15 years ago Chinese Furniture Factories purchased an original Charles Eames Lounge Chair, and a Le Corbusier LC2 Sofa. Then dismantled them, with the intent to mass produce exact copies. The retro furniture world witnessed the cold blooded killing of the Licensed ‘’Original Retro Designer Modern Furniture Market’’ by Replica Manufacturers. We ask '' what next for modern designer retro furniture, and online stores and shops selling the original licensed pieces of Charles Eames and Le Corbusier?'' Designer modern, contemporary and mid century furniture designs dating back to the 1930,s and manufactured in China can now be passed off as an original. Whilst some of the early attempts to replicate these famous designs were extremely crude, today, the quality of replicated furniture from China is now equal and in some cases superior to licensed original furniture manufactured in the West under an official license. A 70 year old industry controlled by a few manufacturers is under pressure to survive, and the high priced original modern designer retro furniture market has being killed in cold blood in China.
Over pricing has allowed replicas from China to quickly take advantage of the public’s innate desire to have quality and value for money.
Protests from the licensed holders began popping up online some years ago, but when an original sells for around 6,000 euros compared to a replica at 600 euros their argument is difficult to win. Yes, there are copyright and infringement laws to protect the interests of the designers, and of course, original designs deserve protection, but at what price? With the onset of online stores and the strength of Social Media, discerning buyers of modern designer furniture have a real choice available worldwide. One of these Social Media sites is Facebook, who have more power than perhaps is good at times, however Facebook do provide factual documentaries that give a fair and balanced view, opinion and information on the retro furniture worldwide market. Fundamentally there are two problems for the modern designer retro furniture market.

The First Problem.

We must consider the value of great design. The designs of Eames and Le Corbusier are governed by Vitra and Cassina. Their work must be preserved and protected, in order that the next generation of designers can exist and prosper. However, because of the over priced Vitra and Cassina price tags, the replica market, offering the same pieces at a fraction of Vitra and Cassina, has been allowed to grow and flourish beyond all expectation and control. The replica market has brought classic modern and contemporary mid century designer furniture to the masses with high quality and real value for money retro furniture. The Vitra and Cassina Corporations have not heeded the warning from the buying public and the proliferation of fake furniture is now established in the retro furniture market, accounting for up to 90% of the total market , on the most popular designer furniture from Eames and Le Corbusier. Eames-Lounge-Chair-and-Ottoman--blog-img-02

The Second Problem.

Leading furniture analysts have warned that the Retro Furniture Market is changing. One report suggests that the replica and licensed market has topped, and will year on year in the future drop. The reason for this is simple. There is still an attraction for new and exciting innovative designer furniture, and traditional modern and mid century styles that are precise, minimal and functional are admired and in demand. But, the designs of the 1930,s and the 1960,s need refreshing. They are a little tired, and designed for a period when we were all much smaller. 21st century buyers want larger, more comfortable furniture, albeit in the theme and style of the great 20th century design icons. In summary, over pricing has allowed replicas from China to quickly take advantage of the public’s innate desire to have quality and value for money, and equally as important to be able to own truly amazing pieces of furniture art. It has been an impossible task for Vitra and Cassina to reassure their clients, and inject order and compassion into a chaotic market now over run with replicas. The sequence of events in the modern designer furniture market have created a war — Vitra and Cassina versus the Chinese -- in which good and bad things have happened — there has been a routine element of tragedies to the modern designer retro furniture market that have alerted the discerning buyers' attention and weakened the market. Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman-

The Solution

In the wake of these events a few proven and responsible retro furniture shops and online stores have begun to resolve the problems for the discerning buying public, who want to buy high quality, value for money affordable great designer furniture. UK sellers Blue Sun Tree and Made, and European and Worldwide seller RetroEurope.com, have taken the lead in the modern designer retro furniture market. It is clear that BST, Made and RetroEurope.com have made massive investments in developing in house design teams. RetroEurope.com launched their award winning designs, the Eiffel and Le Bauhaus range of furniture in 2016, under the banner of Reinvented,Affordable, Great Design. A range of exceptional quality 21st modern designer furniture, using the traditional furniture makers method of construction, in the style of modern and mid century, but bigger and more comfortable for the needs of the discerning 21st century buyer, at exceptional value for money. Clearly the lessons of the ''Fake v Original'' Furniture War have been learnt by RetroEurope.com who are seizing control of the modern designer retro furniture market. If you have any questions about this article , you can contact Blue Sun Tree, Made or RetroEurope.com, or visit their websites.
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