After yesterday’s mini guide to mid-century modern (which was coincidental) I have today teamed up with Heals to talk to you a little more about the design classics. The store, whose hashtag before hashtags were a thing, is Where Design Lives, is one of the biggest bricks and mortar retailers of these iconic (and I don’t use that word lightly) designs in the UK.
In fact, Heals was the first store to bring Arne Jacobsen’s famous Egg chair to the UK and to promote Danish design. Below is the first advertising campaign featuring the chair, which was designed for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen.
And, decades later the chair is still being featured in their campaigns – see below.
Hamish Mansbridge, the CEO of Heals, said: “[The store] has always been a champion of quality designs. From supporting the newest up and coming talent, to showcasing some of the most iconic and timeless brands, we can confidently say that Heal’s really is where design lives.
“Many of the most distinguished pieces of design in the industry are synonymous with Heal’s since we introduced them to a UK audience for the first time at our Tottenham Court Road store. Both the Egg Chair by Fritz Hansen and the Eames Lounge Chair by Vitra were featured prominently in our advertising campaigns back in the 1960s and continue to be two of our most popular & enduring pieces.”
And while we’re on the subject Heals also hosted the debuts of Picasso, Matisse and Modigliani as well as bringing Bauhaus design to the UK for the first time.
But back to the Egg. It was designed in 1958 and produced by Danish furniture company Fritz Hansen, which still manufactures it today. It was originally conceived to furnish the foyer of the SAS – Denmark’s first skyscraper – which Jacobsen worked on between 1956 and 1960. The hotel was a huge project for which he designed everything, from the outside in, including the lighting, door handles and even the cutlery in the restaurant.
The curvy chair was designed in contrast to the hotel’s straight lines and Jacobsen (1902-1971), who also designed the Swan, the Drop and Series 3300 for the building was the first to use a new technique which consisted of a strong foam shell beneath the upholstery.
The high back and curving form was designed to give privacy while sitting in such a public space. He modelled the design in clay at his home.
It is now available in hundreds of different fabrics including wool and linen and the classic leather. Prices start at £5,322 rising to £12,834. At Heals the most popular colour has traditionally been navy blue but often, when deciding to invest in such a classic, customers go for leather and more are sold in this than any other fabric, says a spokesperson for Heals.
This is a sponsored post as part of a collaboration with Heals. As you know I don’t do many sponsored posts but I have worked with Heals for many years including dressing their windows both at the Tottenham Court Road store and the, now sadly closed, west London branch, and I held my last book launch in their store too. I have also written a long running series on design classics so it made sense to partner with them for this post. Obviously while the Egg chair features in he new advertising campaign they sell lots of other classic designs including Ercol, Anglepoise and Eames.
All Eggs made after 2006 feature a ‘Republic of Fritz Hansen’ label in the upholstery. Older chairs should have a ‘Made in Denmark by Fritz Hansen’ label on the base, plus a date or serial number. If this is missing, look on the bottom of the base for a raised serial number and ‘Fritz Hansen’ in the metal. The base has four prongs made from aluminium.