Anita Schmidt, the internationally renowned furniture designer, has been working with Durlet since its inception in 1966 – now already with the third generation within the firm.
From the very first start up till today, she has always seen the collaboration as a major challenge and has taken her job very seriously. Never has it become routine. Cooperation with the Vanzieleghem family has led to well-developed friendships, and she now knows the development department of the company like the back of her hand, so that work meetings always take place in a pleasant and constructive atmosphere. She knows the soul of the company, and therefore can enter very easily into the spirit of what today’s Durlet customer is after. Furthermore she has been instrumental in laying the foundations of Durlet’s trendsetting image, since she has always been involved in all elements of the communication mix: from the graphic design up to and including the conception and building of what, for that time, were really unprecedented exhibition stands.
As Anita Schmidt points out, “form, function and ergonomics are the benchmarks to which all my designs are subjected before they are developed into final designs”. And that is the major explanation for the long line-up of her successful models that have been in the Durlet collection over the many years. It is also one of her great strengths that she always succeeds time and time again in creating highlights and in giving shape to the new trends for furniture design in contemporary demand.
Meanwhile, travelling to Belgium has become, for Anita Schmidt, like “returning to her second homeland”, and she enjoys every moment of her stay here, where work is invariably combined with cosy evenings, good food and great wines. That gives rise to her gaining ever stronger insight into the soul of the family company.
Some of Anita Schmidt’s most famous models from the past, probably not unknown to many people, are Jeep, Bogota, Portofino, Casablanca, Messina, Platinum, Acapulco, Alaska, Targa, Rhodes, Charly, Delphi, and Rio. Her Dublin model is one which has been in the Durlet collection for more than 40 years, and is still appreciated by many people.