Bumble and Bumble by Piet Houtenbos

An inside look at Bumble and Bumble Limited Edition Hair Trimmings by Piet Houtenbos, who delves into his inspiration for these festive holiday designs.

Bb_bandball_2
Bb_bandball_3_use_this_one

On the Bb. Bandball:

 "The
Bandball was the beginning.  We were playing around with the idea of
making a rubber band ball out of hairbands.  On the outside it looks
pretty straight forward.  The interesting part was designing the core,
something that surprised you in the center when you finally lost all
the bands.  The huge exchange of gifts this time of year actually
helped to inspire all three products and became a driving force in helping
to turn these things into 'something'.  In the spirit of the holidays
these little pieces needed an added layer of usefulness or surprise to
turn them into redeeming gifts, as opposed to, 'Hey, I got you 30 bobby
pins.'

 The
realization was that while it was a great looking way to deliver a
whole load of bands to someone, one day they would all be lost and
you'd be back to having just a few bands around.  The solution was to
design something that was great at holding 10 or 15 bands.  Give them
100 bands but help them out when they only have a few.  So after a few
iteration of what that center core could be exactly, the pink bouncy
rubber ball came to be.  I've always liked the look of randomness, like
how flowers fall in a vase.  So the idea came to cut 10 random orbits
into the core ball which fit the first bunch of bands nicely and
visually mimicked the look of the ball in its fully covered 100 band
state. 

 I've
always been amazed watching some women fumble for a loose Metrocard in
their great big purse with the train pulling into the station.  Same
goes for hair elastics.  There's always a few at the bottom of a purse,
a couple in the bathroom loose in a dish with other stuff, a few in
some other bag, etc.  In this particular case its the afterlife of the
product, when its almost done - thats when the product becomes
important and far more useful.  Someone's gotta help alleviate the
bottomless purse problem." (I couldn't agree with Piet more here)

Bb_pinwheel

Bb_bandwheel

On the Bb. Pinwheel and Bandwheel:

 "The
Pinwheel's and Bandwheels were a little different.  Inspiration for
these things are a funny thing.  They're basically very simple objects,
and limiting the amount of pins and bands to 30 made it a little harder
to turn it into 'something' and also a look a little festive.  I didn't
want to make it too blatantly holiday, I thought it should be festive
but also simple enough to outlast December without being too annoying.
So the best inspirations became things like ornaments and snowflakes,
not Christmas trees and gnomes, although gnomes are cool, even the way
you spell gnome is cool.  Gnome, Human Genome.  Okay."  (Come back to us, Piet)
 "You
come up with a lot of junk trying to put 30 pins together nicely.
Finally I put a whole slew of pins on their side, showing their
profile, they ended up in a beautiful radial pattern that looked
exactly like an intricate snowflake.  It was a totally impractical
design and needed way too many pins but it was the spark that began the
radial patterns.  The twisted nature of the Pinwheel actually came
about for a few reasons, some functional, some visual, but in the end
the twist reminds me of candy canes.  So both the Bandwheel and the
Pinwheel adopted this twisted snowflake ornament kind of look.  The
funny thing was both the pins and bands left great open areas in the
center of the disc's, it became a perfect place to brand the pieces.
The idea of striking a little branded coin came from that gift idea i
was talking about earlier.  It turned out to be a great little thing to
keep, toss, give to your friend, or try your hardest to redeem at
Bumble and Bumble for two actual cents.

 So
that's the physical design of the products and some of the ideas behind
them, but what helped immensely was the collaboration with Bumble
themselves.  To get these things to be really 'Bumble-y' I got to work
with a great team at Bumble.  In particular Gillian Haro picked the
colors and did all the graphics for the beautiful box's, and tags, and
posters an much more.  She's a genius, I learned a lot from her, and
all of them.  Its a great place, everyone should get to work there."
Bb_gift_set_2


Bb_gift_set_1
Thanks so much to Piet, for letting us pick his brain. I happen to think that the Bb. Bandball is both beautiful and practical since I fall into that category of women who lose their bands to the bottomless abyss that is my bag.  I'll have to pick up one of those later.

Nadia Payan