M2L: On the Edge of Modern Design

It’s a company that, perhaps enviably, now distributes the best-known names in seating design – from bentwood to Bauhaus to today’s masters.

M2L just added Gebrüder T 1819 to the lines it distributes in the U.S. Established by Michael Thonet in 1819, the Gebrüder brand spans 150 years, and is now available through M2L showrooms in New York, Boston and Washington D.C.

“It’s brand cabinetry on the edge of modern design,” says Michael Manes, president and founder of M2L.

With a clientele that’s mostly architects and interior designers, the products M2L handles usually find homes in companies with strong design cultures.

“We’re bringing fresh, iconic, modern products to the market,” he says.  “This is not Corbusier or Knoll – they don’t need us for that.  They want something that’s not everywhere else.”

Reintroducing the Gebrüder brand to the U.S. means bringing back classic bentwood and tubular steel like the Vienna coffee house chair designed by Michael Thonet in 1859 and the first cantilever chair designed by Mart Stam in 1926.  Then there are the contemporary pieces designed by Stefan Diez, Naoto Fukasawa and Lievore Altherr Molina.

Gebrüder is one of the oldest family-owned brands in the world with deep roots as an international leader in modern design.  Thonet invented mass-produced bentwood furniture, and the German company is known for its for its design and production breakthroughs that revolutionized the furniture industry.  It’s currently in its fifth generation with a Thonet at the helm.

In the 1920s, the family became strongly involved in the development and first industrial production of tubular steel furniture, working with designers connected to the Bauhaus – including Stam, Marcel Breuer and Mies van der Rohe.

Established 20 years ago, M2L is dedicated to serving the needs of smaller, family-oriented companies, rather than larger, equity-based firms.

“We like companies with a culture and a history of modern design,” he says.  “We’re a genuine design company with an authenticity of products.”

For more information, go to http://m2l.com/en/

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