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Eames Plastic Side Chair RE DSW
Lounge Chair & Ottoman
Eames Plastic Armchair RE DAW
Eames Plastic Side Chair RE DSR
Eames Plastic Armchair RE RAR
Aluminium Group EA 107 / EA 108
Eames Plastic Armchair RE DAR
Aluminium Group EA 119
Panton Chair
Aluminium Group EA 117
Grand Repos
LTR Occasional Table
Noguchi Coffee Table
Glides (1 Set) for Vitra Chairs
Hang It All
EM Table
Aluminium Group EA 124
Wooden Dolls
Soft Pad Group EA 219
Eames Elephant
Eames Plastic Side Chair RE DSX
Eames Plastic Armchair RE PACC
Castor for Vitra chairs
Eames Plastic Armchair RE DAX
Soft Pad Group EA 217
Physix
Lobby Chair ES 105 / ES 108
Eames Stools
Eames Plastic Side Chair RE DSS
ETR Elliptical Table Rod Base
Nelson Bench
Panton Chair Classic
Uten.Silo I
Uten.Silo II
Soft Pad Group EA 207 / EA 208
Soft Pad Group EA 222
Corniches
ID Mesh
ID Trim
HAL Bar Stool
HAL Wood
Aluminium Group EA 105
Aluminium Group EA 103 / EA 104
Belleville Armchair Wood
Belleville Chair Outdoor
Toolbox
Repos
Plywood Group LCW / LCW Leather
Eames Plastic Side Chair RE PSCC
Guéridon
Panton Junior
.03
.05
Home Desk
Night Clock
Eames House Bird
Ball Clock
Cork Family
Table Solvay
ID Soft
Softshell Chair with four-legged base
HAL Armchair Wood
Seat Cushion for Wire Chair (DKR/DKW/DKX/LKR)
ID Air
ID Trim L
Belleville Table Outdoor
Girard Classic Trays
Belleville Armchair Outdoor
Tip Ton
Sunburst Clock Black
Standard SP
MedaSlim
Plywood Group DCM
Plywood Group LCM / LCM Leather
Plywood Group DCW
Standard
Tabouret Haut
Heart Cone Chair
Amoebe
Prismatic Table
NesTable
Elephant Stool
Akari 10A
Akari BB3-33S
Akari 26A / 21A / 15A
Akari 45A / 55A / 75A / 120A
Akari 55D / 75D
Sunburst Clock
Sunflower Clock
Asterisk Clock
Eye Clock
Tripod Clock
Cone Clock
B3 Wassily Miniature
Metal Side Table
Visavis 2
HAL Ply Bar Stool
HAL Tube
Bistro Table Indoor
Bistro Table Outdoor
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Vitra

The Vitra story begins in the 1950s, specifically in 1953 when, during a trip to the USA, the founders of Vitra, Willi and Erika Fehlbaum, discovered an Eames Chair and were so impressed that they set about acquiring the license for the furniture from Charles & Ray Eames in Europe. A few years, and lots of negotiations later Vitra finally acquired the license in 1957 from the renowned US furniture manufacturer Herman Miller: and not only the European rights for the furniture of Charles & Ray Eames, but also for furniture by George Nelson, Alexander Girard and Isamu Noguchi. Licenses that laid the foundations for Vitra's success. A second milestone on the Vitra path was the cooperation with the Danish designer Verner Panton when Willi Fehlbaum dared to produce his novel plastic cantilever chair. After various prototypes and false starts the so-called Panton Chair was launched on the market in 1967: the first plastic cantilever chair made from a single cast, and the first product developed by Vitra. This positive experience encouraged Vitra to enter into further collaborations. Since then, the company has worked with a wide range of designers in Weil am Rhein, including Jasper Morrison, Mario Bellini and Antonio Citterio. In 1977 Rolf Fehlbaum took over the management of the company and alongside continuing the tradition of quality and innovation also founded the Vitra Design Museum, an exhibition space not only for Vitra products but for designer furniture classics. Today, more than 60 years after that fateful day in 1953, Vitra is one of the most influential and important manufacturers of designer furniture.

The history of Vitra began with an Eames Chair

Eames Lounge Chair in Nubia

Eames Lounge Chair Phlox Edition

Vitra Designers

Over the past 60 years Vitra has cooperated with countless influential furniture designers to develop groundbreaking designer furniture. A brief overview of some of the key Vitra designers:

Charles & Ray Eames

In essence the Vitra story starts with Charles and Ray Eames and the two icons of 20th century American design remain one of the cornerstones of both the Vitra portfolio and philosophy. Classics such as the Eames Lounge Chair, the Eames DSR Plastic Chair or the Aluminium Chair range have not only stood the test of time but continue to inspire young designers. In addition to providing Vitra with some of their most endearing articles, Charles Eames also helped form the Vitra philosophy which sees designers as "authors". For Eames the recognition of need is the raison d'être of design and he was opposed to extravagance without purpose; the designer should concentrate on solving the problem, albeit in their own way and with their own creativity.

