Who we are

At Herman Miller, we believe in the power of design to make things better for people.

Humble beginnings

Who was Herman Miller?

In 1923, the Michigan Star Furniture Company became what we now know as Herman Miller, when D.J. De Pree and his father-in-law (you guessed it—Herman Miller) purchased the company. De Pree renamed the company after Miller, who was a well-regarded businessman in the community.

Founder D.J. De Pree, design director George Nelson, and designers Robert Propst, Alexander Girard, and Ray and Charles Eames.

Designer-driven: Founder D.J. De Pree (back, middle) with director of design George Nelson (seated, middle) and the cadre of designers they hired: Robert Propst, Alexander Girard, and Ray and Charles Eames.

Herman Miller's Chicago showroom in the Merchandise Mart, designed by Gilbert Rohde and opened in 1939.

In 1939, Herman Miller opened America’s first stand-alone manufacturer’s showroom in Chicago, dedicated entirely to modern design and designed by Gilbert Rohde.

Herman Miller’s Grand Rapids showroom, designed by George Nelson and opened in 1948.

Grand Rapids, Michigan showroom designed by George Nelson & Associates, 1948.

Modern in the mid-century

By the middle of the 20th century, the name Herman Miller had become synonymous with “modern” furniture. De Pree first hired designer Gilbert Rohde in 1930, who ushered in an era of problem-solving modern design. A decade and a half later, he would hire George Nelson, who changed the course of the entire company. Design-driven—and with support from De Pree—Nelson brought in his contemporaries, such as Charles and Ray Eames, Alexander Girard, and Isamu Noguchi, to produce pieces that would become modern classics.

Herman Miller today

Today, in addition to our classic pieces and new designs for the home, Herman Miller is a recognized innovator in contemporary interior furnishings, work chairs, healthcare solutions, and technologies and services. In 2021, we became part of the MillerKnoll collective, an unparalleled platform of brands that design the world we live in.

Herman Miller's Milan showroom during Salone 2023.

In 2023, Herman Miller celebrated its 100th brand anniversary, kicking off with an exhibit during Salone in Milan.

A spread from the interior of the A Way of Living book.

Books by and about us​

Want to learn more? There are several books, both in and out of print, about Herman Miller and our designers.

Read on

An array of Green Mags Soft Sofas across from two chairs in a collaborative plaza setting.


We've been honored to receive numerous awards.

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A portrait of D.J. De Pree sitting at a desk in an Eames Aluminum Group Chair.


Explore the milestones in our rich history to learn more about what makes Herman Miller the brand it is today.

Look back