To the average person a chair is a chair. Its function is purely utilitarian, to cushions ones bottom. To many others, it can also be an expression of art like the Herman Miller Eames .
The Eames chair was first introduced to the public in 1956. It was designed by Charles and Ray Eames for The Herman Miller Furniture Company.
The Eames chair literally stands the test of time, it’s not a dated piece, and it’s very classic in its timeless design.
Those who love the charm and sexiness of this chair may not always be able to afford such a master piece. It usually starts at around $5,000 (price includes the ottoman). This is where the debate starts on whether to reproduce or not to reproduce.
It gets really ugly depending on whom you discuss the subject with. Many have said that if you cannot afford one, you should just learn to admire one from afar until you are able to own the real thing. In reality, how fair is that, for those who do not have the means to dish out that kind of money, but still have the same admiration and love for such a classic piece? Why should they be excluded from having such a dream chair even if it’s not the real thing?
Let me explain why this chair is so beloved. You cannot help but want to sit in it when you first see it, not only does it greet you from afar, it actually invites you in. And it almost hugs you once you are seated.
The exquisite molded plywood forms the outer shell of the chair, while the molded cushion leather expels comfort no matter how one is seated.
Back to the issue at hand, to reproduce or not to reproduce? I believe that all who love this chair would love to be able to own the real thing, I for one. As a designer who has been in the industry for years, I have to admit that this is not always the case. When the client is on a budget and is in demand of an Eames chair, many designers, none of which will be named in this article, have been known to go the repro way.
The trick is to find a very well made reproduction, and I have to admit that if you do your homework well, you can find one for about $1,200 that looks and comforts you exactly the same way. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.
For those who are able to afford the right thing, they have a gem, for this chair can be handed down from generation to generation. With each generation feeling as though it was designed just for them.
Marlene Pratt is the co-founder of Casa Latina, an interior designer and on-air television host on both English and Spanish-language television.