally, attract the most prominent designers to the Czech Republic, and link the art community with the world of business.

Over the course of a quarter-century, Designblok has established itself as the most important international exhibition of Czech and European design. Its owners, Jana Zielinski and Jiří Macek, wanted to create an event comparable to world-class design fairs and to introduce current trends in design, fashion, and architecture to the public. Thanks to Rockaway Capital’s investment in Profil Media, which is also behind the Křehký brand and the Czech Grand Design Awards, Designblok can better fulfil its mission of promoting quality Czech design globally while bringing international first-class designers to the Czech Republic.

The Rockaway Group has several years’ worth of experience with the Czech cultural scene. At the beginning of 2021 it invested in the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, and the KVIFF Group was then created to cover all cultural activities related to the festival. Then, in the summer of 2022, it announced its investment in the Colours of Ostrava festival. It helped both events with management and with implementation of digital solutions. In the case of the KVIFF, this involved, for example, creation of the KVIFF.TV project or investment in the Aerofilms distribution company, while together with Colours the group is bringing stars like Lenny Kravitz or Sam Smith to the Czech Republic and helping create ambitious projects like Meltingpot.

“Over its more than ten years of existence, the Rockaway Group has demonstrated its prowess in the field of digital technologies and its extensive experience in the areas of e-commerce, e-travel, venture capital, FinTech, and blockchain. We’re also increasing the depth and breadth of our know-how thanks to our investments in the world of art. Designblok is a stable and confident brand, and I’m very glad that our paths have crossed. Through future joint projects we want to take the company even further – to show the power of Czech design in the world while attracting top international names to come here. We consider linking the art community with business to be key,” says Rockaway investment partner Jan Jírovec.

It is this technological and business expertise that Rockaway Capital can also bring to bear in the case of Designblok. For the festival’s management team, which will remain unchanged, the group’s investment means a guarantee of stability and a chance to consolidate its position in the international cultural scene to an even greater extent. One example is Designblok Cosmos, a special travelling exhibition that appeared both at Designblok itself in October 2023 and then at this year’s Milano Design Week; another is the Made by Fire project dealing with Czech glass and porcelain from both historical and contemporary perspectives.

“More than a year ago we began discussions with Jan Jírovec regarding Rockaway Capital investing in our projects, hence the Designblok Festival, the Czech Grand Design Awards, and the Křehký brand. We were enticed by opportunities for further development of our activities, strategic linkage of projects, and sharing know-how. Over its 25 years of existence, Designblok has achieved a prominent position both at home and abroad, and now it has an opportunity for further dynamic growth. I’m also glad that we’ve become part of the Rockaway Arts group along with the KVIFF and Colours of Ostrava. These leading festivals are proof that in the Czech Republic we’re capable of putting on important cultural events, thus helping develop our society and economy,” adds Profil Media co-owner and director of the Designblok Festival, Jana Zielinski.
In October 2023, the Prague international design festival celebrated its 25th jubilee. Over the years, it has allowed hundreds of designers to exhibit their work in attractive locations, often ones that are not usually open to the public or are unconventional choices. This year’s festival, on the theme of Youth, will be held from October 2 to 6 and will once again take visitors to exceptional locations – to the freshly renovated Prague City Museum and the modern Bastion Florenc building, and after last year’s success will again also return to the Prague Castle and to the Museum of Art and Design in Prague. As always, the exhibitions are split into the Superstudio, which presents what’s new from Czech and global manufacturers presenting products created in cooperation with the best designers, and Openstudio, which features prototypes and mini-series without the participation of a commercial manufacturer. As always, the exhibition also features an extensive accompanying programme with lectures and discussions, sectoral meetings, fashion shows, and other special events that provide opportunities for networking and mutual inspiration.


The Rockaway Group, founded and managed by Jakub Havrlant, has a presence in 17 European countries, and the companies it manages have over 5000 employees. It operates primarily in the areas of e-commerce, e-travel, venture capital, fintech, media and blockchain – its portfolio includes the Invia Group, DODO Group, Vivantis, Euromedia Group, the Balkan Gjirafa e-commerce platform, tech startups, and RockawayX, which includes one of the largest blockchain funds in Europe.


The Profil Media creative agency was founded in 1999 by Jana Zielinski and Jiří Macek, and that same year it began organizing the Czech Grand Design Awards, the most prestigious award for local designers and creators, bestowed each year by the independent Academy of Design of the Czech Republic. In 2010 the company started its own brand, Křehký, which in cooperation with both Czech and international designers offers limited series and limited collections of collectible design made in Czech workshops. Since 2012, in cooperation with the Regional Museum in Mikulov, the company has been putting on the Křehký Mikulov festival of collectible design.