Nathalie Felber-Kaplan Brings High End Swiss Quality Furniture to the USA Market

Rey chair

Rey chair

Rey chair in green

Rey chair in green

Kaplan’s leadership and vision have brought global success, by launching the mid-century modern Rey chair in the US

LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES, July 21, 2021 / — Nathalie Felber Kaplan has launched Dietiker, the oldest Swiss furniture company, in the United States. She said, “I want to bring Swiss Quality to the US market, products that transcend trends and last for generations”. The female-led company determined that the US market was avid for its mid-century modern gem: the Rey chair.

Dietiker was founded in 1873 and is the oldest chair manufacturer in Switzerland. The company has been developing and producing furniture for 148 years—offering highly engineered products for a wide range of solutions for residential customers and hospitality businesses. The launch of the Willy Guhl chair in the late ’50s revolutionized the furniture industry. “It was the Ford of chairs” said Kaplan. “For the first time, a chair was available only in one color to optimize serial manufacturing”. The company followed that success with the launch of Rey in the 1971. The Rey chair was the first of its kind, with a unique patent for its screw-less wooden-metal connection, which has sold more than one million pieces worldwide since.

Kaplan, the CEO and Chairwoman of the board for Dietiker, saw the potential for the furniture brand in the United States. She commented, “With COVID 19 hitting us hard, we couldn’t carry out our hospitality and gastronomy strategy. From one second to the other, all of our contract business came to a halt In the USA”. So, Kaplan looked at ways to reinvent the company and adapt to the situation. It was with the Bruno Rey chair, that Dietiker has experienced great growth in the U.S. under Kaplan’s leadership. The Bruno Rey chair can, since last year, be found in the homes of some Golden State Warriors basketball players, among others. The company also signed a deal with Starbucks for children’s version of the Rey chair, the Rey Jr collection.

The Bruno Rey chair isn’t just popular in the United States. The chair was recently featured on the cover of ELLE magazine in Denmark. Designed by Bruno Rey, the chair first went into production in 1971 and became the most successful Swiss chair of all time.

Kaplan’s influence on Dietiker’s success has been pivotal to the company’s success in the last decade. Kaplan took over the family business when she was 31 years old after her father passed away. In 2014, Kaplan oversaw one of the biggest chair innovations in the last decade. A 1940s classic was re-edited as a fully modular product with a patented mechanism. For the first time, the same elements of a chair could be assembled to form as wood chair as well as a metal chair. The parts being interchangeable. Kaplan added, “I had the idea when sitting in a designer hotel lounge that had just opened. A brand new upholstered lounge chair already had a big coffee stain on it. And I thought… this is terrible. They need to send the entire chair back to be reupholstered. There must be a way to change parts locally”. The Felber collection was born, Kaplan dedicated the collection to her late father.

Another of Kaplan’s accomplishment was in 2016 and 2018, when Dietiker won two Designers’ Saturday exhibitions in a row. Designer’s Saturday was held in Langenthal, Switzerland, every two years from 1987 to 2020. The exhibition was dedicated to furniture, textiles, lighting, flooring and other interior and design-related products aimed at both industry professionals and the wider design-aware public. It is more of an installation and experience than a mere trade show. Dietiker won in 2016 with an installation of Swinging chairs in Autumn , where most of the collection of the company was adapted to hang as swings to the delight of the public. And then again in 2018 with it’s underwater swimming pool concept.

Kaplan was twice named to the 40 Under 40 in the Swiss economy magazine Bilanz.

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Jacqueline Rose
+41 52 742 21 21

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