It will always be interesting to note how the replica world has evolved since people started crafting these iconic items that are inspired by the best designs from the mid-century modern era. But, as we’ve said before: not all replicas are created equal, and some are a little more equal than others. We’ve also already covered how to differentiate our particular replicas from the other ones that you will find online, but you should also know exactly how we stack up from these other replicas, which are greatly varied in price and manufacturing.
Today we’re going to examine the Eames Office Chair replicas against others from mid-century modern sites and big online retailers. You have to remember that the Eames Office Chair is one of the most ubiquitous office chairs in the world, but not every chair that resembles the EOC can be considered a replica: many retailers just take the raw shape that the Eameses came up with and copy it time and time again. Let’s look at how these chairs are similar, and different at the same time, from the chairs that we offer to you here at Barcelona Designs.
Amazon and cheaper replicas
These are the first ones that you will find on Amazon and similar sites like EBay. You will probably see for yourself that they are, first and foremost, very cheap, and this is the first indication that their quality might not be as advertised. However, this is not to say that replicas with low prices (depending on our budget) are inherently bad. An original Eames office chair can cost between $1,500 and $2,000. So, how do you know what the adequate price range is as well as the quality of these chairs? You should keep their price in mind, but also look at their characteristics.
The first thing you might notice, in the ribbed design for example, is the flattened shape of the fabric. In a good replica the ribbed design will be very noticeable, as it is in the original, and you’ll be able to discern each individual part. On cheaper replicas, this won’t be possible. They come with casters, hydraulics, and even levers for additional functionality, but they don’t really look like Eames Office chairs: the arms are smaller and rounder, the curve at the end of the back is less pronounced, and the base is usually not entirely made of steel.
Other mid-century modern retailers
Let’s keep comparing with other retailers that do brand their chairs as Eames replicas and achieve a look that’s more related to the actual Eames Office chair. We’ve mentioned in other articles that our Eames Office chairs, at Barcelona Designs, are directly derived from the EA 117, 118, 119, and EA 217 and 219 models created in 1958 and 1969, respectively, by the Eames couple. Other retailers online will take the overall look of these models and recreate it in very thin office chairs, as you might see for yourself if you do a Google search. You should also note two things: these thinned out models don’t cost more than $400 and they don’t have Soft Pad variants, instead only replicating the ribbed design of the first models.
To conclude this article, these are the failings that you will find in most replicas. Barcelona Designs, by following manufacturing practices that are in line with the original products, has been able to produce comfortable chairs that retain the original measurements, shape, ribbed cushion finish, and are not thinned out to look sleeker. Our prices are just a tad higher than these flat replicas, and even though we only sell four models, the fact that we include soft pad designs makes our catalog much more informed and varied. However, you should do a Google search and decide for yourself.