How do you launch a product where there are no design fairs? Virtual Design Festival provided a new digital platform for brands to unveil their latest collections. Here's a roundup of some of its best brand collaborations and product launches.
VDF was conceived in part to give brands a way to showcase new products at a time when almost every fair was cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus.
It gave us a way to continue collaborating with brands on talks, interviews and movies that would normally take place live at events around the world.
Over a dozen brands including Kvadrat, Tom Dixon, Braun, Grohe and Fritz Hansen worked on content collaborations with VDF while the VDF products fair has been used to launch over 150 new chairs, lights and other products.
Among the most popular product launches with our audience were Herman Miller's update of the iconic Aeron Chair, Philippe Malouin's Lines rug collection for CC-Tapis and Vello's range of folding bikes.
Many of the brand collaborations generated highly topical content. Our collaboration with headline sponsor Grohe threw the spotlight on the increasing call for touchless products such as taps and toilets that will help people return safely to offices and other buildings.
Tom Dixon and Prolicht launched a new LED lighting system called CODE with a live interview with Dixon and Prolicht CEO Walter Norz.
The interview discussed how supply chains will need to change in the post-covid era, with products increasingly being made to order and components sourced locally.
Other collaborations brought people together at a time when getting together with distant friends in real life has been impossible. A series of talks for Dutch furniture brand Lensvelt saw founder Hans Lensvelt conversing with his friends and collaborators Maarten Baas, Joep van Lieshout and Fabio Novembre.
Lensvelt shared warmly personal stories about each designer, including details of how Novembre, who strummed a guitar during the talk, was best man at his wedding.
Several collaborations thought up compelling insights into the history of architecture design. The collaboration with Fritz Hansen saw its head of design, Christian Andresen, discuss the legacy of iconic Italian designer Vico Magistretti. The Danish brand also launched a selection of products, including rugs by designer Cecilie Manz.
Our collaboration with Swiss luxury watch brand RADO saw CEO Matthias Breschan, vice president of product development Hakim El Kadiri and Les Couleurs Suisse CEO Matthias Naumann discuss iconic Swiss architect Le Corbusier's colour palette, which has been used to develop a new range of ceramic watches.
Finally, our collaboration with influential German design brand Braun featured a talk with designer Ilse Crawford, the founder of multidisciplinary design studio Studioilse. Crawford is set to create an online video masterclass in design for Braun, structured around its key design principles Less But Better, Built To Last and Design For Real Human Need.