Izzy Touts Power of 'We'

June 9, 2008
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CHICAGO — Izzydesign is introducing the theme “izzy, We,” said Tim Ruffini, director of brand management with izzydesign.

“It’s the power of we — of you and I bringing different competencies and different skill sets to the table, all the way from an individual to a company level. The reason we’ve chosen that word (we) is, honestly, collaboration. We believe in it and it’s an extremely strong word. A lot of people in the industry are picking up on it and I’m not sure if they necessarily understand what it means, so we just wanted to redefine it a little bit more to be more clear to our customers and partners.”

The theme of collaboration is prevalent in the two chairs izzy is showcasing at NeoCon. The pieces were created through a partnership with Norwegian company HÅG.

“It’s really emphasizing the ‘we’ of the Norwegian partners with the U.S. design and distribution strength to provide a solution that’s best for the customer,” said Ruffini. “And I will tell you, since I’m on the record: We also have purchased a Nintendo Wii — not to be too corny — which will be in the showroom.”

“HÅG will be taking center stage for us this year at the show by launching one side chair and then featuring and introducing a task chair to the marketplace,” said Ruffini.

The side chair is called Sideways, which was created to provide the user with a variety of movement through the removal of the usual armrests. The other chair is Futu, an ergonomic task chair.

“Futu resembles a brand new control or movement mechanism, the movement of the chair itself. … They’ve created a new platform that they can now design other chairs on top of, utilizing what they call the ‘balanced movement mechanism.’ That’s the new part about it: They’re creating a brand-new platform for many other models to ride upon in the future,” said Ruffini.

“It’s quite different from the typical movement of a desk chair, which is a bit more reclined in nature, and HÅG is a believer of a balanced movement, which means there is a forward and a rear movement almost like on a center pivot point. And what that encourages you to do is have more body movement from the feet all the way to the head, so it involves your body more.”

Izzy is the exclusive North American distributor for HÅG, and the two companies use each other to combine their skill sets.

“What happens during a product development is, they will involve us from a North American standpoint, and they’ll share their learnings from ergonomics and design from the European standpoint, and we can work together so when the product is launched, it can satisfy both marketplaces,” Ruffini said.

“It’s us receiving their products into the states, less of us taking products (to Europe). But what we take with them is our knowledge of our industry, of trends, of competition and design, and we kind of infuse that into their product development process to have a chair that’s almost more global in a sense.”

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