Brizo - The brand that dreams

Ancient Greeks worshipped her as a goddess, a protector of sailors and mariners. A soothing presence, she speaks in dreams. Her name is Brizo. Thousands of years later she was reborn as a fashion label. Brizo is a label that does not work in rayon or silk, but rather in chrome and polished nickel.

Many of you are like myself and have a multitude of faucet brands to choose from in your showrooms. Inevitably some of the brands become your personal favorites. For me, one of these brands is Brizo. I will even go as far to say I am a huge fan of the brand and the people associated with it. I love the style and detail that goes into each collection.

Ten years ago this April, Brizo was launched as a new fashion label for the kitchen and bath industry. I thought this anniversary presented me with the perfect opportunity to feature the brand and discuss its start, its achievements over the last ten years, and what the future holds for this young fashion brand.

Brizo was launched in April 2004 on a fashion runway in downtown Chicago. A customer event was held the night before KBIS where the new fashion brand was unveiled for the first time. The following day KBIS opened and Brizo was then unveiled to the world. I consider myself lucky to have been there for all of the fanfaire surrounding the launch including a fashion show that mixed models and faucets which was a first for our industry. The brand made such an impression on me that I honestly still have the invitation from that event on my desk. Where is it on my desk — now that is a different story.

Brizo from its inception has contended that a fashion statement need not be worn. It can be set on display for any guest to see. The Brizo brand brings fashion to where you dwell and entertain, where your style and taste are fully expressed. Brizo, exemplifies inspiration, beauty, performance and reliability. It’s a premium faucet brand that promises distinctive design, inventive faucets and accessories – pieces that make a fashion statement within the home.

Each of Brizo’s collections are created with their own style and purpose. Each faucet has its own personality as well. They have unique names and each name has a story behind it. As an example and since I am a Marvel Comic and movie fan let’s take a look at the Loki (lo-kee) lavatory faucet.

Loki is inspired by Scandinavian design, and pairs a graceful arc with a horizontal platform that resulted in a RedDot award for product design. The unique sliding handle system invites the user to engage with it to manipulate water pressure and temperature. The origin of the name comes from Loki, the Norse trickster god. He was the most colorful and interesting of all the gods, and an important element to nearly every Norse mythology story. The hidden and playful handles of the faucet were the inspiration behind the name “Loki.”

Brizo products become attractive both on the surface and in their ability to connect with its purchaser. Each of the collections stories are poetic and sophisticated, often esoteric in their tone. The stories combine with the product design and craftsmanship for a consistent feel throughout the brand.

Many people know that Brizo is a premium brand under Delta Faucet. I honestly feel that fact has caused many within our industry to think of it as just another Delta Faucet. I will argue that position with anyone as I feel it could not be further from the truth. From the beginning Brizo has had a unique brand position and message. From the start, Brizo has contended that expression of one’s self is not just achieved with clothing but through good design. No matter what the medium, good design stands the test of time. I have said always said, when it comes to Brizo you either get it or you don’t.

Rooted in the fashion and design communities Brizo has been intertwined with both from its beginning. When the brand launched, it was associated with such established fashion names like Isabel Toledo and Michael Kors. However as a young brand they wanted to tighten their ties to fashion. They were looking for one person to grow with as two fashion brands. Award-winning celebrity stylist, fashion editor and creative director Brendan Cannon suggested Brizo consider a young up and coming Taiwanese-Canadian fashion designer by the name of Jason Wu. They were a perfect fit. Both young brands represented craftsmanship, and a timeless style that is both innovative and fresh.

Since 2006, Brizo has been the primary sponsor of Wu and has supported his fashion shows at the semi-annual New York Fashion Weeks. Following the shows, the brand has hosted exclusive cocktail parties to bring together leading designers to celebrate the unity of fashion on the runway and fashion for the home.

Through their collaboration, the two fashion powerhouses have demonstrated that high-style can be achieved at home and on the red carpet. Jason Wu has created exclusive designs for Brizo – including several dresses and other clothing, a necklace and a Brizo table – some of which have been featured prominently in Brizo marketing campaigns and auctioned off to benefit the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA).

Although Brizo maintains a separate identify, it is backed by the service of the Delta Faucet Company. Many people may not know that even though housed within Delta Faucets world headquarters, internally there is a dedicated team tasked with the design, development and marketing of Brizo faucet. So it is like a Team Jacob or Team Edward kind of thing. I will let you decide which one Brizo is. It does make me smile to imagine people walking around the building wearing Team Brizo or Team Delta t-shirts. Brizo is essentially a company within a company. Brizo is also unique from many of its competitors because all of their designs are built in house from inception to production.

