Interview: 5 minutes of fame with Mr. Bugaboo
Amsterdam- 1 June 2012. To celebrate the launch of Bugaboo’s Cameleon 3, select press from around the world was flown in to attend the release, and Prêt à Pregnant was one of the lucky few in attendance. The new member of the Bugaboo family was launched in secrecy so we’ve had to keep our lips patiently sealed for the last few weeks. But alas, we can finally share with you the details of our exciting trip to Bugaboo’s headquarters.
The entire second level of the Amsterdam company was transformed into a mini Bugaboo village. A sprawling space was filled with Bugaboo’s various strollers – from the Cameleon to the Donkey and knowledgeable team members perused through the crowd helping to answer any and all questions. Straight away, our eyes fell on Max Barenbrug’s Design Academy graduation project – the original Bugaboo prototype. We had seen Barenbrug’s university creation in Boo Magazine, but observing the original buggy in person was incredibly insightful and awe-inspiring.
Amidst the sea of journalists, Max Barenbrug could be seen eagerly giving a presentation – a tall, man dressed down in jeans and a blazer. Max’s casual attitude and accessibility is something we might not have expected from the man behind this multinational brand. Following the spectacular launch, it was time for our 5 minutes of fame with Mr. Bugaboo himself.
A timeless design with the perfect integration of form and function
The conversation immediately took to the design behind Bugaboo’s hugely popular strollers. Mr. Barenbrug’s eyes begin to twinkle when we hit this subject – it’s clearly an area of pride and knowledge for the founder. Max speaks very openly and his passion for Bugaboo is contagious. According to him, Bugaboo's global success is based on visual recognition – an elegant and functional frame that has a timeless appeal and worldwide demand. Barenbrug quite gleefully points out that Bugaboo is so well established as the symbol of a modern day stroller, that even cartoonists unknowingly sketch Bugaboo’s silhouette in their frames. Max smiles and explains these clippings are lovingly collected at his headquarters in Amsterdam.
A small apartment
When asked which Bugaboo model Max would choose for his own daughters, he answered without hesitation, the Cameleon - because of its versatility. Before Bugaboo’s overwhelming success, Barenbrug lived in a small walk-up apartment with narrow halls and very little square footage. He understands the needs of young families and was inspired to create buggies that are space and weight conscious. As families and incomes grow, the Donkey becomes another plausible choice, Max points out.
Together with his wife and two daughters, Max leads a relatively simple and quiet life, despite his great triumphs. He draws inspiration for his designs from the world around him and of course how he used the strollers with his own children. He is constantly innovating, altering and creating based on real-life necessities and keeps family safety at the forefront of his craftsmanship.
From tennis instructor to plasterer, everyone gets a Bugaboo
Max is of course proud of the work he produces and is happy to spread the Bugaboo love. From his daughter’s tennis instructors to the men who paint Barenbrug’s walls, everyone in his environment get a Bugaboo. Max is also willing to stop people on the streets and fix little details that might seem off or simply chat about their thoughts on Bugaboo – and due to his low profile, passersby rarely recognize him as the brain behind their stroller.
The man behind the international success
Barenbrug is a popular man at the company and beloved by his employees, so said one worker at the headquarters. She explains that he is incredibly involved with each process and thoroughly focused on the details. Another colleague jumped into the conversation to underscore Max’ accessibility and stresses that each and every employee come to work everyday wanting and excited to give one hundred percent to the brand. After meeting Mr. Barenbrug, the high praise comes at no surprise – his enthusiasm for innovation and design has clearly rubbed off on his staff, and it shows given Bugaboo’s exceptional achievements.
This one is for the Prêt à Pregnant wall of fame!
The Bugaboo specials. We still love the Missoni Edition.
The first edition of Boo Magazine.
Irene Muller, Global Marketing Manager of Bugaboo, explained everything about the specials!
Alle the press waiting for the release of the improved Cameleon 3.
Bugaboo workshop from Mr. Bugaboo.
Max is showing the evolution of the Bugaboo Cameleon starting with his final project.
The different outlets.
The Bugaboo Village.
The Bugaboo Neon in real life! How fab is it??
(Editor: Janine Breukhoven-Kho)