Is it possible we’ve reached peak Eames?

Think about that the next time you’re chair shopping. The Mid-Century aesthetic has never been more popular — probably not since the middle of the last century. Every high-end design store worth its weight in teak and cowhide sells different models; or essentially identical pieces, whether they’re vintage, refurbished, re-issued or genuinely brand new (but based on rediscovered 75-year-old patents).

The field is dominated by icons and classics: the Wassily Chair, the Wegner Cigar Chair, the Eames Lounger. It’s rare to find a truly handsome new design that pays homage to Charles and Ray Eames, Le Corbusier, Arne Jacobsen et al., without infringing on copyright or just plain missing the mark. It’s rarer still to find it in a chair that’s made in the U.S.A. and has a seductive origin story all its own.

Rare, but not impossible.

The designer, Fahmida Lam, is a Pratt graduate and Brooklyn native.

The designer, Fahmida Lam, is a Pratt graduate and Brooklyn native.

The Fahmida Chair is a pristine example of timeless design as practiced in the last two years. It’s a product by Thos. Moser, one of the great American wood shops to emerge in the last century. Based in Auburn, Maine, Thos. Moser made its name in cabinets, and has also been cranking out handmade furniture since 1972. The company privileges craftsmanship above all else, producing limited quantities of classic styles ranging from Shaker to Mid-Century — all of them with a definitive patina of classic, minimalist Americana. The place is like the Old Yankee Workshop, times a thousand.

The Fahmida Chair is a radical departure for the relatively conservative brand — not because of the design itself, but because of who designed it. The Fahmida Chair isn’t a tried-and-true piece of American design. It’s named, aptly, after its designer, Fahmida Lam, a recent Parsons grad who won a coveted residency at the company. The chair is based on her designs, which she worked on with Adam Rogers, Thos. Moser’s director of design and product development, and Warren Shaw, their master craftsman.

The Fahmida Chair is a pristine example of timeless design as practiced in the last two years.

We could get into the details, talk about the reclining angle or the leather on the cushions, the color of the stain or the curve of the arms. But what’s remarkable about the Fahmida Chair isn’t what makes it stand out. It’s the fact that you think — you’re convinced — that you’ve seen it before, if not in a hotel lobby or a fancy doctor’s office then in an episode of Mad Men or an old photo album. But you haven’t. It’s brand new. And it’s as far away from an Eames design as wood and leather will allow.

$2,475+


Designer: Fahmida Lam
Wood: cherry/walnut
Height: 32 inches
Width: 26 inches
Depth: 32 inches

More by Peter Saltsman | Follow on Contact via Email