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Originals Or Copies of Modern Designer Retro Furniture.

Salon d'Automne - Paris - Designer Furniture

Originals Or Copies of Modern Designer Retro Furniture.

We look at the dark history at the heart of Modern Designer Retro Furniture Market.

Do not expect a Wedding Cake for the price of a Loaf of Bread?

In the past the cry from the license holders, and their franchisees, selling the coveted original retro furniture designs of Le Corbusier, Charles Eames, Florence Knoll and a dozen more talented designers, of modern designer retro furniture was:

Do not expect a Wedding Cake for the price of a Loaf of Bread.

Time has proven that this phrase is not as accurate as it once was 15 years ago.

In subtle and not-so-subtle ways, replicas, copies or inspired reproductions of mid century designer retro furniture, have improved to a profound degree, whilst the prices have remained low.

Previously…

Price difference has always been contentious. Discerning buyers of mid century furniture have a choice of a Charles Eames Lounge Chair and Stool from one of the original houses, at a price around 6,000 euros, or from a Far East supplier at around 600 euros.

One tenth of the price!!

The price tag of 6000 euros is for what many believe ” just for the official stamp of originality.”

When buyers hand over their hard earned cash, they have a choice between two supply chains, and two interpretations of Retro Modern Designer Furniture from the past.

The two parties in this fight, are distinct in many ways.

First, the ”Originals” and they are very protective of the designs they own.

Second, the ”Imposters” who argue that the exorbitant price from the licensees, prevent the majority of ‘’lovers of modern mid century furniture’’, being able to own these beautiful pieces.

Today

Now that the argument of quality has been extinguished, due the massive improvements achieved in the Far East, a hard-line protectionism has been adopted to close down the importation of the replicas and copies from the Far East.

Rarely have we witnessed two sides more opposed.

This will be a long and bitter campaign, that eventually will be decided by the buying public.

In terms of the current sales figures, let us consider the hardest hit designer, Le Corbusier, most famous for his classic design, the LC2 Armchair and LC2 Sofa.

le-corbusier-designer-architect

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, also known as Le Corbusier.
Le Corbusier was a Swiss-French designer of retro modern furniture, and one of the most influential designers of retro furniture.
Born: October 6, 1887, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Died: August 27, 1965, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France

Inspired versions, copies, replicas or what ever name you decide is appropriate, of the work of Le Corbusier, and in particular the LC2 Armchairs and Sofas can be seen all around the world.

In sharp contrast, original LC2,s from the owners of Le Corbusier, who manufacture under license, are calculated to be a small fraction of the market the ”Imposters” have captured.

Clearly, sales of copies out number the sales of the original mid century retro modern designer furniture.

Despite denials from both parties, the ”House of Originals” and the ”House of Replicas”, the overall market of Le Corbusier LC2 retro furniture is diminishing at a massive rate of knots.

From a ”Technical Point of View” it easy to understand.

Whilst both parties fight to maintain their share of the Le Corbusier LC2 Retro Furniture market, it is a fact that discerning buyers of Mid Century, Modernist Retro Furniture have stopped buying these LC2 Le Corbusier models in great numbers.

Why are the sales of the original LC2, and the replica LC2 falling like the proverbial stone?

The answer is remarkably simple.

Le Corbusier designed the LC2 sofa and the LC2 armchair in 1928 and exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in Paris in 1929.

Nearly 100 years ago.

Le Corbusier - Designer & Architect

The Design

The actual industrial design is still admired and in demand today, however the dimensions and the construction of the Le Corbusier LC2 are now out of date, unacceptable and not practical.

The original model and the replicas of the original, by the standards of the 21st century are extremely uncomfortable.

The dimensions of the LC2 models are related to the average person in 1928, today nearly 100 years later, the average person is considerably, taller, heavier and broader.

The construction of the 1929 LC2, is another factor to the demise of this 20th century model. In 1929, Le Corbusier designed a metal frame, with elasticated webbing to hold 4 foam cushions. This design offers very little support to the lower back, and no support to the shoulders and upper back.

New brands have entered the market place, and whilst they are inspired by the original designs by Le Corbusier, they have questioned the size, the comfort, and the functional levels of the LC2 models for the 21st Century .

International brands, Retro Europe, Made and Suntree have confronted the dark chapters of the licensed and replica markets of modern designer, mid century retro furniture head on, with brand new designs more appropriate for the 21st Century buyer.

For months the designers at Retro Europe, Europe’s biggest online supplier of modern designer retro furniture, worked to create a stunning new mid century classic design, with three words uppermost in their minds; Reinvented, Affordable, Great Design – a simple yet very effective mandate for success.

A high-profile announcement from Retro Europe launched the Le Bauhaus Collection of Sofas and Armchairs, specifically for 21st Century buyers of modern mid century styled retro furniture.

A Professional Opinion

Industry experts agree that the Le Bauhaus Industrial design is as good, if not better than the original design by Le Corbusier.

The actual construction of the Le Bauhaus furniture as adopted by Retro Europe, is a masterpiece of traditional craftsmanship and design, using the long established furniture makers methods of hard wood framed armchairs and hard wood framed sofas.

The past remains in the past, and the present is now finally looking very good.

Retro Europe have enhanced the appeal of the LC2 style, by adopting the authentic steel framework, to maintain the famous industrial look, whilst designing the steel ladder framework to carry the traditional hardwood framed piece of furniture, which is dressed in multi density padding and cushioning for maximum support and comfort.

Le Bauhaus Sofa - 3 Seater - Black

The Result

At last, a fabulous looking mid century modernist designed piece of retro furniture, constructed on a hardwood frame, and built to last for many years.

With the added bonus of modern furniture technology prices can start at 549.00 Euros.

Bigger, more comfortable, fully supporting and practical, yet, still retaining the Le Corbusier Industrial design style.

For many people, a high priced original versus a low priced copy has been a problem. But no one today, who is honest, can see it that way anymore.

The question is now immaterial.

The new designs from Retro Europe are widely been regarded as historic, with all the principal design functions required in a piece of furniture being addressed, the Le Bauhaus Collection of modern designer furniture has proven to be an immediate success with orders worldwide.

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