According to a press release from Arbon (Switzerland), from 16 January 2009. – AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG, Arbon, one of Europe’s leading building products suppliers, has concluded an exclusive partnership agreement with French star designer Philippe Starck. In the first instance Philippe Starck will design exclusive kitchens for AFG, which will be marketed to an equally exclusive group of clients through the company’s existing distribution network. These Philippe Starck kitchens will complement AFG’s existing range of premium kitchens. The plan is to present the first models at the “Küchenmeile A30” kitchen furniture trade fair in Germany in September 2009, and then to launch them on the market from October onwards. The kitchens will bear the unmistakable design hallmark of Philippe Starck, many of whose creations have won the world’s most prestigious design and architecture awards and today enjoy cult status.
AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG produces around 20,000 kitchens every year at its production facilities in Switzerland and Germany. With its Piatti, Forster Küchen and Miele Die Küche brands, this makes AFG one of Europe’s leading kitchen manufacturers. “Together with Philippe Starck we are reasserting our claim to be an industry leader in terms of our products’ design, user-friendly functionality and distinctive identity,” says Edgar Oehler, Chairman and CEO of AFG. “With Philippe Starck and his charismatic qualities as a designer, we are setting new standards for exclusive kitchens”.
According to the European-kitchen-design.com exclusive sources, the reason for this partnership is due to the agreement AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG made with Miele 3 years ago – starting at the end of 2010, AG will no longer be able to market its kitchens under the Miele name. Without the Miele name, AFG’s kitchens will become the most expensive ‘no brand’ kitchens in the world… AFG hopes that the partnership with designer Philippe Starck will replace the Miele brand name and will allow them to continue marketing their products at the high end price range.