German high-end sofa manufacturer Rolf Benz will be part of WantedDesign next May, to launch its latest collection in the U.S. We had a chance to discuss with Stefan Russ, engineer and director of development department, Bettina Hermann, director of design and product management and Norbert & Silja Beck, designers, around the brand core values: design, comfort and quality.
WantedDesign: The company celebrated its 50th anniversary. Can you share a little bit of the history and background?
Bettina Hermann: Mr Rolf Benz has started the company in 1964 and established the brand right away in the contemporary premium segment. In these now more than 50 years we could gather experience in sofa and chair upholstery. On one hand we have always worked with well-known freelance designers. A freelance designer will work in different fields and is able to work on new creations without “RB glasses”. This ensures a different dynamic inside of the collection.
The continuous evolution and innovation of seat construction and upholstery on the other hand is the other pillar of the Rolf Benz collection until today.
Further developments in the last 50 years were the changing room layouts and open room concepts. They have initiated the engagement of Rolf Benz in the dining sector around 20 years ago and a little bit later the focus on the international markets started. The latter had tremendously influenced the design part. A total paradigm shift was necessary but had to be realized gradually in order to keep the brand’s identity and get a more significant design language at the same time.