For the partners, getting to work with the foundation offers an unmatched experience to build off of the design legacy of one of greatest American architects of the 20th century. “The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation partnership enabled the brand to trail blaze into a new design territory, driven by the pioneering spirit of Wright himself and the enduring appeal of his design,” Mike Miller, senior director of Brizo Kitchen and Bath Development and member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Board of Trustees, says over email. Fieg adds that working on the collaboration felt incredibly natural given how much he already admired Wright’s legacy. “He’s arguably the greatest American architect in history, one of the most forward-thinking individuals the world has known, and he left behind an incredibly expansive catalog of projects. When we’re putting together mood boards for our campaign shoots, more often than not, one of Wright’s homes appears on it.”

Ultimately, the foundation is a bridge between the iconic architect and the modern designer. Staff at the foundation do their best to choose partners that align with Wright’s vision and try to tie every collaboration back to something the architect actually said or did. “We have a board of volunteers that we run all of these projects past,” Graph explains. These are people not associated with the foundation, but have deep knowledge, respect, and understanding about Wright. “We ask them, ‘Does this make sense? Here’s how we’re thinking about it. Does this licensee make sense?’ Sometimes these are really easy questions, but as we get further and further away, we want that validation.”

Even so, it’s natural to wonder what Wright himself might think about these divergent partnerships and products. “We try not to put words in Frank’s mouth,” Graff says. However, the foundation does like to remind collaborators of something Wright did tell his apprentices. “If you understand what I’m trying to teach you at all, then your work will look nothing like mine,” he once said. So who knows, perhaps if given the opportunity, we could’ve seen Wright in his usual uniform—a pork pie hat, scarf, and a gesturing cane—with a pair of Broadacre City New Balances to boot.

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