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Eames lounge chair repro recommendation

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
OK, the original Eames lounge chairs were licensed to Vitra and Miller. Now those companies charge a premium for their name. But the designs can now be legally copied, so are there any companies that produce repros that are true to the original design (materials, construction, etc.) without the name premium?

After all those objects were designed for industrial production, so I wouldn't place a premium on the name of the company they happened to be first licensed to. Or is my reasoning somehow flawed? (Yes, that's a genuine question.)

Thanks in advance for your help.
post #2 of 34
Good question. I'll second your post to bump it because I'd like to know as well. I've seen Eames chair in a few commercials (and of course Frazier re-runs) and would love to get a decent replica myself. I'll add a request for a replica of Mies Van der Rohe's Barcelona chair.
post #3 of 34
There are a lot of replicas out there..some of the Chinese ones do pretty well.

I would say that they are from china more due to the fact that they can more easily ignore design copying restrictions than for the fact that they necessarily make an inferior product.

On a current production chair, I'd like to see you go for the real thing, but in my mind these chairs that have surpassed their legal protections...I'm not even sure it counts as a "replica"
post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post
On a current production chair, I'd like to see you go for the real thing, but in my mind these chairs that have surpassed their legal protections...I'm not even sure it counts as a "replica"

Well, an industrial designer decides also decides a large part of the production process. So one would have to ensure that the 'replicant' manufacturers stick to that planned or process. Perhaps technology (industrial machinery etc.) is different now, so I'd be prepared to make some allowances for that, but not too much.
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by radicaldog View Post
After all those objects were designed for industrial production, so I wouldn't place a premium on the name of the company they happened to be first licensed to. Or is my reasoning somehow flawed? (Yes, that's a genuine question.)

Resale value.

Buy a knockoff Eames and you'll have a great chair to sit in. You'll never resell it for more than a few hundred bucks though.

A well-maintained, officially licensed chair will still fetch a few thousand. Hold onto it for long enough and you'll probably beat out inflation and make money.
post #6 of 34
white on white makes reasonable replicas cheap if you're on a serious budget
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekunk07 View Post
white on white makes reasonable replicas cheap if you're on a serious budget

I have one by Vitra and I'd highly recommend shelling out the extra $$$
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy View Post
I have one by Vitra and I'd highly recommend shelling out the extra $$$

Interesting. What would you say are the main advantages? I'm sure there are loads of terrible repros out there, but are there any good ones?
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by radicaldog View Post
Interesting. What would you say are the main advantages? I'm sure there are loads of terrible repros out there, but are there any good ones?

I've never seen a really good repro. It's not just the design, but also the way it is manufactured. Of course it helps that the Dutch importer for Vitra is a pretty good friend of mine. I also have a nice Eames office chair.

The main thing for me is the quality. With Vitra you get like a 30yrs guarantee. And it feels like it holds up that long as well. Most repros I have seen feel a bit less quality.
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy View Post
I've never seen a really good repro. It's not just the design, but also the way it is manufactured. Of course it helps that the Dutch importer for Vitra is a pretty good friend of mine. I also have a nice Eames office chair.

The main thing for me is the quality. With Vitra you get like a 30yrs guarantee. And it feels like it holds up that long as well. Most repros I have seen feel a bit less quality.

So maybe there's an empty market niche there: repros that are really made true to the original designers' specs.
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by radicaldog View Post
So maybe there's an empty market niche there: repros that are really made true to the original designers' specs.

the problem there is that in order to make them to spec, they'd be so close in price to the originals that there would be no market. there is a reason that the genuine article is expensive and, contrary to popular belief, it's not just because of the name.

If you can, find an original. the first generations had duck down cushions that are FAR superior to the foam fill that has come since IMO. and oddly enough, they dont command a real premium over the versions that followed them. I found one here in Dallas that was priced lower than one of the later models that's only in slightly better shape.
post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave View Post
the problem there is that in order to make them to spec, they'd be so close in price to the originals that there would be no market. there is a reason that the genuine article is expensive and, contrary to popular belief, it's not just because of the name.
I find this hard to believe: companies like Knoll seem to price their classic products at a premium over comparable but less established designs. At least that's the impression I get. If you could prove me wrong I would regain some appreciation of capitalism.
post #13 of 34
Its about finding the rigt "replica".. I have heard stories about a Chinese replica of Kjærholms PK22 that simply couldn't hold any weight and therefore collapsed when people sat on it.. On the other hand, I know for a fact that Kjærholms daybed - the PK 80, is also produced as a "replica" - in China - and beside being much cheaper it actually holds the same standards compared with how the "originals" are made today. Keeping this in mind, and knowing a company like Fritz Hansen (Jacobsen, Kjærholm, Wegner etc.) now compromises regarding the quality and making (which probably also can be said about Vitra, knoll ans so on) I would newer buy new a design-furniture. Instead I would look for older models.
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave View Post
...there is a reason that the genuine article is expensive and, contrary to popular belief, it's not just because of the name.

The average consolidated gross margin for DWRI, KNL and MLHR suggests otherwise.
post #15 of 34
^^ +1
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