Karim Rashid - Design Bureau

Karim Rashid

Monday, January 30th, 2012

By Saundra Marcel
Photos by Mark Mahaney

"Once you get famous, you're a target," says Karim Rashid.

It’s true, and it’s happened to many famous faces that have achieved celebrity status. Once you become beloved for something, it’s not long before you become hated, too. (Just ask Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus.) On blogs and in comment fields, Rashid’s most vocal critics lurk, loud and allowably incognito, levying their cruel attacks. “There’s a lot of people who are really critical, and especially now with the Internet where you can be anonymous, people have said some really awful things. There are websites that lay into me to no end.”

But don’t cry for him just yet. As a mega star of the industrial design world, Rashid has had many majorly successful hits on his hands: the “Garbo” trash can for Umbra, teardrop-shaped soap dispensers for Method, and that oh-so-cute plastic water bottle called Bobble. His work has won him hoards of fans that flock to big-box stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and Target to buy his mass-produced plastic objects. The media also loves him, with nearly 200 interviews and press appearances last year alone. His work has won countless awards and he has been inducted into the annals of design history by museums, authors, and academia. TIME magazine even named him “The Most Famous Industrial Designer in All of the Americas.” And true to his celebrity status, he’s even being groomed for mainstream television, with two pilots and an attempt at a reality show under his belt.

So why do so many people hate Karim Rashid?

For the answer to this question, read the rest of the story in our January/February issue, available now on newsstands and through the iTunes App Store.

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