The Eames Lounge Chair: The Pride of the Legendary Designer Couple

Perhaps only Mid-Century Modern enthusiasts knew about this anecdote, but the fact that famous film director Billy Wilder was the one who received the second Eames Lounge Chair and ottoman to roll off the production line is popular. This wasn’t spontaneity but was part of the way that Charles and Ray Eames wanted to reciprocate a gift that the director had given the couple years before, and that, in fact, was one of the main incentives they had for the creation of their star chair. The piece has armchairs that are not only symmetrical but also interchangeable.

The Eameses wanted to make sure that the armchair they were creating could last for a virtually indefinite time, so they incorporated enough oils into the tanning of the leather to make it surprisingly strong. This is a waterproof finish that shouldn’t be exposed to other types of solvents. Charles was so proud of the work that he called it “a voluptuous luxury few mortals have known since Nero.” On one occasion, producer Julian Blaustein inadvertently fell asleep on a test Eames Lounge Chair that Charles had at his home while reading scripts, which made the designer very pleased. The two celebrity designers wanted their chair to have “the warm and responsive look of a well-worn first base glove”, and anyone would confirm they succeeded optimally.

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