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A business consultancy, based in London, England, John Sacks' JSA Consultancy Services provides expert, in-depth, information advice and guidance as to how to exploit successfully the office furniture and interiors markets in Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan.

Itoki to launch in US

Monday 6 April 2009

Itoki Design, a subsidiary of Itoki, one of the top ten contract furnishings manufacturers in the world - will make its debut at ICFF 2009. Award-winning industrial designer Jeff Miller will head the new venture as creative director along with Yoshi Konishi, the president. The company, which is based in New York, follows the parent company\'s model of quality production and good design, but will have its own distinctive personality. The collection is being billed as a cross-cultural endeavor and encompasses a blend of Japanese technology and know-how, European design philosophy and American manufacturing.
As Miller puts it, \"It\'s a wonderful blending of possibilities - a New York designer with European and international experience working with an established Japanese company. Furthermore, by producing the furniture domestically we create the opportunity to bring business to American manufacturers that are greatly feeling the effects of the economic downturn.\"

Throughout its 100 years of existence Itoki has been highly regarded because of its success in balancing good design with price sensitivity; but its focus has been almost entirely on the domestic Japanese market. The idea for the creation of the subsidiary was the result of the company\'s desire to enter the US market. Previous efforts to export the already existing furniture line into the country proved to be price-prohibitive.

According to Konishi, \"For five years Jeff has designed furniture for the Itoki parent company. In my position as the company\'s US liaison, I worked closely with him and gained an appreciation for his design expertise. Throughout the partnership we began to see an opportunity for developing furniture specifically for the US and explored the idea of manufacturing here as well. We quickly saw that this would be an effective way to strengthen the Itoki brand in the market.\"

Miller and Konishi will direct the design and product development process from New York, while also taking advantage of the intelligence and expertise the Itoki engineers and designers in Japan. Miller added, \"The overarching goal is to be clever about production, doing simple things to create interesting, well-priced pieces. More importantly, each of our designs will be modern and streamlined and will include essential functional characteristics.

While the designs in the collection are made with the contract market in mind, they seamlessly cross over into hospitality, retail and residential settings.

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