Take the steam iron out of the closet, bring out the ironing board, connect the iron to the power outlet, wait for the darn thing to get to temperature. You’re ready to start one of the most annoying chores you can possibly think of: ironing. Statistics show that a lot of people still own a steam iron, while production of these class of devices hasn’t fallen too much and steam iron producers are doing mostly ok (considering they’re generally bigger brands with a lot other better revenue streams in the field of house appliances). Still, ask anyone around you, and you’ll get to the same empirical conclusion as yours truly: nobody irons anymore and who still does, still pretty much hates it. It has to do with a cultural change in the way we consider spending our time at home, for sure, but it also has to do with fashion, especially business. People that need to wear a business suit everyday are not as many a twenty or thirty years ago, considering the trend of casual Friday has luckily expanded to the rest of the week in many professional environments. On-demand dry cleaning services are also cheaper and accessible with the push of a button in a smartphone app. In a word, here’s what happened to ironing: millennials.
In a few markets, where elegance and appearance still beat comfort even in daily life, such as Italy, ironing seems to be more of a cultural staple, harder to wipe away in a bout of generational angst –– it might also have to do with the fact that mammas, and nonnas are still the one ironing everyone’s clothes, but that’s another story. It doesn’t surprise, then, that a huge global name in the field such as Rowenta, believes Italy, more than any other market, is mature for a change. To drive new sales, they don’t want to convince people to iron more, but to iron better. After all, when we think of ironing our mind pictures the puffing and dangerous steam irons, and its clunky board companion. Why is that? Why can’t ironing be done differently after so many years?
The process can, in fact, be different, and it can involve a different tool: the iron steamer station. Enter the new IXEO Power, an all-in-one solution that brings together high pressure technology with the convenience of a board that can be moved in three different positions, from horizontal to upright. The ultra-light ironing head gets its steam from a compressor thank and it’s ready to puff out warm hot vapor in around 70 seconds. Garment care is assured by the Smart Protect feature, which helps getting fast results with no burning, while ease of use is guaranteed by the improved ergonomics of the whole setup.
Now, to call the IXEO Power a “revolution”, as Rowenta does, is a bit rich. The upright steamer is in no way a new technology and there’s already plenty of other similar products on the market (albeit not as powerful and as versatile, maybe). The manufactures definitely has a point, though, in trying to re-position this device as the premium ironing experience. There’s no reason in convincing millennials they should get a nice old-style iron improving an average-price product with new functions: they won’t buy it anyway, and the margins of such an established item won’t go up anytime soon anyway. Framing a new device as the game-changer of the chore of ironing is a different story, though, and it’s a bold interesting move tackling the market from a different angle. People that just need to have an iron at home, for an emergency or very sporadic use, will still flock to the lower price-point devices. Those who might actually be interested in ironing, or that really care about a wrinkle free elegant look on a daily basis, might also be the one interested in spending more in a new ironing contraption that looks cool and somehow contemporary. That’s where the novelty of a product like the IXEO POWER kicks in. Sure, the whole thing might set you back 399€, but you’ll be certain to get the best ironing of your life, with minimal effort and results worth of a dry cleaner. And maybe, for the first time in years, you’ll actually feel less miserable doing it.
- IXEO Power