The Netherlands based firm Brand van Egmond has become a leading force in the creation of lighting sculptures. After opening Brand van Egmond showrooms in Europe and Asia, San Francisco has now welcomed the first US showroom. The atelier was founded in 1989 by architect-turned-sculptor William Brand, whom we had the pleasure of speaking with about the expansion to the US.
Could you tell us a little bit about the company?
After graduating as an architect from the Art Academy in Utrecht, I wanted to design autonomously above all else; I wanted to be able to create without the terms of others. In addition to the fact that nobody could comprise our first creations, I wanted total freedom in my artistic life. This was in 1989, since then we have grown and now we have an eclectic clientele – from royals to rappers – all over the world.
Why did you decide to open a showroom in the US?
We receive more and more requests from America, especially for customized objects. Since we manufacture everything by hand, we can easily deliver customized work: we have recently been able to do that for special hotels but also for beautiful residences in America. Moreover, there seems to be a genuine interest in our more sculptural approach to light; that is seen as “very European” and at the same time “daring”.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My inspiration is as diverse as life itself: from the greatness of nature to a special experience in the lives of our customers. All this can be the start of a new design.
What do you find to be the biggest difference between the US compared to Europe?
We notice that Dutch customers regularly make their own decisions, without professional support. Americans always seem to work with an architect. Indeed; it can sometimes be bigger in America, given the huge spaces. Fortunately, we can meet every all these kinds of demands.
How do you see the future of your company?
We see San Francisco as a first step; we would like to deliver more to the American market and listen to what is really going on with our clients and partners.