Ray and Charles Eames

Frank Gehry

The American star architect and Vitra first worked together in 1987 when Gehry used the Vitra Editions program to design his cardboard "Little Beaver" chair. It is, however, his buildings that bond Gehry most to Vitra. In the late 1980s he was responsible for the Vitra Design Museum as well as production halls and a canteen in the same complex. Gehrys 1994 extension to the Vitra HQ in Basel is one of the most instantly recognized buildings in modern architecture.

Maarten Van Severen

The Dutch architect and designer initially established himself as a small scale furniture producer and interior designer. In 1996 Van Severen's first collaboration with Vitra resulted in the chair .03, and over the subsequent years until his untimely death in 2005 Van Severen and Vitra worked closely on a range of products including the .04, .07 and the Kast shelving unit.

Verner Panton

The grand old man of Danish design was the first designer to work with Vitra on the development of a new product - the Panton Chair. Following his studies at the Copenhagen art school, Panton worked briefly in Arne Jacobsen's studio before setting up on his own. Following a range of highly successful design, architecture and interior design projects he met Willi Fehlbaum, and the rest is history...

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

In 2000 Rolf Fehlbaum approached the, then still relatively unknown, French design team of Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec and invited them to design an office system for Vitra - the first office system the brothers had created. The result "Joyn" was premiered in 2002. Since then the Bouroullecs have not only gone on to become acclaimed and sought after designers, but they have also created some of Vitra's most commercially successful products including the Algue room divider system and the Belleville Chair Wood multi-purpose chair.

George Nelson

The former design director at Herman Miller "arrived" at Vitra in 1957 courtesy of the licensing agreement between Vitra and Herman Miller; however, despite the somewhat involuntary route Nelson was to prove one of the closest mentors for Rolf Fehlbaum and in many ways helped shape Fehlbaum's philosophy and understanding of "design" in Vitra's formative years. As a designer Nelson was just as influential and designs such as the marshmallow sofa or Coconut Chair are in many ways the first steps towards pop art.

Vitra Designer George Nelson

Original Vitra Chairs in new colours

The original comes from Vitra

Original Vitra furniture meets the highest quality standards, is stable in value and can be passed on from generation to generation. But what exactly does original mean? Aren't the Eames originals from the 1940s in the MoMA or the Center Pompidou? Isn't every reproduction a copy? In the fine arts the terms original and forgery are common, in the field of design they require explanation. With regard to the design furniture industry, only those manufacturers who have the appropriate licenses are authorized to produce certain products. If this legal basis does not exist, it is plagiarism, a copy, a stolen idea. What does that mean specifically in relation to Vitra furniture? The Fehlbaum family, founders of Vitra, maintained a close friendly relationship with Charles and Ray Eames. And to this day, as the legal license holder, the company has endeavoured to preserve and further develop their cultural heritage together with the descendants of the Eames. An original can therefore be designated as such if the legal and ideal requirements are met: The original comes from Vitra. The argument that only first-produced drafts are originals is misleading and is often used by plagiarists. Each design is aimed at solving a specific problem and the initial drafts offer an initial approach, which in practice sometimes proves to be in need of improvement. Ray and Charles Eames worked their entire lives on the further development of their products, experimented with new materials or exchanged gliders because they found a better solution. Since reproduction is part of the concept in the design logic, Vitra chairs manufactured today are just as original as the valuable vintage objects and mid-century collectibles.

Eames Lounge Chair

Mariposa Sofa

Physix Chair

EA 222 & EA 223

EA 104

Up to 30 years of warranty on Vitra design classics

Highest quality standards enable Vitra to grant an extended manufacturer's warranty of 10 to 30 years on selected design classics. Register your Vitra furniture today and benefit from generous guarantee advantages. All information as well as questions and answers about the Vitra manufacturer's warranty can be found here or directly on the Vitra website.

Vitra Campus

Vitra Design Museum

The Vitra Design Museum originated from a wish from Vitra Chairman Rolf Fehlbaum to create a location in which to document the history of Vitra. In 1987 Fehlbaum commissioned US Architect Frank Gehry to design a building for the collection; Gehrys first building in Europe.

