Our story

For over forty years Hitch Mylius have been making beautifully upholstered furniture in north London. Here is a brief resumé of our company history;


1971

At a time when the most exciting furniture designs in the UK were imports from Italy and Scandinavia, and frustrated by the lack of modern design in British-made furniture, designers Tristram and Hazel Mylius founded Hitch Mylius with the specific aim to design simple, well-crafted upholstered furniture for both contract and domestic markets.

Starting with a work bench and sewing machine in modest north London premises, their first design was the classic hm11 followed in 1973 by hm31. These have evolved over the years to become today’s hm18 and hm34, so the essential concept of these two very simple, well-proportioned (and much imitated) generic designs has been in continuous production for over forty years.

1974

Liberty of London was a key customer during the early years, where hm11 became an instant hit. This first design was exhibited widely, displayed at the Design Centre in London and awarded the Design Council’s kitemark of approval for design excellence.

Following his success with Habitat, Terence Conran opened the Conran Shop in London’s Fulham Road selling hm11, hm31 and hm41.

1980

Following a move in the late ’70’s from a small workshop backing onto the River Lea in Hertfordshire to larger premises in Edmonton, north London, both the workforce and product range increased.

The company started to commission products from outside designers, broadening the scope and interest within the product range.

Research into new materials and manufacturing techniques resulted in the sculptural form of hm181.

1985

Another move – expansion to larger industrial premises in Enfield.

The company’s reputation for design and manufacturing excellence became firmly established among its largely ‘architect and designer’ client base.

The in-house design team expanded – the Salamander sofa, hm294, designed by Sarah-Jane Wakely was selected by The Conran Shop.

1993

Gillian McLean’s hm40 became the Conran Shop’s best selling sofa, holding this title for many years.

1995

The company outgrew its premises again and acquired Alma House, a run-down 1950s factory building in Enfield. Architects the Pike Practice were commissioned to transform it into a modern factory and showroom (featured in Architects’ Journal, September 1995). The move enabled the workforce to double in size, providing employment opportunities for the Enfield area.

1997

As part of a small team headed by Sir Terence Conran, Tristram Mylius designed and furnished President Jacques Chirac’s suite of offices for the Anglo French Summit at Canary Wharf – Tony Blair’s so-called ‘sofa summit’. The BBC’s Newsnight team loved the furniture so much that, as soon as the Summit was over, a suite of hm29 chairs was taken directly from Canary Wharf to the Newsnight studio and was used on-air every night for several years.

1997 - 2001

Hitch Mylius exhibited annually at the International Furniture Show in Cologne.

1998

Architect Nigel Coates’ Oyster House won the RIBA’s ‘Concept House for the 21st Century’ competition. Furniture specially designed for the house included the iconic hm61 Oxo seating which quickly became a best-seller.

1999

Architect David Chipperfield approached Hitch Mylius to develop seating designs for a private client, from which hm991 was born.

2001

Hitch Mylius celebrated its 30th anniversary with a huge party at the Whitechapel Art Gallery where a dramatic display of brightly coloured sofas and chairs was hung on the walls.

hm30 designed by Shin and Tomoko Azumi won the FX International Award for Best Furniture Design.

2004

Simon Pengelly’s iconic hm83 was launched – the start of a close and fruitful relationship that lead to the development of hm85 and hm86. hm85 went on to win Best New Product at the International Furniture Show.

2005

Collaborations with young design talent continued with the launch at 100% Design of the hm44 chair by Alexander Taylor, and the hm85 collection by Simon Pengelly.

2007

Eurostar selected Hitch Mylius to supply furniture for the new terminal at St Pancras International – adapted versions of hm83 and hm18 are supplied throughout the busy transport hub, handling over 9 million passengers per year.

2010

Three new directors – Chris Carmichael, Ian Ashley and Robin Phillips – were appointed to oversee the future of the company. Hazel Mylius retired from day-to-day duties.

In the depths of the economic downturn, Hitch Mylius completed its two largest ever contracts, both for universities in the Middle East.

2011

Kenneth Grange was commissioned to develop a new seating collection addressing the particular requirements of care homes and the needs of the elderly. The Edith chair, hm82 was launched at his retrospective at The Design Museum.

 

 

Hitch Mylius celebrated its 40th anniversary with a party in the stunning setting of Hawksmoor’s Christ Church, Spitalfields.

2013 - 2014

Further expansion required the company to take on another warehouse, immediately adjacent to the factory in Enfield, so that warehousing space within the factory could be converted to production.

Collaboration with designer and Central Saint Martins lecturer Magnus Long sees the launch of his elegant ‘Quiet’ bench collection hm106, as well as sofa designs for the recently relocated University of the Arts in Granary Square, King’s Cross.

The company’s export sales continued to increase, and 2014 sees Hitch Mylius return to Orgatec in Cologne.

2015

The beginning of 2015 saw the launch of the Cebl seating collection at Maison et Objet; an exclusive edition of Matthias Demacker’s hm58 range, re-imagined by woven textile designer Eleanor Pritchard.

As part of Clerkenwell Design Week, Hitch Mylius had a pop up showroom at the Malmaison hotel; showcasing key pieces from the extensive upholstery collection. Due to the success of this event, the ground floor lobby, bar and lounge areas now operate as Hitch Mylius’ permanent Clerkenwell showroom.

2016

hm102 designed by Massimo Mariani was presented during Clerkenwell Design Week. The range consists of perfectly proportioned, beautifully upholstered building blocks, acting as a simple grid to generate all kinds of seating typologies and functional compositions.

Two Hitch Mylius products were awarded Design Guild Marks, given in recognition of British manufacturing, design and innovation by The Furniture Makers Company. Magnus Long’s hm106 Quiet collection and hm221 designed by Timothée Mion. With Mion an alumni of Central Saint Martins and Long one of his former lecturers, this made receiving the awards all the more special on the night.

London Design Festival saw the launch of a new sofa collection, hm108 Plump designed by Magnus Long; Hitch Mylius’ second collaboration with the designer.