We were greeted by a large polar bear and were mightily impressed. But when we stood in front of the biggest teddy bear in the world, we were quite astonished. You probably already guessed it - we were at the Steiff company stand. And the amazement continued when CEO Daniel Barth showed us Karl Lagerfeld's Choupette cat. But pictures speak louder than words - just watch our movie yourself. Have fun!
Simone Dericks: Hello Mr. Barth, hello to you! I am very happy to be with you, with Steiff. I'm standing here in front of the biggest teddy bear in the world. Where else can you find it? Daniel Barth: We usually have it here in Giengen, it's always reserved for special events. But this is the first time we're actually showing it! Simone Dericks: So it's been there for a long time? Daniel Barth: No, we made it especially for the trade fair!
Simone Dericks: It's great, but it's much too big for the normal children's room and you wouldn't be Steiff if you hadn't brought a few new things here to the fair! Daniel Barth: Of course! There are children's rooms that are big enough for it, but most of them are not. We also have the bear in a small version. Because that's Fynn. He's not new, but he's one of our bestsellers. That's why we made him big. Then we have a - which I particularly love - beautiful llama.
Simone Dericks: That's not spitting at me now, is it? Daniel Barth: No, no, absolutely not. This is a clean llama. Simone Dericks: How did you come up with the idea of making a llama this year? Daniel Barth: At Steiff, we are known for making special or sometimes exotic animals. That's why we come out with a dromedary, llama or camel every year. Animals that are a bit unusual and the llama has turned out particularly beautiful. Simone Dericks: They are also collector's items, they are not just cuddly toys, but Steiff really stands for quality. Stuffed animals are passed down from generation to generation. Daniel Barth: Absolutely.
Simone Dericks: This llama is also something that is simply collected. Daniel Barth: Yes, and of course that's fair. For every generation, it's always, I'll say it now, a particularly beautiful memory that is passed on in the same way. That is our challenge, to create a connection with each new generation. But I want to show you something else really nice! This year we have an absolute trade fair novelty! Karl Lagerfeld's cat, Choupette!
Simone Dericks: That's her? Daniel Barth: Choupette exclusive is here! She's the absolute darling, a huge Instagram and Facebook star! We made the cat exclusively with a license from Karl Lagerfeld. Simone Dericks: So you worked with Karl Lagerfeld and developed the cat together? Daniel Barth: Exactly! So without his OK, we wouldn't be able to produce it this season. Simone Dericks: How was the collaboration with him? Daniel Barth: Very good, yes. We have already made a product with him, the Lagerfeld bear. And we have a particularly high regard for Karl Lagerfeld. He appreciates quality and also our craftsmanship. Simone Dericks: When will the cat be on the market? Does it already exist or when will it be available? Daniel Barth: It will be on sale from now on. Simone Dericks: After the trade fair? That's great Choupette, so. I've already had a look at the stand, there's something for every age. From babies to - as you said - adulthood. Daniel Barth: Yes, we are a company that accompanies our customers throughout their lives in various phases. At the very beginning, of course, then as a collector's product, then again as parents or grandparents or godparents. The points of contact with the Steiff brand are diverse and last a lifetime. That's why we are almost a cultural asset in Germany. Simone Dericks: Yes, and how many countries does Steiff exist in, i.e. where are you represented? Daniel Barth: We are represented as a brand in over 50 countries. Simone Dericks: Great. So I would like to look around a bit here. Do you have anything that you say is something people need in 2017 if they are Steiff fans? Daniel Barth: Um, yes. Well, I think this penguin is very beautiful. I find it particularly charming. Penguins are a great theme. It's also available in a larger size.
Simone Dericks: Together with the penguin family? Daniel Barth: Yes, these are the smaller ones, the playful ones. Then we see this more modern version of Steiff animals here with these animals, where we also work with new materials. Perhaps a little more imaginative and not quite so lifelike faces, which are very well received. You can see how we are developing and testing other ideas. We are a brand that is known for being true to nature. But it's also important for us to always try something new, because traditional brands like ours thrive on testing the boundaries from time to time and pushing them forward.
Simone Dericks: I think you can get away with that as Steiff, can't you? Daniel Barth: Yes, exactly. Simone Dericks: Thank you first of all. I could stay with you for hours. Daniel Barth: You can too! Simone Dericks: I will too. Thank you for talking to me, I don't want to keep you any longer and I hope that the trade fair continues to be successful for you. I'm looking forward to seeing how Der (points to the giant bear) gets back home to you. Thank you very much! Daniel Barth: Thank you. I'm glad you could make it.