After five years as partners and 15 years of working together, Edelkoort Inc. founder Li Edelkoort and Emmanuelle Linard are parting ways.
Describing the situation as “amicably uncoupled,” Edelkoort said, “I wish Emmanuelle a brilliant career as a coach and player in the virtual world. We will miss her dedication and energy.”
Linard said she has sold her shares in the company to Edelkoort, who has taken over the North American operations. She is in the process of developing a business plan, securing financing and building a team for her own New York-based corporate coaching company.
Edelkoort Inc. was founded in 1999, the same year that the company’s namesake became chairwoman of the Design Academy, Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, a post she held until 2008. Upon her departure, she was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by Didier Grumbach, the French Minister of Culture and president of the French Fédération de la Couture.
Philip Fimmano is now Edelkoort’s partner and the company’s artistic director. Edelkoort said of Fimmano, “We have been working together for over a decade and enjoy each other’s company and expertise. Together we have created exhibitions and publications and as a team we will manage to give the New York office a new contemporary dynamism.”
In addition, Ragna Frodadottir has rejoined the company to show its forecasting publications and give lectures on both coasts. Edelkoort Inc.’s newest product will highlight the activewear industry’s trends, materials, colors and how the category is inspiring evolution in other fields. Edelkoort said, “Many world brands are currently focusing on this domain so even if you are not creating active sports goods, it’s worth a viewing at the Abbey,” referring to the company’s East 16th Street space.
Regarding the restructuring, she said, “As a team we will be able to offer brainstorms, strategy sessions, color creation, product studies and branding, organized for the American market with shorter timing, more efficient formats and leaner prices.”
Linard plans to use her consulting business to put into practice the system of corporate values that she has developed to improve collaboration, jump-start creativity and better utilize talents. There will also be a digital platform. She said, “I customize these values to each brand, according to their DNA, with product, customer base, markets, location, structure, heritage, etc., while trying as importantly to look at their human capital,” she said. “Businesses are about people as much — if not more — as they are about products.”
Foreseeing a fetishism trend in design and culture, Edelkoort is presenting an exhibition along those lines during the current Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. Edelkoort’s and Fimmano’s selections will include works from Pepe Heykoop, Femke Agema, Brynjar Sigurdarson, Rodrigo Almeida and David Sarfati.