Der Wunsch Rolf Fehlbaums, die Geschichte von Vitra an einem geeigneten Ort zu dokumentieren, legte den Grundstein für das Vitra Design Museum. 1987 beauftragte Fehlbaum den amerikanischen Architekten Frank Gehry mit dem Entwurf eines Gebäudes für seine Sammlung. Das Museum (Gehrys erstes Gebäude in Europa) wurde am 3. November 1989 eröffnet.

Das Vitra Design Museum, designed by Frank Gehry

The museum opened on November the 3rd 1989 and although the initial attention was won by Gehrys structure, it wasn't long before the contents of the museum took centre stage and a series of award winning exhibitions were being staged. Over the years the Design Museum has grown from a single building to a complex on the edge of the German town of Weil am Rhein. In addition to the Gehry building the Design Museum complex includes buildings designed by designers such as Jasper Morrison, Zaha Hadid, Tadao Ando and Jean Prouvé.

The VitraHaus is home to regularly changing exhibitions

Konstantin Grcic. Panorama - a Vitra Design Museum exhibition

VITRAHAUS: SMOW IS OFFICIAL VITRAHAUS PARTNER

The VitraHaus is the latest addition to the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein. Designed for Vitra by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron the VitraHaus is principally intended as an exhibition area for the Vitra Home Collection.

VitraHaus with Alcove Sofas by Ronan und Erwan Bouroullec

Vistors to the spectacular building can, however, not only admire the collection but also request either more information on individual products or a concrete offer from specially selected Vitra specialist dealers. smow is one of these specialist Vitra VitraHaus partners.

In the Lounge Chair Atelier on the Vitra Campus you can follow the final assembly of the Eames Lounge Chair

Sustainability at Vitra

For Vitra sustainability at runs through all sections of the company and reflects its attitude

For Vitra, sustainability is not just a project or corporate goal, sustainability characterises an attitude for the brand and across all areas of the company. Vitra embodies sustainability at every level and reflects this trait, whether in dealing with employees, in the interaction of the different nationalities in the company, in the support of childcare through its own Vitra kindergarten, in the origin of the production materials, that it powers its buildings with hydropower - to name just a few examples. Vitra not only lays down corporate social responsibility, which it defines as “Vitra Policy”, a code of conduct, but lives it.

Competition law, occupational safety and data protection are just a few cornerstones of the consistent action of the interior manufacturer, who set the same standards for partners and suppliers as the basis for a trusting cooperation along the supply and value chains; and always keeping the entire life cycle in mind, whereby an important consideration is the recyclability of a product.

The original alternative to the classic side table and, naturally, sustainably produced

Which materials does Vitra use?

Vitra relies on durability in all of its products, including the materials used. Vitra's integrated approach was expanded as early as the mid-eighties, investments were made in renewable energies and energy consumption was generally reduced. The aluminium used in Vitra products is 90% recycled, leather and cork are sourced from like-minded European partners.

Leather from European partners

Which Vitra product is made from 100% recycled plastic?

Since 2020 Vitra have produced the Vitra Tip Ton RE, a version of the 2011 Tip Ton, in 100% recycled plastic. Until the end of 2023, it was the only Vitra product made from 100% recycled plastic. At the beginning of 2024, the Eames Plastic Chairs RE were added, which are made exclusively from materials collected from German household recycling bins.

What processes does Vitra use for the sustainable refinement of its products?

Metals are powder-coated, woods are varnished without solvents. For Vitra, the recycling material plastic is probably the most innovative material used, which is also durable, hygienic and inexpensive. In addition, Vitra uses ecological and health certified materials. Vitra products have been awarded the Blue Angel, the GS mark, the EcoVadis and Greenguard Gold Label. Vitra's sustainable product cycle is one of the most important basis for creating new designs and products.

Sustainable furnishings from Vitra: colorful and durable

The Tip Ton RE, crafted entirely from recycled plastic

The Eames Plastic Chairs RE - A milestone for sustainable furniture design

In recent years Vitra has increasingly focused on the use of recycled materials, a focus arising from an understanding of waste as a valuable raw material that can be employed meaningfully in the production cycle. A philosophy embodied in the Eames Plastic Chairs RE, which not only pay homage to the heritage of design, but also make a significant contribution to reducing environmental impact.

The novel recycled material for the Eames Plastic Chair originates in German households and is collected via the “Yellow Bag” packaging recycling system. Compared to conventional primary plastics based on crude oil this recycled material produces fewer climate-damaging emissions and significantly reduces the consumption of primary energy. The seat shells can also be fully recycled at the end of their use, thereby further supporting the cycle of materials and reducing the environmental impact.

