Founded in 1902 by Russian immigrant Louis Maharam, Maharam Design Studio expanded and became a company working strictly in theatrical costume and set designs in the 1930s-1940s. However in the ’60s, Maharam discovered their niche in designing performance-driven textiles for commercial interiors. For over fifty years now (and one year as a part of Herman Miller), Maharam continuously creates designs suited for commercial and residential interiors. Before joining the Herman Miller family, Michael and Stephen Maharam stood as fourth generation owners. Yet at this time, the company’s focus was aimed more toward Architectural & Design firms. Thus a shift in focus spurred a new culture within Maharam with design as the cornerstone. With a focused brand message, Maharam embraces a breadth of disciplines ranging from product, graphic, and digital design to art and architecture which coincides seamlessly with Herman Miller’s values and passion for quality products and results.
Throughout Maharam’s dominant journey in the commercial and residential design industries, Maharam has worked with some widely known and talented designers: Paul Smith, Hella Jongerius, Irving Harper, and Konstantin Grcic. Alongside these designers, Maharam works closely with A4 Studio who has assisted in building Maharam’s visual identity. A4 Studio designs Maharam’s cards, invitations, notecards, iPad home screens, Maharam’s own personazlied font and many other things.
As a fashion designer with a keen eye for trends and fashion, it is no surprise that Paul Smith took interest in Maharam’s designs. He quickly took action and began to incorporate some of Maharam’s designs into his clothing lines. When described by others, Paul Smith is a fashion designer who creates designs that encompass the idea of ‘classic with a twist.’ Paul enjoys creating pieces that are perfect for any occasion but are more than meets the eye. For example, Paul creates men’s blazers that are perfect for a night out, a business meeting or wedding reception. The outside is sleek and sophisticated while the inside tells a different story. He chooses diverse and fun patterns that are not usually seen inside a men’s blazer to keep them original and whimsical.
After graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven (the Netherlands) in 1993, Hella joined the design industry. Early in her career her designs were produced by a Dutch design collective Droog. Hella Jongerius’ design style prefers imperfection to create an original piece and an eclectic feel. Working with textiles, furniture and ceramics, Hella has incorporated her artisanal style into the industrial process—giving each design a unique touch.
Irving Harper, recently celebrating his 98th birthday, has exuded an extraordinary talent for paper sculptures throughout his design career. In 2013 Irving collaborated with Herman Miller and Maharam to produce literature highlighting the intricate details and delicacy of both his talent and creations. With over 300 paper sculptures of various sizes within his home, Irving relented the idea that these paper sculptures represent an outlet for stress relief from about 1964 up until 2005 when his home couldn’t fit anymore. According to Maharam, it is evident that at age 98 Irving is, “still young at heart” with a vibrant imagination.
Konstantin Grcic is an industrial designer with a passion for both technology and materials, and a strict discipline in careful design and architecture research. Currently with Maharam, Konstantin has been designing bags alongside his textiles, furniture, lighting and other requests by clients.
Maharam also made an appearance at NeoCon 2014–a huge event for the company. This year at NeoCon, Maharam debuted their entrance into the rug market by displaying new rugs along with their textiles and designs. Regarding their show floor, Maharam stated that they prefer to let the product speak for itself by showing the least amount of items at their best advantage.