Milan 2016 – Stefano Giovannoni launches Qeeboo internet-based Italian furniture brand and a alternative business model that “overcomes the battle that traditional retail is loosing against online retail” said the designer to Archipanic. The new collection comprises 25 plastic objects designed by Andrea Branzi, Marcel Wanders, Front, Nika Zupanc and Richard Hutten as well as Giovannoni’s own designs.
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The new range of pop and “non-bourgeois” furniture comes at an affordable price and includes rabbit seats, cherry lamp-shades and asymmetrical loop-chairs but also vases, tables and accessories. Giovannoni called international designers “with a narrative approach and an expressive language close to my own”.
“Design retail is living a grave conflict of interest between companies and their own distribution channels that is very hard to solve” says Stefano Giovannoni to ArchiPanic. “Brands often launch online sales so that you can buy a product paying less then what the store itself pays. That’s why many furniture stores developed a hostile and reluctant attitude towards some design brands”.
“On the other side, internet offers a growing opportunities. I saw with my own eyes how powerful online distribution channels can be. Qeeboo has a digital imprint, we don’t disdain traditional retail but we consider it as complementary. Basically the other way round of traditional companies that live in another era” adds the designer who owns the majority of the brand and is backed by a Hong Kong investor.
Stefano Giovannoni designed Rabbit Chair. You can sit down and lean your back against the rabbit’s ears or, on the opposite side, ride it and lean your arms on them. The design comes also in a smaller version for kids and as a lamp.
Front’s new Loop chair has a dynamic, asymmetrical shape. “Just as human bodies are not symmetrical we wanted to create a chair that feels individual”. The injection-moulded plastic chair is finely crafted on the computer in collaboration with engineers, one digital point at a time. “We know Stefano for many years. When he invited us to join this project we thought that it really makes sense under many aspects” says Sophia Lagerkvist of Front to ArchiPanic.
“Indeed, a lot of the costs that companies have to face goes to showrooms and traditional distribution models. Stefano’ssolution instead proposes more accessible desings to people. Plus a cheaper price and an efficient delivery system makes products more competitive and unique, preventing also chances of being copied”.
Qeeboo debut collection features several designs by Nika Zupanc including injection moulded plastic version of Ribbon Chair and the Cherry Lamp. Originally hand-blown in precious glass the seductive luminary comes now in explicitly glossy plastic and in a number of colors. The designer proposes also Daisy Lamp, Scarlet Table and the X Chair with X Table.
“As a designer I feel very honoured to be part of this new movement and new generation brand” says Nika Zupanc to ArchiPanic. “I admire Stefano’s quest that allows produtcs to be affordable. Until now, I was mostly working on objects that were quite pricey due to an expensive production process. Injection moulded plastic offer also a completely different opportunities”.
Marcel Wanders’ B.B. collection consists of a standing lamp and table lamp, together with a dining table and matching dining chairs. “Together the set can be flexibly adapted to accommodate many interiors. The weight of the classic archetypal forms is contrasted by the lightness of the thin and transparent plastic” explains Marcel Wanders.
Reminiscent of the designer’s New Antiques collection, the plastic legs of the lamps is placed on a solid base and follows the recognisable moulding. Jacquard fabric is upholstered onto the dining chairs and with a choice of black, white and colourful graphics can match the lampshades. The seats are placed onto a transparent plastic base, in clear or black, with the injection-moulding used for a curved appearance. This style of legs is also reflected in the dining table, which has an MDF top and it comes in various other dimensions.
Andrea Branzi designed Guru lamp, Koral vase and Pupa armchair. The figurative approach reminds to an expressive language far from the usual language of the industrial design products. “I think these iconic objects represent on one side an artistic approach, similar to the one of fine arts, but on the other side they are real products which succeed to communicate with a large audience” says the designer.
Richard Hutten’s fascination for maths and geometry inspired Pitagora and Superform polycarbonate lightings. The first one is an homage to the greek mathematician and combines five different regular forms into a lighting that looks different from any angle. Superform takes inspiration from the Supershape formula by Dutch mathematician Johan Gielis that shows how shapes in nature are described, starting with the circle.