Due to the composition of the recycled material the lighter colour variants of the Eames Plastic Chairs RE can contain fine pigment dots, a natural component of the materials sustainable source and which even close up are indistinguishable with the naked eye. With the darker colours there is no difference between the original and the recycled material. The new chairs can be recognized by their name EPC RE. The colours “Green”, “Sunlight” and “White” are now “Emerald”, “Citron” and “Cotton white”. All other EPC colour names remain the same.

With the Eames Plastic Chairs RE Vitra not only sets an example for the use of recycled materials in furniture design, but also for the integration of sustainability into aesthetic design, and in doing so create a motivation for properly recycling your household waste. It could end up as a chair that is not only a functional piece of furniture, but also a symbol of a responsible and future-oriented design philosophy.

New green color variant made from recycled plastic: Vitra DSX RE Chair in emerald green

Eames Plastic Chairs in the sustainable RE version, timelessly beautiful as they have always been

Want to learn more about the new Eames Plastic Chairs RE? In the Vitra brochure you will find all the details. Simply Download and explore!

The new generation of Eames Plastic Chairs RE:

The Tip Ton RE - 100% recycled plastic

The Vitra Circle Store as part of the Vitra sustainability strategy

All Vitra products are designed and produced to advance a long service life. Vitra does not follow short-term trends and deliberately avoids unnecessary details: an attitude and sustainability strategy very much at the heart of the Vitra Circle Stores concept, which, following the success of the pilot store in Brussels, now also includes a store in Frankfurt.

Vitra Circle Store Frankfurt

What is the Vitra Circle Store?

Vitra has a focus on easy recycling and a long service life for its products. It is precisely this sustainability cycle that is also reflected in the so-called Circle Stores, where used Vitra furniture and accessories including samples, trade fair and exhibition items are sold. The sales prices are based on the condition of the respective Vitra products.

More on Vitra's attitude in the company's 2021 Sustainability Report (PDF to Download).

Vitra Collectionen

Vitra Home

The world as it existed when Vitra acquired the rights to Eames, Nelson et al was a clearly defined world where work and home life rarely encroached on one another. Over the decades the borders have become blurred and today homes must offer their owners more than merely a sofa and bed. As a response to this shift in emphasis Vitra initiated their Home Program based on the concept of the collage. Rolf Fehlbaum, guiding light of Vitra Home, first experienced the collage concept at Charles and Ray Eames house in Pacific Palisades where furniture, objects, art and plants fused in such a way that each object became more personal, familiar and intimate. This collage, however, is no patchwork, nor a random collection rather it is an arrangement based on an individual system of coordination based on the personality and requirements of each user. Vitra supplys the elements but it is up to each individual to decide what is right for them. And so we are all free to mix any Vitra chair with any accessory, such as a Panton chair with a George Nelson home desk, a Park Sofa, Hella Jongerius cushions and an Eames segmented table - or not. Just as you wish.

Vitra Home Collection

Vitra Edition

Much like the haute couture of the French fashion world, Vitra editions is a "laboratory" where selected designers can create designer furniture articles without having to pay heed to the potential commercial success of the project. Although the products created in the Vitra Editions are produced in small quantities the principle aim is to give the designers the freedom to experiment with material, form and production processes and so help stretch the boundaries of what is possible. Started in 1987 with Ron Arad, Vitra Editions has allowed designers such as Fernando & Humberto Campana, Konstantin Grcic or Naoto Fukasawa to experiment and learn.

Vitra Office

In one of his last major decisions before standing down, Willi Fehlbaum decided to take Vitra into the production of office furniture. The program Vitra Office started at the 1976 Orgatec furniture trade fair in Cologne with the chair "Vitramat" by the Berlin based designer Wolfgang Deisig. Three years later Vitra started working with Mario Bellini who not only brought a little Italian design je ne sais quoi to Vitra but started the expansion of the Vitra office chair range. This baton of innovative, Italian office furniture design was taken up in subsequent decades by first Antonio Citterio and Alberto Meda through office chairs such as the Axess plus, MedaPal and MedaPro. Mario Bellini further added to the canon in 2005 with his Headline chairs designed together with his son Claudio. In addition to office chairs Vitra have also worked with designers such as Antonio Citterio or Jasper Morrison to produce office systems such as the Ad Hoc or the ATM. Just as the Vitra Home program has responded to cultural and social changes, so too has the Vitra office program evolved over the decades. In 1993 the Vitra Design Museum presented the exhibition "Citizen Office" which presented modern office design concepts based on the thesis that an office is not just a place of work, but much more is a living space where various processes and interactions occur. Ten years later Vitra updated the Citizen Office to Network Office, under the motto "Break down the walls" and based around the Joyn system from Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. In 2008 the further development of the Network Office concept Net'n'Nest was presented at Orgatec - the very place where Vitra first entered the office furniture market some 32 years previous. However, just as with their Home program Vitra place the emphasis in their Office program on the individual choosing those elements that best suit their personality, requirements and for all their working style.

