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Friday Focus - Fritz Hansen Series 7 Chair

Some product designs are so ubiquitous, you could be forgiven for thinking they haven't been designed at all. The perfect example of this is the Series 7 Chair designed in 1955 by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen and inspired by the work of Charles and Ray Eames. Simultaneously one of the most successful and ripped off product designs in history, the 3107 variant is now a globally acknowledged shorthand for interior design sophistication.

Much of this has to do with its modernist design and association with a particularly cool and optimistic period of human history. Of course, if you want a product to become associated with a specific time and place, you could do a lot worse than pick 1960s Britain and that's precisely what propelled the 3107 into the pantheon of design greats and ensured its eternal appeal.

In any list if the most iconic images of Sixties Swinging London, you're bound to find Lewis Morley's photograph of Christine Keeler covering her nakedness with a 3107 Chair. Ironically, given the way the chair's design has been so shamelessly plagiarised down the years, it was clear that the chair used in the photograph was itself an inferior copy. The giveaway was the hand hold cut out in the back, a transparent attempt to avoid copyright laws.

Even so, a star was born. Sales of Series 7 Chairs had been comparatively modest before the photograph was published in 1963. Since then somewhere around 8 million originals have been sold worldwide, alongside countless inferior copies. The copies trade on the coolness of the real thing, but they'll never be able to match it.

To find out more about the Fritz Hansen Series 7 Chair please click here.
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