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Eames Lounge Chair copies... worth it?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by musicguy, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. twistoffat

    twistoffat Senior member

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    If intellectual property is not to be respected then many of the product innovations we have, whether in the fields of furniture or medicine might otherwise not have been created.

    Where I might agree that an Eames Chair is overpriced , I also respect that Vitra and Herman Miller have a staff to pay and also need funds to create the Eames Chairs of tomorrow. I don´t see the companies making fakes being creative and offering us innovative new products thus creating employment and paying taxes thus benefiting society.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  2. traceytaylor

    traceytaylor New Member

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    Thanks so much, sbrentn, for the recommendation for IFN Modern. I just ordered their lounge chair. EXCELLENT seller. In three-five days, I'll know just now much I love it!
     
  3. Jr Mouse

    Jr Mouse Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  4. apropos

    apropos Senior member

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    I disagree. I think that's a really simplistic way to approach the issue; IMO it's far more complex than that.

    Walk into a Vitra, Herman Miller, Flos, etc showroom - and look around.

    80-90% of the designs on display are "legacy" designs - Aeron chair, Tulip table, EM table, etc etc. There are always one or two "it" items from "it" designers, this rotates year to year, and rarely do they have the endurance to join the legacy designs. I think what you consider their contribution to the design landscape is probably massively overstated when you consider the bulk of what they are actively pushing originated 30, 40, 50, 60 years ago.

    Think about the reason for this...

    IMO the internet, magazines, design blogs, etc has created possibly the world's biggest circlejerk for "designed" things. If you want to know more - information is readily available. But over time the collective preferences of people that came before you becomes the benchmark choice, and your chance of discovering something new and interesting will drop - it's a numbers game.

    A Pavlovian response develops in many to "design shorthand" - you see a single item enough in situations you perceive to be "designed", and subconsciously your reaction to subsequent settings starts hinging a lot more on the presence of these items. e.g. Barcelona chair, e.g. Eames DSW, e.g. that fucking $2000 Hermes blanket.

    One specific part of your argument is immediately short circuited when you consider that the replica companies... also hire people. Who pay taxes. And so also "benefit society".

    I think the replica companies do the "design world" a huge service. I think they disrupt the perceived value of these design legacy items, and cause us to question why they should cost so much.

    In many cases, there isn't really a particularly good reason.

    I think they might even have the potential to direct choices to less obvious ones. Imagine:

    1. I have $3000 to spend on 6 dining table chairs
    2. I kinda like the Thonet bentwood chairs - remember that I am conditioned to like them at $400 a pop
    3. I realise that the replicas cost $79 each - and are functionally equivalent and (realistically) only marginally cosmetically inferior
    4. I might buy something else
    5. I might even buy something else newly designed by someone new to the industry

    ...so in a sense, they may contribute more to the variety of the design landscape, by showing us that sometimes the emperor has no clothes.

    Just my 2c.
     
    5 people like this.
  5. Find Finn

    Find Finn Senior member

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    99% of those jobs are in China, where HM's is in California, also replica's are taking business for new designers, who create items in the same price point, which is essentially taking the food out of their mouth as well, which could create even more jobs.
     
  6. apropos

    apropos Senior member

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    We could argue the semantics of this all day, but I highly doubt "99%" of HM, Vitra, etc employees/subcontractors/suppliers are stateside in the world we live in today.

    Replica companies also run showrooms, warehouses, transport, etc - and believe it or not, these people pay taxes too. Like I said, we could go over the specifics all day, but I think the bottom line is that it isn't as simple as the black/white situation you guys are trying to present.
    I think if you even gave it a modicum of thought you would realise that HM is doing exactly the same to new designers. I.e. mostly people have space for only 1 or 2 dining tables, and creating a situation in which people could question the established hierarchy of design ("is this worth that") would far advantage the new designers IMO. It's really not as simple as you're making it out to be.
     
    2 people like this.
  7. Find Finn

    Find Finn Senior member

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    I have worked in the furniture field for a number of years, so I have put more thought into this than most, as I have worked primarily with young designer, who retail in the same price bracket at Eames etc., so I have an in dept knowledge of price structure, development costs etc.

    If you look back at my post, I have said multiple times, that people should support living designer over buying Heritage pieces and especially if they can't afford a genuine piece, as replica manufacture aren't hiring designer and if people don't support the living designer, the trade WILL die and as no one wants to be a designer, if they can't make a living of it. Replica manufacture don't hire marketing etc. workers on the same scale as a self developing firm does, as they don't have the need to make a product known.

    HM is manufacturing in the US, where all replica piece are made in China, which costs low wage jobs, which is a problem on a large scale, as the developed part of the world, is loosing them at a rapid speed to the undeveloped part.
     
