Markets: Specialty Interiors
What began as a mutual admiration between two leaders of their respective industries – Roger Milliken and Florence Knoll – has grown into nearly 60 years of collaboration for their respective companies.
In 1958, Roger Milliken hired the Knoll Planning Unit, led by Florence Knoll, to design Milliken & Company’s New York office main sales floor using her unique approach of cohesively marrying efficiency and aesthetics. Known for her now iconic designs that focus on creating highly functional spaces and pushing the design envelope, Knoll shared many of the same ideals Milliken emphasized in his own business.
“Mr. Milliken’s selection of Knoll was intended to make a statement on the company’s identity as a leader and vanguard, developing products and processes that anticipated the needs of consumers,” said Stacy Walker, corporate director of brand experience, Milliken & Company. “Just as Knoll was the definer of the modern office, Milliken became the definer of modern manufacturing operations.”
Milliken’s drive to anticipate what’s needed next remains at the heart of who we are as company today. We believe that good design is not only functional but beautiful; we are thoughtful about how each space will be used and how we want people to feel in them; we understand what’s driving current trends, but also focus on elevating the classics; we use thoughtfully designed materials to solve problems, and we continue to invest in developing improved products and processes, not for the sake of innovation alone, but for the benefits that innovation can deliver.
Milliken and Knoll continue to work closely together, collaborating on fabrics and furnishings that resonate with users. While the New York office no longer exists, Milliken’s corporate headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina, as well as other offices around the world, feature many Knoll pieces, including several rare vintage items that are still well-loved today.
As we celebrate 60 years of progress working together, we look forward to what the next 60 years will bring.