Modern Classics Originality

Much confusion arises around the production of historical furniture classics regarding "is it an original?" All pieces available for sale today, regardless of who has produced them or the price, are revised editions of furniture designs drafted and hand built in the early 1920s and 1930s.

So we ask, what is an original? The prototypes produced in the 1920s and 1930s by designers Breuer (Wassily chair), Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and others were highly experimental and involved bending tubular steel in completely new ways. The advanced metal processing used today was not available, thus visible welded seams and raw steel painted grey composed the original frames. The upholstery of the originals was stuffed with cotton, wool and other natural materials that did not hold their shape the way today's polyurethane foams do. There were no plastic feet inserts, polyester stitching, or synthetic elastic bands used in the originals. As you can see "authorized originals" are not originals at all since they are not made using the same materials and methods of production.

No current manufacturer of the modern classics can claim to be the original producer (except Thanet), as the designs have been passed from one manufacturer to another over the decades. Many of the designs were never copyrighted, or if they were, the copyright lapsed and the design moved into the "Public Domain" where any producer is allowed to make it. All top producers of modern classics employ current methods of manufacturing while remaining true to the exact original specifications resulting in high quality, comfortable furniture. The discussion about originality and authenticity is pointless because no piece made today is original since the manufacturing techniques, materials and subtle details have progressed with time.

Those companies who claim to be making the only authentic copy mislead the public and confuse the facts. Purchasing an "authorized copy" only means that, through clever marketing, you will be paying a lot more for the same well-made piece. Big name companies require a complex, multi-tiered distribution structure and employ expensive marketing campaigns resulting in very high prices for a piece produced in the same way.

We sell only the highest quality Modern Classics produced by Italy's leading manufacturers who specialize in classic furniture. Great attention is paid to every detail of production ensuring true modern editions of these beloved historical furniture designs. We keep our prices affordable by importing directly from the manufacturer and selling directly to you. After all, the Bauhaus movement, which influenced the design of many furniture classics, encouraged the acceptance of modern design into commonplace objects and accessibility to all, while shunning elitism and exclusivity. We endeavor to make the modern classics available with that original intent.