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The Eames Lounge Chair - An icon of furniture design

September 24th, 2018

Category: WB Jamieson

Author: Darren Seymour


The Eames Lounge chair has long been an icon of design. It's signature form is widely recognised. The chair has been in production for over 60 years, yet the design has remained true to the original. This has meant that owners of authentic original 670s are still able to get replacement parts from Vitra to this day.

The Eames Lounge chair has long been an icon of design. It's signature form is widely recognised. The chair has been in production for over 60 years, yet the design has remained true to the original. This has meant that owners of authentic original 670s are still able to get replacement parts from Vitra to this day.

In fact, the Eames Lounge chair is considered such an iconic design, that this chair can be found in over 20 major museums around the world.

The Eames lounge chair was such a focus of admiration that it was introduced to a national audience on prime time TV on Arlene Francis' Home Show. Making it the first and only chair to achieve such a platform. The chair also received a regular spot on the show Frasier which sat in front of the window of the lead character's (Doctor Frasier Crane's) penthouse suite which overlooked Seattle.

  Charles and Ray Eames on the Home Show with Arlene Francis

Frasier Crane sits on the Eames lounge chair with Eddie the dog

The five spoke base was originally designed for a contract table Charles was working on, but later became the permanent base for the classic 670/671 Lounge Chair.

Interestingly, when the lounge chair was first released it was available in a range of fabric options, but Charles Eames insisted that the premium leather option was recommended. The leather from the lounge chair was first sourced in Scotland, as barbed wires were not used for livestock resulting in unmarked, highly refined leathers.

scottish leather was used in Eames lounge chairs for its high quality

These high quality leathers of the 670/671 are said to last indefinitely due to the sufficient oils incorporated into the leather during the tanning process of the hides. The finish is waterproof.

The cushions of the lounge chair and the ottoman are symmetrical and even interchangeable.

Billy Wilder who was a friend of Charles and Ray's, received the second Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman from the production line as a way of reciprocating their gratitude for a chair Billy had designed and given them earlier.The couple adored the gift, with Charles even joking that he wished he had designed the chair himself.

Billy Wilder in his gifted Eames Lounge Chair

In 1961 Playboy produced an article featuring prominent contemporary designers with the author saying of the Eames Lounge Chair "Sank the sitter into a voluptuous luxury that few mortals since Nero have known."

Charles Eames in an issue of Playboy

The inspiration for the Eames Lounge Chair came from the gentleman's club chair, however, the couple stated that their chair should have "the warm receptive look of a well-used first baseman's mitt."

Baseball mitt inspiration and Eames Lounge chair

It was Charles and Ray's friend, artist Sister Corita Kent who drew the first Eames office graphic of the lounge chair. It showed the design in an exploded view, allowing the viewer to marvel at the components that form the beautiful chair.

exploded view of the Eames lounge chair

Film Producer Julian Blaustein was invited to Charles Eames office to read scripts whilst sitting on a test lounge chair. To Blaustein's embarrassment, Charles returned to find that he had fallen asleep. However, Charles was pleased that the Chair had proved to be so comfortable that this was possible.

 Eames lounge chair cherryShop the Eames Lounge Chair with Ottoman in black and cherry. 
White lounge chair Shop the Eames Lounge Chair with Ottoman in Walnut and white pigmented. 
Black ash eames lounge chair

Shop the Eames Lounge Chair in black leather and black ash.

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