July 29, 2010

Knock off or Real thing?

July 29, 2010
This morning I was flipping through last Saturday's Decoration magazine.  (By the way great perks here in Chile include magazines in both Saturday and Sunday papers!)  This issue has a three page spread with pictures of a variety of styles of furniture, including Marcel Breuer's Cesca Side Chair - Cane.  It made me smile, as Matt has recalled having a few of these chairs while in college.  Matt's Breuer's were most likely knock off's, but this reminded me of how popular it is right now in Chile to purchase knock off designer products.

Modern architecture and furniture design are celebrated with enthusiasm here.  This enthusiasm however has provided confusion.  Department stores have used misleading advertisements, ie large pictures of designers LeCorbuiser, Mies, and Breuer to name a few, corresponding photos of their furniture design, and the official name of those pieces of furniture, suggesting that they are indeed carrying the original designs in their stores.  To many this would be quite confusing, and easily assumed by the shopper to actually be purchasing a Breuer designed Wassily Chair, when in fact they are purchasing a knock off - with different dimensions and materials.  So with that thought in mind I am wondering how hard is it to verify what you are purchasing (that is when not buying from DWR and Knoll directly)?
photo of Breuer's Cesca Side Chair and Wassily Chair courtesy of Knoll



3 comments:

John said...

good question: look for a manufacturer's Label/Tag. normally hidden on bottom surface. Will have Manufacturer's Name, and sometimes date assembled & designer. You will of course have to be familiar with which products are carried by which manufacturer.

knock-off will often have no labels of any kind. (and they will be really cheap in price)

John said...

you even have to watch out at retail stores like DWR:

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/141/seeing-double.html#chicago

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/141/a-modern-mess.html?page=0%2C5

So always ask who is the manufacturers of a product.

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