On 10th May I was whisked away to Amsterdam to the headquarters of Bugaboo for the sneak preview of their newest pushchair the Bugaboo Cameleon³. I got to rub shoulders with PR’s, Bloggers and press from 11 countries and the fabulous people behind the brand. I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Max Barenbrug, the co-founder of Bugaboo, Aernout Dijkstra-Hellinga, the Creative Design Director and Madeleen Klaasen, the Marketing Director.
I met up with the UK Press team at Heathrow Airport, including Karin from Cafe Bebe, early on Thursday morning and my excitement was extremely hard to contain. After a very short flight we arrived at Schiphol Airport and headed over the the Arena Hotel where Bugaboo were kindly putting us up. The Hotel was spectacular. It was located in an old Catholic Orphanage so was a lovely structure and had some amazing staircases inside.
We dropped our bags off at reception and headed to the cafe for a drink before our Taxi came to collect us for the Bugaboo event. It didn’t take too long and I had to literally hold myself back when we pulled up and saw the huge Bugaboo signs. We were shown to a floor that was so white it hurt my eyes. I soon realised why it was made that way. The pushchairs literally sprung out at you on that back drop with their bright colours and slick styling. There was a bar and buffet with waiters seeing to our every need whilst we waited with baited breath for something to happen. After a little while we were set free into the show room and able to play with the Donkey, Cameleon, Bee and see all of the designer collaborations and special editions including the brand new Neon. Each station had a member of the Bugaboo team on hand to answer each and every question that we had.
My favourite section had the very first Bugaboo on display. The one that Max Barenbrug designed for his graduate project and that was turned down by manufacturers in the early days. There was also a Bugaboo Classic, the first one that was publicly available, that had been purchased, used for 3 children and then given back to Bugaboo. It was still fully functional and in superb condition despite it’s age.
This section was manned by Aernout Dijkstra-Hellinga, the Creative Design Director and showed the true evolution of Bugaboo. From the original project to the classic, the frog, the Gecko and then the Cameleon. Little did I know that there would be a new step in the chain later that day.
After a thorough look at all the products we were taken to the back of the room for the great unveiling. By this stage Aernout had let slip that it was a stroller and when they started lining up the original Bugaboo, the Gecko and the Cameleon I started to realise what they were going to be showing us. Unfortunately because of the Embargo that I had to sign promising to keep the Cameleon³ a secret until 1st June 2012 I wasn’t allowed to take any photographs of the big reveal.
We were shown the Cameleon³ next to it’s predecessors and shown all the changes in detail. We were then all given one to play with, take notes and really get to grips with the new features that it had to offer. After a good play we were given the opportunity to speak one on one with Max Barenbrug, Aernout Dijkstra-Hellinga and Madeleen Klaasen.
I was really quite overwhelmed and starstruck and with only a limited amount of time I had to choose my very best questions. I asked Max Barenbrug if Bugaboo would ever “buy into” the technological side of pushchairs, the gadgets basically. Max gave a typically blokey answer and said that he has never added bits to his pushchairs like consoles for holding drinks and little bits and pieces because that is what his pockets were for! I asked Aernout how he coped as a new designer in a company with a very strict DNA and he said that he found it a challenge and made his job a lot more fun because he had concepts and ideas that had to be adhered to but he could use his imagination to make them perfect. Madeleen spoke a lot about the Social Media explosion and how as a company customer feedback is imperative so they are looking at branching out beyond Facebook.
When the excitement died down a little bit we were all taken back to the hotel for dinner and were treated to a lovely 3 course meal and drinks. I was a good girl and headed up to bed just after midnight because I wanted to take full advantage of the hotel room that I had been given! It had it’s own set of stairs! I was so tired that when I woke up the next morning I hadn’t moved from the spot I’d settled into when I got into bed so felt mildly disappointed that I had wasted an opportunity to starfish in such a comfortable bed. After breakfast it was time to pack up and head back to the UK where for days I was still buzzing about such a fantastic event.
For more information on the Cameleon³ take a look at our write up.