The One that became an icon
The One that became an icon
2016-01-21 - “The Bugaboo Cameleon³ is the original stroller,” says its inventor Max Barenbrug, co-founder of Bugaboo. He tells us what it is about the Bugaboo Cameleon³ that makes it such a well-loved pushchair - and an iconic piece of design.
The first Bugaboo pushchair was introduced in 1999, with the idea to create the perfect all-in-one: a stroller that’s flexible enough to go anywhere and everywhere. This was the blueprint for today’s Bugaboo Cameleon³, which remains unbeaten due to its simplicity, versatility and high quality. In fact it’s still our best-selling pushchair - after more than 15 years.
Since its conception, technical details have been tweaked and improved countless times, but the shape, silhouette and essential design is still the same.
Back to the beginning
Max: “What initially led to the invention of the Bugaboo Cameleon was my surprise at the types of pushchairs I'd see on the street. Everywhere I went, I would see people struggling to fold and even use their pushchairs. And they all looked old fashioned and similar with infantile colours, cumbersome white wheels… There was nothing desirable about these products at all.”
And so, Bugaboo was born and quickly turned the industry on its head by creating a pushchair that fits a modern lifestyle - and appeals to both men and women due to a robust design and the use of sturdy materials. “What we did was – and still is – revolutionary, because it was totally different,” continues Max. “Back then, pushchairs were designed by men, who were guessing what women wanted. I wanted to create something completely new, something that you would feel proud of owning, and that would turn those early years together with your child into an adventure.”
Max: “We want parents to feel free, so we gave them an all-terrain pushchair with large wheels and real suspension, so that they could go off-road. We gave them an independent seat, so that they could take that seat everywhere. Most importantly, we imagined all the different ways that parents might want to use their pushchair. From the city to the woods, through sand and snow, we ensured that they could go anywhere with the Bugaboo Cameleon3.”
The iconic central joint
The central part of the Bugaboo Cameleon³ is, well, the central joint. That’s what makes it completely unique. Both in terms of functionalities, and in terms of aesthetics. The central joint is the mechanism that brings a very complex structure into a very simple and clean axis. Although it may look sleek and simple, inside is where the magic happens.
This is what makes the Bugaboo Cameleon³ multifunctional, in other words it enables all the different configurations. The central joint links all the functionalities: the brake, the two-wheel position, the reversible handlebar, the two piece fold… Also it gives the Bugaboo Cameleon its instantly recognisable shape and silhouette.
Max: “The central joint is the key invention. It’s all about bringing something very complex back to simple shape, where everything is integrated inside. This is what made the Bugaboo Cameleon³ into a design icon. You immediately understand how it works just by looking at it; it’s self-explanatory.”
So is it only the central joint that made the Bugaboo Cameleon³ into a design icon? Or is there more?
Max, again: “The Bugaboo Cameleon has become an icon because it completely changed the look, functionality and desirability of pushchairs. Not just for our own company, but throughout the whole industry. We first created this new type of pushchair back in 1999 - and where we went others followed. Well, they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, don’t they?”
He concludes: “Ultimately, creating a design icon is all about bringing complexity back to its simplest form, and at Bugaboo, that’s what we’re good at. We make things possible that didn’t exist before!”
An icon in numbers
- Approximately 475 separate pieces are put together to make a Bugaboo Cameleon³.
- A total of 393 different models of the Bugaboo Cameleon have been produced since the first one, including all the different colours, designs and special editions.
- The Bugaboo Cameleon³ has been tested to ride at least 9000 kilometers, or 5592 miles, which is roughly the distance from Amsterdam to Shanghai.
- This icon is on sale in stores in 51 different countries.
- Most importantly, well over one million children worldwide have loved their journeys in their Bugaboo Cameleon so far.
Design story: the Bugaboo Fox StellarSeptember 27, 2018 - Design
Join us behind the scenes to find out about the inspiration and design story of the Bugaboo Fox Stellar.learn more
Meet the designers: We are HandsomeNovember 16, 2017 - Design
Our latest collaboration with Australian lifestyle label We are Handsome brings bold and daring designs to our strollers and luggage. We caught up with Jeremy and Katinka Somers, the creative husband and wife duo behind the brand, to talk inspiration, travel and what it’s like to see Beyoncé sporting their creations.learn more
Creating the Bugaboo Atelier collectionAugust 15, 2017 - Design
We take you inside Bugaboo’s atelier where our products are crafted – from concept to creation.learn more