I think when you talk about mid-century designer ‘replicas’, people generally fall into two camps: Those that say it’s intellectual property theft and a designer’s products should remain their own, complete with the price tags associated with designer items and if we want a piece of that, then we should save our money and buy the real deal; and those that say that good design should be the property of the people, most would not have the cash – maybe EVER – to own beautiful design and recreating those designs means people can have the looks they want without the steep pricetags, still endorse the original’s design and therefore, their brand, and there really isn’t income ‘lost’ per se as they wouldn’t have been able to afford an original regardless.
For me, I can see the strengths of both arguments but I tend to fall into the latter group. Badly designed ‘knockoffs’ to me seem pretentious and in bad taste but beautifully created replicas can mean that a person can capture the spirit of an original, enjoy the beauty of great design and still gain the enjoyment of having something originally dreamed up by a master without having to remortgage their home to do it.
This is where my new sponsor, VOGA, comes in. And the reason I wanted to work with them is because their ethos is exactly the kind of thinking that I support – that good design and a beautiful home should be available to everyone, no matter what their budget. This is what they have to say:
“In the 50s and 60s, Arne Jacobsen chairs graced every stylish lounge you walked into, while Eero Saarinen designs brought functionality and panache to the mass-market like no-one ever had before. By the middle of the 1970s, the typical high-end lounge looked more like an art gallery or design studio than a living room: filled with cutting-edge pieces and timeless classics.
But as time rolled on, things changed. Prices increased, elitism took over and the quality furniture from our childhoods disappeared from homes across Europe. In their place came mass-produced flat-pack pieces that looked boring, broke easily and were impossible to build if the instructions got lost under the sofa, something which caused countless marital arguments and millions of wasted Sundays.
So one day, furious with the way that once accessible high-quality designs had become out-of-reach to so many, we decided that enough was enough. So in 2008; VOGA was born.
We scoured the globe to find the finest materials at the lowest possible prices, bringing these iconic designs back to the people they were intended for. Great design, available to all.
We sought-out the finest Italian aniline leather, the softest cashmere wool and the sleekest steel and oak, and after months of research and investigation, we discovered something incredible. We could re-create the most beautiful furnishings of the 20th Century, from the most opulent armchair to the most intricate clock design, as perfectly as anyone.
From Charles Eames’s DSW Chair to Poul Henningsen’s Artichoke Lamp, we could craft products that were as stunning and as tactile as the originals, and by responsibly and expertly sourcing materials, we could offer them at prices that brought exclusivity to everyone.”
I truly believe that beautiful design and design classics should not be just the possession of the elite or the rich. If you really do love the design of one of these classics, then why shouldn’t you be able to create a unique look using one or two items in your own home if that is your choice?
So I thought I’d open the discussion to you all. What do you think of designer replicas? While I probably won’t be seen wearing a cheap Chanel knockoff bag personally, I don’t see anything wrong with designer replicated furniture as long as it’s done in a considered way. You may feel differently (and that’s fine)! So please do weigh in – what do you think?
Image credits: 1 & 4 / 2 & 6 – unknown / 3 / 5 – unknown (if you know the original sources, please do let me know!)
Products: Arnie Jacobson Egg Chair / Serge Mouille Wall Light / Eames 670 Lounge Chair / Eames Lounge Chair Stool / Grant Featherston Contour Chair / Noguchi Coffee Table / Poul Henningson Artichoke Lamp / Hans J Wegner Y Chair
This post is in association with my sponsor Voga but all opinions and words (aside from the quote of course) are entirely my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that allow me to create original content on here Swoon Worthy.