Hey COFO’s! It’s been so fantastic bringing COFO to life the last few weeks. We finalized THE ROQUE for IDS, our website and social media outlets are live–all of these puzzle pieces are coming together and the picture gets clearer every day.
Below is the first official press release for COFO Design. It’s a huge milestone for us and we’re excited to share!
Randy + Des
In an industry rife with disposable furniture made by nameless designers, Randy Simmen and Desmond Chan wanted to change the landscape. COFO, with ‘cofounding’ partnership as its core value became a collective that fosters Canada’s burgeoning creative potential. One that actively seeks out new designers, gets their work made and brings the products to market.
“It was about shining a light on the incredible design talent in our country,” says Simmen.
He and partner Chan felt their cooperative outlet would help young creative people who otherwise ran the risk of languishing in obscurity. “We wanted to do it as collaborators, partners,” says Chan. “You bring your ideas, we’ll make them happen.”
In essence, the co-founding spirit began as soon as the two brought their disparate but related backgrounds together; Simmen as a project manager in the custom design and fabrication of retail environments, Chan as a creative director for Nobis, a Canadian luxury outerwear brand. It came to life as a design challenge which asks senior students and recent design graduates to submit work in a variety of home furnishing categories. COFO selects the best designs, takes care of all manufacturing and overhead costs and gives the designer a percentage of online sales.
“It’s our way of curating the best ideas, and promoting the new leaders in the industry in the process,” Chan continues. “A win for everybody”.
This year’s Interior Design Show marks the official launch of COFO Design, with a spectacular booth installation featuring their first finished piece, a comfortable yet stylish lounge chair which is also a first for new Canadian designer, Trish Roque. And in keeping with their promise of giving credit where credit is overdue, they’ve named it, “The Roque”. The chair is manufactured in the factory at Simmen’s workplace, Visual Elements; a GTA fabricator of retail environments for luxury brands including Hermés, Coach and Louis Vuitton. It’s currently available to the public as a pre-order at cofodesign.com
“The chair is more than a piece of furniture, it represents an idea brought to life, and to the market,” enthuses Simmen. “And believe us, there’s more where that came from.”
2018 sees the COFO design challenge continuing until the end of February, followed by the launch of a full furniture collection in the fall.
COFO, short for “Cofounders”, is a Canadian design collective formed in 2017 by Desmond Chan and Randy Simmen. Its mandate is to highlight new, undiscovered talent in home furnishing design, bring their work to market and give each designer a percentage of sales.