Eames Lounge Chair copies... worth it?

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

  1. Nakedsnake

    Nakedsnake Senior member

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    Thanks for the points here. Exactly what I had in mind. If every post is just praising one company, makes me think its not legit.

    The IFN looks pretty good, in truth. $1500 isn't cheap, but for that chair is seems like a very reasonable price. My main concern is that if the chair ends up sucking upon arrival, i'll have to fight tooth and nail to try and get my money back, according to some reviews from yelp. Also, I spoke with someone there, and they told me that they're getting out of the repro business.

    edit: I think I should add that i'm being fairly reasonable, and just expecting a good looking, comfy chair, that's 85%+ of the way to a real deal, and that will last me 5-10 years, after which i'll likely try and replace with an authentic one.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016


  2. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

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    Looks like they won't ship outside of Canada anymore. Did they say they'll still ship to the US?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016


  3. Nakedsnake

    Nakedsnake Senior member

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    No word on that, as I didn't inquire, but it looks like they won't. And since they said they're getting out of the game, I doubt that will change. You could look at someone forwarding you one, if you're that interested?
     


  4. Nakedsnake

    Nakedsnake Senior member

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    So I thought I would follow up on my chair from IFN; as I found it was really tough to find reviews from people who were a touch more well known within the SF community.

    The chair arrived a couple of weeks ago, maybe two, and i've been using it daily since. I emailed IFN looking for the eames, and they told me that they were no longer making these chairs, and that they were getting out of the repro business to focus on making their own stuff (make of that what you will.). As they were now "old stock" they gave me 10% off the order. I went with the upgraded leather option, the black analine, and the total came to somewhere around $1500 cdn at the time, give or take a bit, with taxes and shipping from Vancouver included.

    The shipping was quick enough, and when the chair came, it was well packaged. The box has zero instruction, but it was still very simple to put together, with only a couple of bolts needed, it probably took me 20 minutes by myself.

    After setting it up, I gave it a good inspection and a good sit, and my initial impressions were really good. The leather was nice, especially for the price. It didn't (and still doesnt) blow me away in terms of the leather, but I don't think it has to, i'm very happy with where it is at, and i'm not sure if the real thing uses anything much nicer. Time will tell how this holds up, but my expectations are high so far. The wood paneling is really nicely done, and looks great. The color on it great, with my only gripe (and i'm not totally sure how the original is) is that the edges of the wood aren't finished with the same color as the backing, if that makes sense. You can see in the photos. The Pallisander colored wood has a natural edge finish to it.

    The tufting is really deep and tight, which is great. On the ottoman, this creates almost two perfect grooves for your calves to rest in as you sit, with is very comfy.

    My first hour or two in the chair was alright at best, and my low back started to hurt me just a touch. I was surprised by how it felt, and was expecting something much comfier. That said, after sitting on it for a few weeks now, I think I have softened up the cushions, which were pretty stiff when I got them, and now I find this chair supremely comfortable, even for many hours as I sit and relax, read, or get some work done.

    Now, for people who haven't sat in an Eames before, this is a great chair for lounging where you are looking forward, not for full on reclining and leaning back, as there is zero head support. You have to slink way down into the chair to rest your head back in it (now this could be because i'm 6'3), and then it doesn't feel good on your back. I'm sitting it in right now as i'm typing, and for being on my laptop its amazing.

    I'm not sure what else to say, really. If you have some specific questions, let me know. I think its all a bit of a moot point at this stage, since they are no longer shipping outside Canada, I bought the 2nd last one of these chairs in the black leather configuration, so people likely won't get one, but for those of you who are considering, or can order, I hope this helps.

    Overall I'm very, very, happy with the chair, all things considered. I hope it holds up over time, which I think it will. For $1500 cdn it would be hard to find something nicer. Above I added some (shitty) photos of the chair to take a look at.
     


  5. NonChalant321

    NonChalant321 Senior member

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    As an update, I shelled out for a HM one after having a repro for 3-4 years.

    There was 1 floor model for sale at DWR for 30% off so I snagged it. Yes, it's been sat on probably a lot considering it was sitting outside the store in the general mall area but otherwise looks and feels brand new. I figure at $3500, it's going to be hard to find a legit Eames chair+ottoman that can beat that price in store. The store said they almost never have Eames 670+671 floor models for sale and if this one didn't sell in another week, it would go to one of their outlet locations for a higher price.

    Looking to sell the repro now but in the meantime, I can compare closely side by side.

    Here are my observations:

    1) As mentioned before, the repro cushions are much harder. The HM lets you sink in a bit and just envelopes you - there's more give. After sitting on that, the MHD repro cushions feel like your butt is sliding around on a board.

    2) HM one has much better lower back support - again an attribute to the cushions. It's less flat and puffs out enough so that your lower back is supported. The MHD repro often leaves your lower back completely unsupported unless you sit way back which leaves your head higher up with no neck support (see next point).

    3) The MHD repro had zero neck support unless you slid your body down, leaving you in a terrible position for lower back. In fact, I could lean my head back and still not touch the top of the cushion - which meant that sitting in the lounge chair was not very restful at all after a couple minutes. The chair is angled so your head and spine is at an angle as opposed to when you're sitting or standing straight...this means that your neck muscles are tense and strained holding your neck up while sitting in this chair. I don't know if this is because your body doesn't sink down that bit with the hard seat cushion, or if the proportion is just off. The HM one is just the right height where my neck and head makes contact with the top of the cushion, giving support. That said, I'm 5'8" and I can see that a taller person might find a lack of neck support with even the HM lounger unless they find a tall version.

    4) Leather quality - the MHD leather isn't bad, but there's a stark difference between that and the Spinneybeck Vincenza leather of the HM one.

    When all is said and done, the take away message I would give anyone is if your priority is comfort, don't buy a repro. If you absolutely must have the Eames lounge chair design but don't want to shell out for a HM/Vitra one, don't pay more than $300 for it - certainly not $1000+. Knowing what I know now, I would have gotten just a Stressless repro which is much more comfortable for $300, and saved money to get the HM Eames later on.

    I can't speak for other repros, but this is based on my experience with the one from MHD aka Barcelona Designs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017


  6. NycLondon

    NycLondon Well-Known Member

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    Sitting in one now as I write this! Probably 1970s production.
    Looking at old Herman Miller production, it is clear that the plywood used now is simply awful. It looks almost like plastic compared to early production.
    Plywood from the 1950s in good condition can look absolutely fabulous now.
    With the Alumin(i)um Group Herman Miller even added an extra foot (4 up to 5). Though I have to say it does make the chairs more stable.
    Personally, I have never enjoyed the look or the feel of the lounge chair discussed here.
    I like High Modernism design very much. I have several Corbusier pieces from Cassina. One "knock off" Grand Comfort 2 seater from Design Within Reach before they started to sell Cassina. It was remarkably cheap (ca. $500), and has held up quite well for 20 years.
    My advice is to buy authentic if you can. If you buy old production look carefully, and auctions can be great value.
    The Eames arm chair is very common, and can be found quite cheaply - ragoarts.com in Lambertville is a good source for such.
    Happy hunting to all.
     


  7. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    authentic Eames chair incoming. It's not new, it was used for staging at the wife's architecture company (meaning it was used in pictures). One of the arms has a little damage, and I don't have room for it. But it was free, so shrug.
     


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