It's not every day a company turns 200—and Duravit celebrated the momentous occasion with a bang. The bathroom manufacturer, which began with pottery in 1817, drew over 1,000 guests from 85 nations to a black tie gala at Frankfurt's historic opera house, the Alte Opera Frankfurt. The event was timed with water and energy tradeshow ISH, where Duravit launched four new bathroom collections.
While guests dug into fillet of veal with lavender-seasoned green beans and creamy whipped parsnips, speakers including Gregor Greinert, chairman of the supervisory board of Duravit, and Philippe Starck, one of 16 of the company's designers to attend the occasion, took the stand.
Greinert relayed a family anecdote:
"I'd been mulling over a few elegant closing remarks, but when I was sitting over there my little daughter Lily asked me, 'Daddy, what are you going to do up there?'
And I said I'd be talking about Duravit. And she asked, 'Why? Why doesn’t Duravit just get up there and talk about itself?'
So I explained that Duravit is not a person, it’s a whole lot of people. Then she asked me, 'Are you in a team?' and I said, 'Yes, that’s exactly it. We’re a team.'"
Starck, meanwhile, concluded his speech by linking the world water crisis to the future of the bathroom: "Today we have a fantastic challenge. We have all the best designers here, and that means we have to invent the next bathroom without water—and do it with honesty."
And then came the surprise. The lights came down and American singer-songwriter Anastacia hit the stage. Belting out tunes, she drew the Duravit crowd to the dance floor.