The US furniture brand sets down roots on the Mainland, opening a showroom in Shenzhen. Tamsin Bradshaw reports.
Friday 18 September saw Baker open its first store in Mainland China. Located at One Shenzhen Bay in Shenzhen’s Nanshan District, the 6,000-square-foot space gives the China market direct access to the furniture company’s blend of classic style and contemporary structure and know-how.
Baker draws on a legacy of artisanal skills in order to create its timeless chairs, tables, sofas, lamps and more. Hailing from Michigan, the brand was founded by a Dutch immigrant, Siebe Baker, in 1890; he brought his cabinetmaking skills with him to the United States. Today, hand-craftsmanship is still a core part of the approach at Baker, which works with designers like Barbara Barry, Laura Kirar and Thomas Pheasant on collections.
“Baker is a furniture maker and not just a brand name that sells OEM furniture. The knowhow and craftsmanship has been passed down from the first generation to the present,” says Anita Lin, General Manager of Baker Shenzhen and founder of Atelier A+, the only authorised dealer for the Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macau and Hainan Island markets. “When designing, Baker’s designers consider 360 degrees, so you will never feel embarrassed about putting your sofa in the middle of your living room.”
This is one of the reasons Baker – together with Atelier A+ – decided to enter the China market: the brand’s strong appeal to increasingly savvy, well-travelled and decidedly affluent customers on the Mainland, says Lin. “Users [in southern China] are becoming more and more sophisticated,” she explains. “They not only focus on luxury products such as jewellery, automobiles and fashion, but also fine furniture that offers a relaxing and quality living space for to live in, socialise, gather and relax in.
The Shenzhen showroom was designed by the Baker Shenzhen team, says Lin. The new store “is a much more open space than the Hong Kong one, and it has a more vibrant colour scheme.”
“We created real living rooms and dining rooms to let customers experience how they would apply the furniture in their own home,” she continues. The team created the sense of separate rooms by diving them with panels in glass, brass and wood. These decorative panels are transparent, so that “one can view the whole space from any corner of the showroom.”
The interiors aren’t the only thing that’s different about Baker’s Shenzhen showroom: the products on offer also differ from those available in Hong Kong. “We have more colour options in Shenzhen, whereas in Hong Kong, we use more neutral colour tones,” says Lin. The collections available in Shenzhen also come in a wider range of sizes than those available in Hong Kong, taking into consideration the relatively larger size of homes in China, says Lin. Visitors to the new showroom will find Thomas Pheasant’s contemporary-classic collections on offer here, among many others.