  8. twistoffat

    twistoffat Senior member

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    Nonsense. It doesn´t effect price. Its the people who don´t have the means who buy the fakes. Wheter it be an LV bag or an Eames Chair. Many believe you need to have the bag or chair to be cool. Victims of marketing rather than appreciators of handwork. A fake is a fake and doesn´t have the same quality and hence shouldn´t have the same price. I myself will admit that an Eames Chair is overpriced for what it is. If however I had money to burn then maybe I´d say what the hell and buy 10 chairs so myself and my friends can sit and watch the Pagaini Zonda I parked in my living room. I was brought up to respect money and to know the difference between value and price. Just because I myself believe the Eames Chair is overpriced I still would never buy a fake as a compromise.If you support fakes then you may as well support Lance Armstrong.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  9. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    If anything replicas drive the price of the original higher. The manufacture will want to create a wider chasm between real and fake in the perception of the consumer and they will do so by way of price.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. brokeassp

    brokeassp Senior member

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    Bought a modernica cigar floor lamp and an Eames hang it all from somebody who doesn't know what he had. Wish I have an architect friend who would hook me up with hm pieces for fifty percent off
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
  11. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    So what some are saying is that it's good to buy a newly designed chair at 1.8k, similar to the Eames but distinctly not a copy, but it's wrong to buy a definite Eames copy at 1.8k?
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Jr Mouse

    Jr Mouse Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'd be curious the peanut gallery's thoughts on knock offs that might not be as easily to discern the differences between them and an original as it may be with Eames Lounge Chair or the rather unfortunate wishbone chair Britney posted. Take something along the lines of a diamond or womb chair. Both of which use metal, padding and fabric in construction. If the maker manages to get the dimensions right and uses fabric and stitching of reasonable quality, I am not sure the average buyer would notice a difference worth the thousands more it would take to get the authentic piece. Putting the moral arguments aside.

    I've got no real stake in this argument other then enjoying reading the thread.
     
  13. phototropically

    phototropically Active Member

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    "That's a nice chair, but why didn't you buy a La-Z-Boy?"
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  14. suaviter

    suaviter Senior member

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    Could somebody give me the scoop on the architect hook up on an Eames chair?

    As in how does it work. I have an architect lined up just want to make it as easy as possible on him (connection thru a friend).

    Reader's digest ... trying to get a real one ASAP.

    Thanks!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
  15. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    If you really want to make it easy on him/her just pay the 15%.

    If not, then call and ask.

    lefty
     
  16. Hotel Guy

    Hotel Guy Senior member

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    I originally got a fake because I wanted the look, but then sold it to a friend and was able to get a hook-up on a new authentic one through a friend who was an architect. The difference is literally night and day. I couldn't be happier and know that i'll have this piece of furniture for a long long time, and its going to get old with me, and hopefully retain its value along the way. Even if it didn't, I wouldn't really care, I've had it for about a year now and its still getting broken in but gets more comfortable every month that passes. 95% of my friends have no idea what it is or how much it cost, but I think they get the picture when I freak out if they have their shoes on the ottoman or are eating/drinking/spill on it. Regardless, I love it.

    There is a Herman Miller sale now to save a few hundred bucks on a new one.
     
  17. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    I wouldn't encourage doing so, but I've spilled stuff on mine to no real effect. Just clean quickly (like immediately).

    I was woken up by catching my espresso in my lap that morning. Doesn't pay to nod off while holding a hot beverage....the chair was fine, however.

    Easily my favorite chair to sit in. Most of my other chairs are Le corb and not uncomfortable...but not Eames....not even close.
     
  18. suaviter

    suaviter Senior member

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    Gonna try this again.

    Does anybody know what the architect discount is? In percentage terms?

    Last day of HM 15% off sale.
     
  19. Find Finn

    Find Finn Senior member

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    Seek and you shall find, it's been answered multiple times already.
     
  20. DMartins

    DMartins Active Member

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    Well I finally after close to 2 years reading the various forums pulled the trigger on a reproduction. Couldn't resist the 20% off on Black Friday with Rove Concepts.

    In my opinion it is just all perspective, someone can purchase a $700 cheap replica and be completely happy with it. I just can't justify $5000+ after shipping on the configuration I liked ( Black / rosewood) with Herman Miller.

    I have sat on many many originals from the DWR store to a friends vintage Eames, Also sat on many replicas as well mostly cheap ones in retail stores. The biggest difference I would say are the way the leather is tufted, the angle of the chair and the flex.

    The rove chair for me was the best price point for the quality and details, and I know they've improved as well through the years. They also have a detail sheet ( seen here ) on the coveted rubber shock mount used for their chairs. Only company I know at least that look to produce it exact to companies authorized by HM for repairs ( seen here )


    Anyways, I'm happy with the fit and finish the chair was packaged well and came fully assembled. The Rove chair although one of the more expensive reproductions ticks all the boxes for me. Great soft italian leather, nice flex to the chair and the nice tufting of the cushions.



    [​IMG]

    Here is the chair !
     

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