In recent years Brizo has done something I find truly amazing. Their literature features bios on the designers behind many of their iconic styles. Open a full line catalog or look book and there you will find Seth Fritz, Lead Industrial Designer, Celine Kwok, Lead Industrial Designer, and Judd Lord, Director of Industrial Design. They may not be household names in the world of design. Well, maybe not in your home, but they are at my house because I would put their talent up against any other in any industry. The level of talent just from these three in my opinion is magical. I also know each one of them and love the fact that I can convey to a customer the inspiration and design story for a Brizo faucet collection because I learned it from the designers themselves.

Many times in life you have to select form over function or vice versa. This does not stand true with Brizo. Brizo is more like fashion forward meets forward thinking. From the beginning they have offered first of their kind technologies from twist and lock pull down spray heads to the industry’s first hands free, touch-activated faucet Pascal. In recent years we have seen new technologies such as Smart Touch Technology, MagneDock Technology, TempIQ Temperature Control technology and many more. Each new technology has redefined luxury in the kitchen, bath and shower.

Brizo is much more than a fashion label that dreams, it is also a brand with heart. As part of Delta Faucet Company, Brizo received recognition as WaterSense Manufacturer Partner of the Year in 2011 and 2013 by the United States Environmental Protection Agenc.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is one of the world's leading pediatric cancer research organizations and relies heavily on charities, donations and philanthropic campaigns, such as the Dream Home Giveaway, to help raise money and awareness for its mission. Formed in 1991, the program allows for newly built homes to be raffled off with all proceeds directly benefitting St. Jude. It has raised more than $224 million for the hospital and awarded 280 homes over the past 20 years. In 2010, the Brizo brand became the foundation's first national sponsor and has since contributed over $1.5 million in products and donations to St. Jude Hospitals.

When it comes to partners we have in our showroom, Brizo sets the benchmark to which all others are measured. Even though they are positioned toward the premium to luxury segment I have found they appeal to anyone who wants to express themselves. I have excelled with Brizo since its beginning. I believe the success is due in part because I understand the message and story of the brand itself. It has allowed me to share much more of the brand with my customers. So much so even though our market is much smaller, my Brizo sales rival and surpass those of larger markets in our home state of Ohio.

In speaking about what lies ahead for Brizo it was clear that they are going to stay true the brand platform which is to meet the demand for aesthetics and performance with distinctively designed faucets and related products that create a fashion statement for the home. They will provide the latest in innovative technologies, fashion-forward design and award winning performance. Last year Brizo’s added collection extensions to many of their faucet collections that included freestanding tub fillers. This year two new collections and a new showering technology were recently introduced at KBIS in Las Vegas.

HydraChoice Body Spray System – The new HydraChoice Body Spray System offers clean lines typical of a flush mount design, but with maximum flexibility and functionality. Spray heads extend automatically with water pressure and can be adjusted 50 degrees in any direction, allowing users to aim the water exactly where it’s wanted. In addition, consumers can choose from four interchangeable spray heads to further customize their showering experience. Four spray options are available: invigorating; massaging; soothing; and full spray. Select spray heads also feature H2Okinetic Technology to provide the feeling of a warmer, more drenching shower while using less water, helping transform the bathroom into a relaxing retreat. Available this summer, the HydraChoice Body Spray System is offered in the Brizo brand’s complete selection of finishes to coordinate with any bath.

Influenced by soft contemporary design sensibilities, the jet-like appearance of the Brizo Sotria™ lavatory faucet was inspired by the streamlined architecture of airplanes to deliver modern elegance in high-end spaces. Providing a unique take on angular spout architecture, the fixture will be available with a channel or closed spout and in a variety of finishes, including Polished Chrome, Brilliance Polished Nickel, Brilliance Luxe Nickel and Matte Black

Invoking the detailed, hand-forged sentiments of early 20th century metalworkers, Brizo Artesso™ kitchen faucets blend traditional design with industrial chic inspiration to modernize the urban kitchen workspace. Available in a range of modern finishes, including Polished Chrome, Brilliance Stainless, Venetian Bronze and Brilliance Polished Nickel finishes, the pull-down faucet also offers SmartTouch Technology, to allow users to activate the flow of water with a simple touch.

For this article I had the pleasure to interview many of the people behind the curtain that is the magic of Brizo. I want to say thank you to Laura Brooks, Brizo Sr. Brand Manager, Jai Massela, Brizo Sr. Channel Marketing Manager, and Brizo Brand Director Brian Nobbe. I'll refer to a direct quote on page 66 from the Brizo Brand Director himself as it speaks to exactly why I am such a fan.

Dion Wilson, Manager of Waterhouse Bath & Kitchen Studio and interior designer, has worked in the kitchen and bath industry as a showroom specialist for the last two decades. Under his direction, Waterhouse has garnered national attention. He is considered one of the industry's leading social media experts. Dion can be reached at 125 E. Indiana Ave, Perrysburg, OH, 43551; phone 419.874.3519 fax: 419.874.9529; email manager@waterhousebks.com; or website: www.waterhousebks.www.waterhousebks.comcom. Facebook www.facebook.com/Waterhousebks or on Twitter @dion1701.

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