Monday, November 28, 2016

Herman Miller unveils its New York flagship full of midcentury silhouettes

For more than 80 years, Michigan-based manufacturer Herman Miller has been one of, if not the most prominent purveyors of modernist design. Thanks to its collaborations with the biggest designers of the time - Ray and Charles Eames, Isamu Noguchi, Alexander Girard, and the like - the company’s name has become all but synonymous with midcentury modern furniture, which has grown ever more popular since its 1950s and ’60s heyday.
Despite that, there has never been a brick-and-mortar Herman Miller store in the United States, where Eames obsessives could go to see those iconic recliners or the couple’s space-age accessories in person. The company operates a downright massive factory in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and its products are available online and in showrooms, but a true flagship store hasn’t been part of the company’s plan - until now.
Last week, Herman Miller opened in New York City its first North American retail hub in a historic Park Avenue building (251 Park Avenue South) that also houses its offices, along with Design Within Reach (which the company acquired in 2014). The bi-level space is bright, open, and inviting, with different spaces dedicated to the different functions of everyday life: sleeping, dining, working, and so on. The idea, according to Linda Choong, Herman Miller’s vice president of consumer business, is to expand the brand’s fanbase beyond its core audience.

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