From the outside, it can sometimes appear as if brands co-op with various designers for only a short period of time and then move on to new collaborators. As part of this month’s theme: Scalability and modular thinking, DANISH™ asked three Danish brands about their approach to human relations when in partnership with designers.
“Metal fatigue” is something that needs to be avoided, they all agree upon
Mater – CEO and Founder Henrik Marstrand
Since the founding of Mater, CEO and founder Henrik Marstrand has been involved in various partnerships with designers. And quite a few of them are still going on:
“When a designed product shows good sales numbers, it is natural to try and create the next product and so forth. Fortunately, we have been very lucky here, because, in all honesty, if things are not selling and the collaboration is still new, it´s harder to start all over again”, he explains and continues:
“We simply need to be aware of continuously adding a commercial perspective to our work without forgetting to keep a sustainable focus on the choice of materials. Why continue with an expression that´s not holding any business potential even if the product has a great sustainable quality? That hardly makes sense for anyone in the longer term.”
Even though he feels blessed from having participated in a lot of successful collaborations over the years, he is aware of the short-term-usage nature of collaborations and explains it like this:
“If you hold on for ‘too long’, there is sadly a risk that the market no longer desires products from the same designer with the same typology. A designer normally has a signature or a specific typology and that´s amazing when it´s selling but very problematic when, for some reason or other, it no longer enjoys popularity in the market”.
ONECOLLECTION – CEO and Co-founder Henrik Sørensen
Although Onecollection proudly have a history of participating in long-lasting collaborations to develop pieces in their portfolio, they still stay very alert to the performance of all their relationships, which Henrik Sørensen defines very simply:
“Some designers can have a hard time renewing themselves (or us) – so a change can be needed in order to be able to stay relevant in the market”.
This is, however, an ending the company try hard to avoid as loyalty and faithfulness are two values that are heavily appreciated in the organization:
“Actually…In this regard: You only leave us if, over time, we experience that it´s continuously hard to find new solutions and solve tasks together. These elements are what creates a long-lasting collaboration, and so if they are failing, we have to address this. But, faithfulness and loyalty have always been important to us and, dare I say, we even have a soft spot for some people. Values like this are not rational when seen from where we sit, but for us, it´s sometimes more about the heart than cold cash”.
AVIENDO FAIRY TALES – CEO and Founder Anders Nielsen
CEO and Founder of AVIENDO Fairy Tales Anders Nielsen does not neccesarily have the image that a collaboration should be happy ever after:
“The thing to be aware of is that by sticking too long in one partnership, the company and the designer can risk their relationship stiffening, possibly affecting their creativity and leading to a lack of new ideas or inspiration. But a collaboration is a shared responsibility that requires both sides to keep developing”, he states and continues:
“For us, it´s all about considering the pros and cons. We love new inspiration and adding to our portfolio the product line that new collaborations bring. At the same time, we acknowledge the fact that it takes time to create this chemistry and understanding of each other’s expectations, but that this might lead to us developing even better products.”
He concludes this by stating:
“So in order to secure continuity in our company it is not necessarily a must for us to change the designers!”
This article is the 3rd of 4 articles focusing on the collaboration between designers and brands.