In what began with a single trash bin in 1939, the Vipp name has become widely recognized and appreciated by design enthusiasts around the world. The third generation family run business continues to step forward into the design world with innovative and practical new approaches to everyday use objects and environments.
What’s the story behind Vipp? It all started with a single trash bin in 1939, which my grandfather designed and kept producing for more than 50 years, making Vipp a manufacturer of trash bins for professionals only (hospitals, doctors clinics, etc.). We challenged this when my Grandfather died 18 years ago and my mother decided to take over the little metal workshop. My brother and I joined her shortly after. We challenged the bin manufacture definition when we hired an in-house designer and started developing bathroom and kitchen accessories around 10 years ago. In 2011 we opened up the first Vipp flagship store when launching our kitchen and bathroom furniture. We are continually adding new layers to the portfolio and new showrooms. Some years ago we thought that a kitchen matching the Vipp bin was the furthest we could go, and now we produce complete shelter.
Describe the company culture of a long-standing family business: Our basic philosophy is the same as my Grandfathers; developing functional tools. Based on the knowledge of 75 years of steel manufacturing, where functional requirements and material processing define the form. We share a big respect for his aesthetic and his values and every time we start developing new products we urge to do it better and different than what already exists out there. We are very passionate about what we do and that is why we are lucky being family owned and operated. We dare to do the unexpected because we do not just have the next quarter report in sight.
What is it about the Vipp product that gives it its strong staying power? Trends and fashion is what eventually goes out of fashion. Therefore, we intentionally avoid all changing fashions and trends, as this will legitimize Vipp as a long term investment. There will never be a spring or fall collection or something new for the sake of novelty. This allows time for gradual improvements of existing product but never rejuvenations. Aesthetics will only change for functional reasons. Vipp takes a clear opposition to the fashion injection that the industrial design business has been given with its obsession with ‘newness,’ seasonal collections and material trends. Instead, we seek to offer the market timeless products. Timeless in both quality and aesthetics. Our intention is products that will last – at least as long as our 75 year old bin.
What is the Vipp design philosophy? You see the parallels in use of materials like stainless steel and silicone rubber and in the predominant focus on function. For example, the cover of our laundry basket is made of the same thickness of steel as the bin lid using the same principle of production but designed in a more contemporary form. In terms of function, the 1900 perforated holes in the lid hold their origin in the need to ventilate laundry corresponding to Holger’s bin lid equipped with a specially developed damping mechanism making the lid close in a smooth and damped motion. While each serving its own distinct function, Vipp products share the point of departure – crafting a durable and timeless tool reflected in every detail.
Where do you see Vipp in 10 years? Hopefully in homes all over the world.
To learn more, visit Vipp and their private showroom in New York City, where Vice President Frank Christensen Egelund and Communication and Concept Director Sofie Christensen Egelund live and work.
Images by Anders Hviid.