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Eames Lounge Chair copies... worth it?

Nikola1985

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It's great to see how you improved that chair and how little did that original company had to work to make it much better. Still, it's possible to find a premium replica that completely follows the original design and manufacturing. Even to get it for less than 1$k.
 

MarkI

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It's great to see how you improved that chair and how little did that original company had to work to make it much better. Still, it's possible to find a premium replica that completely follows the original design and manufacturing. Even to get it for less than 1$k.
Who makes these premium replicas?
 

madhat

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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.
I whole heartily agree; the repros just aren't quite right. Back support isn't the same. Also, on mine (I got mine early 2010s for $700 from bizchair when I think the patent had recently run out?) it was ok for the price, but the bonded leather wore out and the back/armrests were attached with metal and plastic spacers rather than rubber. I tried swapping to Eames parts, but it still wasn't quite right. Had it long enough to need to replace the cushions and reupholster once and be ready for another; 5 or so years all in I think.

Once I got a real one in my living room, it became clear just how much it actually varied from the original! It also helped a lot I went for the tall, rather than standard. So much better for my 6ft frame. Leather is holding up well, but I'm definitely seeing a definite degrade of the cushions after a year and a half of very common use. I wouldn't say they're dead, but you definitely sink down a lot more and don't feel quite as cushioned. Definitely worth getting the real thing, even if it's used.

Agreed on where to find "premium" replicas. Unless you have a real one, you don't realize how far off the replicas actually are. Even the ones that seem spot on. Well, apart from the lower back aches...
 

h1pst3r88

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BEWARE URBAN FURNISHINGS!

I have posted here several times since purchasing my Urban Furnishings Eames lounge in November of 2018. We have thoroughly enjoyed the chair but the love affair has come to an end since we've learned that the 3-year warranty is a joke -- I would warn about buying anything from them.

After sparing use of the Lounge for a year and a half, a button on the seat base spontaneously popped off. We heard a "pop" and wondered what it was. The next day I saw the missing button on the chair and then a day or so later we found it on the carpet.

No worries, 3-year warranty right? Wrong! I kindly mailed UF to explain, sent them pictures, fully expecting a new bottom cushion to be shipped out. Warranty, right?

Instead I was curtly told that they would be sending a "button and string repair kit" that I would use to repair-my-own-chair! I am not a furniture repair person, I am just a person that spent a lot of money on a chair that failed 18 months into a 3-year warranty.

After I stridently I explained that a button and string were not acceptable, they insisted that such was the standard policy. I protested more and then offered for me to ship the entire bottom cushion across the country at my expense and they would repair it. Again, unacceptable when simply shipping a new cushion would be easier and more customer-centric.

They again refused and are now not replying to emails. I have no recourse but to share their terrible customer support on the same forum that Urban Furnishings links to on their Eames chair product pages to raise awareness among current and potential customers about their bait-and-switch warranty practices.

If you are about to spend $1500 for an Eames replica and a warranty and customer support means something to you, then I strongly encourage you to look somewhere other than Urban Furnishing.

Button broke after 18-months (questionable quality) + refusing to honor their own warranty (zero real world customer support) + radio silence via email (poorly run company) = FAIL.

PS. I have a Plycraft replica from the 1970s that still has its original buttons... nice craftsmanship, Urban Furnishings.
 

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