Yesterday, OfficeRepublic received the wedding announcement of Belgium designer and manufacturer Extremis, and USA-based furniture manufacturer Steelcase:
Yay, we’re engaged! Steelcase proposed to us and we’re super proud to accept. Steelcase, a pioneer in the field of work and working environments since 1912, becomes Extremis’ partner for the corporate market in Canada, U.S. and Mexico.
We are both ready
Despite the age difference, we really fell in love with Steelcase and sparks are certainly flying. We love them for their wisdom and experience. And – it’s a classic – we also have a lot in common… For Steelcase, it started back in 1912, when they developed ‘The Victor’ wastebasket, a patented steel fireproof container. It became a bestseller and was eventually expanded into a line of products. In times when office furniture was mainly made of wood, they started to use steel to minimize the risk of fires in an environment where almost everyone smoked.
Today, Steelcase is the largest office furniture manufacturer in the world. Extremis has also played a pioneering role in the market. It started in 1994 with the multifunctional garden table ‘Gargantua’, which has since become a true design classic. We introduced genuinely sustainable and multifunctional furniture into a market where ugly plastic tables and chairs ruled. Our markets shifted and expanded; boundaries started to fade between indoor & outdoor, between work and leisure. So now it’s time to merge these worlds into one and to co-create even better places where people feel great.
In a marriage, one shouldn’t be dependent on the other. In the furniture sector there’s a worldwide trend of small brands being bought out by larger ones. Yet this is not what’s happening here! We are staying completely independent as a company and a brand, but we will reach the corporate market through one of the largest dealer networks in the industry.
Steelcase will cooperate with Extremis as their 6th partner, along with only two other European companies: Flos and Viccarbe. Corporate customers in Mexico, USA and Canada can now purchase Extremis furniture through the Steelcase configurator and are supplied by Steelcase logistics. This opens up a huge potential market for Extremis across the entire North American continent.
” Alone we are strong, together we are stronger”
No, we won’t take Steelcase as a last name and we won’t be moving in together (Yes, we’re staying in Poperinge). Neither does our engagement mean that Extremis will now start making office equipment, on the contrary. The relationship will give Steelcase customers easy access to more outdoor furniture choices in order to do their total office design at a one-stop-shop.
Extremis will, as always, stay true to its DNA and put the real meaning of its brand name into practice: translated from Latin it means “out of the ordinary”. Our creations can be used outdoors and can only be called ordinary in the sense of not being imposing, but humble and obliging.
It is precisely this identity that we’ve consistently pursued all those years, with the focus on design. So that makes us an ideal… uh… ‘bride’.
Let’s make it official
The official announcement of our engagement will be held on 11 June at the Neocon fair in Chicago. Integration will begin after that. Later this year there will be a ‘launch party’ to mark the real starting point of the collaboration.
“ Stay true to who you are”