These past few years there has been a newfound interest by furniture enthusiasts, professionals, and content writers regarding pieces from the mid-century modernist period of American and European design, more particularly the Eames Lounge chair and Ottoman.
Thanks to this comeback, there are currently dozens of different replicas on the market, and some of them of very good quality (while some others are just plain cheap knockoffs). Why is there Eames lounge chair replica becoming so popular?
We asked expert Eames Lounge Chair dealers, stores like Barcelona Designs and Manhattan Home Design, a small business in NYC and one of the fastest-growing companies in America, to help us answer this question.
Read on to find out more.
Eames Lounge Chair in Films & TV
A timeless work of art suffers a streak of unprecedented TV and movie fame has made the Eames Lounge Chair a pop icon.
Almost everything from the mid-century modernist period sports a timeless look because the designers were always working with the future in mind. What was referred to as “futuristic” in the 1960s is now considered “modern” and stylish, keeping items like the Eames lounger on a perpetual spotlight?
The growing fame of modernist furniture, also largely because of the American TV show “Mad Men,” has expanded to every corner of the audiovisual medium: you can find the Eames lounger everywhere from critically-acclaimed Korean thrillers to Tony Stark’s house in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Every time a movie, TV show or magazine shoot needs a touch of class, they haul out an Eames Lounge Chair. This chair has become a ubiquitous byword for modern and high class, similar to the Noguchi Table and many other classic pieces from mid-century modern design
It should be noted that most of the chair’s filmed appearances take place in luxurious, upscale contexts, which immediately turns the chair into a luxury item. This happens because modernist furniture antiques have been selling at auctions for six-figure sums in euros, pounds, and American dollars for a while now. They have not aimed for the middle classes anymore.
An icon of class
The Eames Lounge Chair is a class signifier. That’s one of the biggest reasons behind the enduring popularity of this chair, like many other pieces of mid-century modern furniture. Only a few people can ballpark what the Eames Lounge Chair costs. It’s hard to accurately do, however, since an original Eames lounge and ottoman in mint condition cost vastly different than a newly manufactured set.
Easy, beautiful, functional design
On the other hand, the Eames Lounge Chair, as well as the Noguchi table and many other mid-century modern pieces, are classics for a reason. The chair is truly beautiful, iconic designs that are also functional. Everyone needs a chair and a coffee table — why not have beautiful ones? And in the case of the Eames, something truly comfortable? The original Eames loungers were stuffed with duck down and feathers — unfortunately, the newly manufactured ones have synthetic foam instead. If you haven’t sat in one, you don’t know what you’re missing!
I think another quality modern furniture has which makes it popular is that they’re formally appealing — they truly do go with any interior. Because modern furniture lacks cultural and historical references (we dare you to find that with an Ikea chair) they make good neighbors with furniture of any other era and of any other style.
The advent of the true-to-design replica
However, every luxury item in today’s world will always be subject to unwanted reproduction by its industry. The upper stages of society are always smaller in size, so profit is usually found by catering to the interested masses of people that can’t afford to bid at an antique furniture auction.
Some companies will plainly create a knockoff of these items, including the Eames lounger, while some others will undergo much-needed study and research to produce an item that’s very similar in quality to the original design but sells at a fraction of the certified price.
The market for these true-to-design replicas, in turn, will always be growing. Nowadays, everything can be found through the internet, so these items become more and more famous with every passing year. Interested buyers do a little digging and stumble upon these quality replicas, which generates demand and forces dealers to improve their reproductions for a better offer.
With this forecast, the Eames lounge chair and ottoman are only bound to become more popular over time. This will drive replica prices up significantly, but new and better ways of acquiring it will always be available, which will only help to make it more popular and desirable. Our advice? Get yours today.