(The following images and text were published in Canadian Interiors.)
Many of the brightest stars in the Toronto A&D firmament glittered at Nienkamper’s golden jubilee party, held across the street from Nienkamper’s King Street East showroom, on the 17th-floor party room of the Globe and Mail Centre. On the lineup for Klaus’s book signing, Stella McTernan, of her eponymous interior design firm, reminisced about her days as a junior designer at Rice Brydone while specifying furniture for Petrocan headquarters in Calgary (now the Suncor Centre), completed in 1984. “The client asked why so much furniture was being ordered from just one firm, a Toronto company called Nienkamper,” McTernan recalled. She replied, “Because they make the best furniture”—and they still do.
Klaus Nienkamper Jr., president of the Klaus by Nienkamper retail store on King Street East, with his six-year-old twins, Otto and Oliver.
University of Western Ontario freshman, bass-guitar player and lawyer aspirant Kiefer Hayward, son of Rebecca Nienkamper and New York photographer Blaise Hayward; and his aunt, Priya Arora, Rebecca’s sister-in-law and executive director, Capital Markets, CIBC.
Talk about family resemblance! Klaus Nienkamper’s sister, Doris Hogenkamp, who flew in from Mulheim, Germany, for the party, explained that their mother’s antique store sparked young Klaus’s interest in furniture. Beatrix Nienkamper’s friend Kristina Charles, formerly of the Swedish Travel Commission.
The star and his entourage: Jasmine Virginia, business development manager at ShopKarim; his coolness, Karim Rashid; and his agent, Nicole Potvin, president, Verve Projects.
Angie Fletcher, acrylic artist showing at the Kingston Road Art Walk in June, and her industrial designer husband, Lee. He and mechanical engineer Terry Woodside are partners at industrial design firm Fig40. Nienkamper will officially unveil their Best of Canada Award-winning Perplex Bench at NeoCon in June.
Beatrix Nienkamper, wife of Klaus, who was proprietor of the family leather accessories boutique on Davenport Road back in the day, flanked by their daughters Rebecca and Ottilie, who handle the family firm’s media relations and marketing, respectively.
Dee Chenier, who heads interior design firm DCA Associates; and Eleanor Brydone, now retired, whose former firm, Rice Brydone, was arguably Canada’s leading office design firm from the 1970s to the Nineties.
Life and business partners Philip Hastings and Valerie Gow of Gow Hastings Architects, who met while they were students at UBC.
Klaus at the book-signing table, where each Nienkamper-branded goodie bag held a copy, hot off the press, of Nienkamper: 50 Years of Excellence from Design to Delivery.