Vitra office with Eames Alu Chairs

Inspiration - Vitra Home Stories

Click the images below for inspiration from the Vitra broschures.

(Download ca. 5,2 MB)

More about Vitra

Vitra care instructions

smow sells exclusively originals from licensed manufacturers and is an official trading partner of Vitra.

More about 'Vitra' in our blog

The Historia Supellexalis: "V" for Vitra

...Vitra A Fehlbaum; A Campus; A Commonwealth According to the Sagas of the Dolls of Wood, that most authoritative account of the early (hi)story of the Commonwealth of Vitra, the contemporary Vitronians trace their origins back to a joining of forces of the Graeter, a Basel based people whose primary trade was the creation of display systems for shops and shop windows, and the Birsfelden Fehlbaum, a primarily office based people at that time under the guidance of a Willi and an Erika; a Willi and an Erika Fehlbaum who not only assumed guidance over the newly united peoples but also instigated a slow expansion of the shop furniture of the Graeter to a collection of items of practical, everyday, use in and for houses, a, at that time, novel accommodation concept in the Basel/Birsfelden region... And a shift away from the Graeter's and Fehlbaum's traditional trades, and an expansion from the Graeter and Fehlbaum's native region, that saw Willi and Erika adopt the name 'Vitra' for the new, shared, dominion, a use of the nominative plural of the Latin vitrum, glass, that was a reminder of the display windows of the Graeter, a reminder of the mirrors and lightbulbs of the earliest joint Graeter Fehlbaum house products, a reminder of the work, and teachings, and lessons, of Hanstheo Baumann, and also a committent to the new transparency and openness demanded in the Europe of that age as it moved on from the terrible and debilitating and thoroughly avoidable World Wide War...

Tsuyoshi Tane: The Garden House in the Vitra Design Museum Gallery and on the Vitra Campus, Weil am Rhein

...1 The exhibition Tsuyoshi Tane: The Garden House in the Vitra Design Museum Gallery, and the eponymous Garden House by Tsuyoshi Tane, the latest addition to the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, allow one to approach not only a better appreciation of Tane's positions but also to experience how they influence and inform his approach, his works, his architecture... For all that Vitra is popularly associated with Weil am Rhein, Germany, the company's origins are to be found just across the border in Switzerland, specifically in Birsfelden on the edge of Basel, the association with Weil am Rhein being first forged in the early 1950s, a period when Vitra was still, primarily, a shop-fitting company, if one taking its first, tentative, steps into domestic interiors alongside retail interiors...

The Historia Supellexalis: "S" for Switzerland

...Diaries which contain some of the most complete and detailed descriptions of Swiss society, and in which one also finds the earliest descriptions of the earliest (hi)story of the contemporary Switzerland, a, as Heidi records, nation constituted from a loosely bound collective, a cantonation, of ancient peoples, including, and amongst many, many others, the Röthlisberger, the Horgenglarus, the Usm, the Wohnbedarf, the Embru, or the Vitronians whose contemporary Commonwealth of Vitra was initially established across a number of fields on the banks of the river Birs in the north-western corner of the Toblerone cordillera... Yet it was, inarguably, the Vitronians, for all under the leadership of the benevolent Fehlbaum der Jüngere, who were the most active in terms of international exchange; not only cooperating with an American Miller by the name of Herman to introduce works and positions by the likes of, for example, Eames Office, I Samunoguchi, George Nel-son or Alexander Gi Rard into Switzerland, but also expanding the Commonwealth of Vitra to the neighbouring regions of Germany and from where they introduced the furniture of the American Miller Herman to the many peoples of Europe...

Orgatec Cologne 2014: Vitra

...Until that is one reaches the Vitra stand... The almost congenital attraction of Orgatec visitors to Vitra is unquestionably related to the high-calibre roster of international designers responsible for the Vitra office programme...

Orgatec 2012: An Interview with Vitra Chief Design Officer Eckart Maise

...In February 1991 the grand doyen of Italian design Ettore Sottsass approached Vitra CEO Rolf Fehlbaum with a suggestion for a joint project looking at the nature and being of life and work in the office... Rolf Fehlbaum willingly agreed and together with Michele de Lucchi, Andrea Branzi and James Irvine, Sottsass and Vitra set off an exploratory journey: researching, considering, inventing as they went...


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