What happens when you take (a) 19 design-savvy women, (b) 2 dogs, (c) a dozen sharp marketing execs, industrial designers and PR professionals and put them in New York City with (e) wine and (f) fashion for 2+ days? You get Brizo's New York Fashion Week Event.
I was fortunate to be selected to attend this event, held just last week, the sixth time Brizo has held the event and the first time the invitees were all women. Any time I can travel and have a beautiful hotel room with a king size bed all to myself, I'm in heaven! (What can I say? I really enjoy a good bed and not having to share it every once in a while.) But add to this pleasure a team of brand professionals who actually make learning about faucets engaging and fun, and there you have this special event.
I'm saving the fashion part for a different post. This post will be about faucets. But don't think this will be boring. As Richard O'Reagan, President of Delta Faucet Company said, "Faucets are fun!"
I'm always excited to hear other creatives talk about the creative process. It's comforting to see that no matter what the discipline -- whether you are a fine artist, interior designer, fashion designer, landscape designer or, in this case, industrial designer -- we all start in the same place and struggle with the same process. On our first full day with the Brizo team, Judd Lord, Brizo's Director of Industrial Design, educated us on the process Brizo undertook to develop the Odin faucet. It started with a sketch by Lead Industrial Designer Seth Fritz . . .
and ended with a faucet so laden with style and technological innovation that it became the linchpin for the Jason Wu for Brizo bath collection.
Do you see the magic of that beautiful handle? It encapsulates Brizo's product designers' efforts to add surprise and delight when you use their faucets. But in addition to being beautiful, this and other Brizo faucets are packed with technological innovation. Like SmartTouch which allows you to turn the faucet on and off by a simple touch or even hands-free (the faucet senses when hands are within a four-inch range).
I was also captivated by the trend watch that the Brizo designers engage in. They formulate trend boards, getting their ideas from foreign travel, fashion, furniture and automotive design, and by attending gift shows. (By the way, so do we!) Tracking to see what stays relevant, the Brizo designers find that a typical trend cycle lasts 12 to 18 months. By monitoring trends, they are able to interpret and refine the major style categories that their products fit into -- Stately, Traditional, Casual, Contemporary and Modern -- and thereby target their products to the style preferences of consumers. Our group of designers and bloggers was so taken by these trend boards that we asked for copies. Definitely a worthwhile exercise to incorporate into my own practice.
Brizo's Senior Channel Marketing Manager, Jai Massela, in front of Brizo faucets and Concept Boards
Specifying Brizo Faucets will be easy for me. Getting to know the Brizo team gave me such an appreciation for their talent. And also, they're so much fun. But the Brizo brand also touches several other important areas for me. Their products are designed to conserve water and their packaging is recyclable, making Brizo at the forefront of sustainability. (Brizo is also the world's leading recycler of brass.) Moreover, Brizo gives back: it was the first national sponsor of the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway which raises money for research and patient treatment at St. Jude's Children Research Hospital.
Thank you, Brizo, for having me at this amazing event. Thank you to the those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure we were well taken of. And thank you to my fellow Blogger 19s (and their adorable pets). What a great group!
Footnote: Brizo provided transportation and hospitality for me to attend this event.