VMSD - January 2012 - (Page 55)

FIXTURING designer profile STEVE KIDWELL Chippenhook’s vp of design kicks into high gear when there are brands he loves with problems to be solved. For Steve Kidwell, the best merchandising design starts with a passion for the brand being merchandised. And the vp of design for fixture-maker Chippenhook (Lewisville, Texas) really lights up when he talks about some of those brands that have elicited his passion, like the jewelry designer John Hardy and the higher-than-high-end William Henry pocket knives. But he also loves the problem-solving – identifying 1 issues that may not be front of mind. He redesigned a ring displayer for John Hardy, creating an open slot in the bottom through which 1 Steve Kidwell’s passion for problem-solving the price tag drops and hangs naturally rather than led to this Maui Jim merchandiser, which accommodates the brand’s various frame sizes bunching up beneath the ring. He created a special and special spring-hinged designs. 2 Kidwell sunglasses displayer for Maui Jim to accommodate that says he’s inspired by the architectural shapes he brand’s particular spring-hinged frame, which doesn’t sees around him to create presentations that are both practical and eye-catching, such as fold around the industry’s customary bridge post. this display for Gunnar. “I don’t want just a different shape or form of whatever fixture is ‘next,’ ” Kidwell says. “My passion lies in coming up with a unique aspect or function that makes the client say ‘that’s cool’ or ‘that’s different.’ ” Kidwell came into this industry at a time when designers were still doing hand drawings and sketches, and he feels this is still a key to success, today’s 3-D imaging notwithstanding. “Most of the time, an idea starts with a sketch,” he says. “It’s more informal, easier to deconstruct or change than a four-color rendered prototype that feels more like a finished product.” He says he’s inspired by different shapes and forms he sees in everyday life – architecture, furniture design, skylines. “I see a beautiful building, and I might make it into a small window element,” he says. At the end of the day, it’s still all about problem-solving for Kidwell. For example, he created a mirrored bracelet cuff for John Hardy so customers could see the intricate designs on the insides of the bracelets. For William Henry, he designed a magnetic board so the extra-sharp pocket knives could be displayed open without threatening to slice the sales associate’s hand. “I’m in love with magnets,” he admits. “They’re the coolest thing and have solved more display problems for me than anything else.” —Steve Kaufman vmsd.com | JANUARY 2012 2 55 http://www.vmsd.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - January 2012

VMSD - January 2012
Contents
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
Props + Decoratives
Judith Von Hopf’s Melissa Hopf
Lighting
Mannequins + Forms
Seven Continents’ Ken Albright
Materials + Wallcoverings
Furniture
Fixtures
Chippenhook’s Steve Kidwell
Flooring
Centiva’s Leigh Wright
Signage + Graphics
Best of the Rest
Ad Index
Lasting Impression

VMSD - January 2012

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