Introduced more than 50 years ago, the Lounge Chair & Ottoman is today the world’s most beloved Eames design — a fixture in every corner office and psychiatrist’s flat, from New York to Seattle. It’s also probably the easiest to knock off.
So to boldface-italicize the value of the real thing, Vitra — one of two companies officially licensed to produce the Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman — has released a video showing the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into each piece of furniture.
Note the tight cropping; the camera lovingly zooming in on hands as they cut leather and pump screws into plywood; the graphic sound effects. It’s downright porny.
The point, we supposed, is to underscore how much of the chair is made by real, live people — the better for rationalizing its $5,000 price tag (though that’s a conservative estimate; apparently in Europe, the chair can cost upward of $9,000, depending on the wood and leather chosen).
Personally, we’re disappointed not to see more of the manufacturing process. What made the chair revolutionary in 1956 — and what’s still fascinating 55 years on — was the construction of the plywood shells: Thin layers of wood veneer were glued together and shaped under intense heat and pressure.