2016-02-19 - "We were led by the idea that having a child doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style. Quite the opposite in fact! We wanted to create new ways to express your style.” says Madeleen Klaasen, Chief Marketing Officer, on the groundbreaking series of designer collaborations and limited editions created by Bugaboo.
From avant-garde to high fashion to street style, Bugaboo was the first company to take the stroller out of the playground and onto the catwalk by working with fashion designers such as Missoni, Marc Jacobs and Viktor&Rolf. “It’s all about being inventive and creative - and going for the unexpected.” Continues Madeleen Klaasen.
We introduced the first Bugaboo stroller in 1999, with the idea to create the perfect all-in-one stroller for parents who care about design - and who would like to continue their active lifestyle. Since then, Bugaboo has become the go-to stroller brand for combining high performance with high style, thanks to Bugaboo’s limited editions, which are only available in limited numbers and for short periods of time. We speak to Madeleen Klaasen and Barber Ebbinge at Bugaboo to find out more.
“Our strollers have always been about finding the perfect balance between form and function,” says Barber Ebbinge, Special Collections Designer at Bugaboo. “Five years after Bugaboo was founded, we decided we wanted to open ourselves up to new ideas and influences from outside of Bugaboo – and give parents something completely new.”
To push the stroller to the next level, the team at Bugaboo went back to the core of the product: form and function integrated. Treating the original product design of the Bugaboo Cameleon as a blank canvas, the design team worked with some extraordinary partners from the world of fashion to help take the stroller into new territory.
This was the beginning of a journey that would bring Bugaboo together with some of the world’s most interesting designers and cement the brand’s reputation as a company who dares to do things a little differently.
The beginning: Bugaboo by Bas
“We have always been proud of our Dutch roots, so we decided to find an up-and-coming Dutch fashion designer to present a new take on the Bugaboo Cameleon. We asked the Dutch Fashion Foundation to show us the best graduation portfolios from that academic year. One designer stood out immediately, the (at the time) relatively unknown designer, Bas Kosters.” says Barber Ebbinge. “His work was so fresh and different. We gave him carte blanche to use the Bugaboo Cameleon as blank canvas to create something completely new.”
The end result was a game-changer as it took the stroller into high-end stores, fashion magazines and even to foremost art festivals, such as Art Basel in Miami. Madeleen Klaasen: “People were shocked – in a good way! Because they had never seen anything quite like it. That’s when we started getting calls from other brands like Marc Jacobs, Paul Frank and Viktor&Rolf. It was the start of our special editions adventure.”
Next stop Paul Frank, Marc Jacobs and more
Next up was a collaboration with Paul Frank in 2008, a brand with an instantly recognizable graphic style and cult following. “We made tailored fabric sets and accessories with camouflage and skulls and crossbones to spice up the Bugaboo Cameleon. Some people were horrified! They said that you couldn’t put that onto a product for children. We thought it looked cool though,” says Barber Ebbinge. And so did hip parents and Paul Frank devotees all over the world.
“We quickly realized many parents want to express their style in a distinctive way, so we decided to develop two lines, our own limited edition special editions and our designer collaborations. There is a wonderful vulnerability to collaborating with other designers because you never know exactly where the design will go. It’s always new and unexpected.” says Barber Ebbinge.
The Bugaboo Cameleon by Marc Jacobs followed quickly, as the New York designer called upon Bugaboo to co-create a highly desirable, limited-edition stroller, exclusively for sale in the Marc Jacobs stores in New York, Paris and Amsterdam. After Marc Jacobs, a whole series of limited edition strollers were developed and produced including collaborations with Viktor&Rolf, Stockholm’s Mini Rodini and countless others.
A Missoni moment
In 2011 the company astutely brought Bugaboo’s directional design together with Italian knitwear giant Missoni’s mesmerizing prints. “In a sense this became one of our most successful collaborations as it fulfilled one of Bugaboo’s mottos: being exclusive without exclusivity. It was highly desirable design, but at the same time available to everyone; even if you already had a Bugaboo stroller, because here we focused on tailored fabric sets and accessories. It made having a Missoni affordable!” says Barber Ebbinge.
Angela Missoni, co-owner of Missoni, says:
“It was a great joy to work on this project. Children are so sensitive to colors and patterns. Working with Bugaboo has given me a unique opportunity to create a dream stroller to be enjoyed by children and to stimulate their senses.”
A meeting of minds
Bugaboo’s next big move was joining forces with fashion and lifestyle brand Diesel in 2014, bundling the two companies’ rebellious spirits and passion. This collaboration resulted in the Bugaboo by Diesel collections, of which the Bugaboo by Diesel Military collection and the Bugaboo by Diesel Denim collection have already been launched, and one is still pending for this year. So watch out for the grand finale of our collaboration with Diesel, it’s coming soon!
Madeleen Klaasen concludes: “We look for brands with authenticity and make sure that there is always a story to tell. The thing I love about our special editions is that they are so us. It’s a chance to experiment and the opposite of playing safe. Parents in style really appreciate this creative approach.”
Find out more about our current limited edition strollers here.