Knock-offs: Fashions vs. Furnishings

 The Original: Argenta Lucite Lounge Chair from the Pace Collection (1970s)

The Original: Argenta Lucite Lounge Chair from the Pace Collection (1970s)

Irwin Weiner, ASID - Time to vent about one of  my pet hates: Why is it that fashion-conscious clients can spot a knock-off Fendi bag or a fake Rolex watch and then turn their noses up at the fakes and spend a small fortune for the originals, but they embrace cheap knock-off furniture? A chair of relatively poor quality, but a gentle price point, is okay if it's based on a good original design. A designer look-alike bag of relatively poor quality, but a gentle price point, is totally unacceptable. Huh?

 Knock-off: Luca Collection chair from RH Modern

Knock-off: Luca Collection chair from RH Modern

Here's the newsflash: Fashion and interior design are joined at the hip. They're one in the same. Both reflect your tastes, style, and personality.  In fact, you may trot out an original designer fashion from your closet once a month at most, but you have to look at and sit on your furniture every day. To me, that's the argument for going with the best quality original design item, regardless.

 Knock-off of the Knock-off: Serena Floating Lucite Chair from TOV Furniture

Knock-off of the Knock-off: Serena Floating Lucite Chair from TOV Furniture

The photos in this post illustrate my point. The gorgeous Argenta Lucite Lounge Chair (top photo) - the original from the Pace Collection in the '70s - is one of my favorite modern chairs. I have one with black webbing in my bedroom in Manhattan. Like all good designs, it got "interpreted" by RH Modern, a clever new line from Restoration Hardware. But the Luca chair (second photo) is a pale imitation of the original. And TOV Furniture's Serena Floating Lucite Chair is a graceless knock-off of the RH Modern piece. When we make a photocopy, the copy is never as sharp and clear as the original. Make a copy of a photocopy, and it's another generation removed from crispness and clarity. It's the same with furniture knock-offs, as rarely do you have a reinterpretation of a piece that is as brilliant and refined as the original.

The rant is now officially over.