In its classic dimensions, the piece is 84 centimetres high, with a seat depth of 56.5 centimetres and a seat height of 38 centimetres. ‘But as people are now some 10 centimetres taller on average, a somewhat larger version with a height of 89 centimetres was more recently introduced.’ Which measurements does Thoma personally prefer? ‘The classic dimensions. The original size fits me better, even though I’m quite tall at 1.85 metres. Everyone should definitely try out both models to see which seat depth and backrest height suits them best’, advises the expert. Anyone that doesn’t purchase a chair directly from Vitra should make sure they are getting a genuine Eames product.
Sometimes I sit down in the evening in front of a Lounge Chair,
reward myself with a glass of wine, and just enjoy looking at it.
Thoma can reliably spot a counterfeit Lounge Chair due to the incorrect proportions of the cushions – for example, armrests that are too thick – or the thickness of other materials, the type of wood used for the shells, the position of the buttons on the cushions, or the fake label underneath the seat shell. ‘At the moment, there are a lot of copies in circulation with the Herman Miller label. They are sometimes such good counterfeits that even I can only distinguish them from an original with a stitch-counter. For a layperson without this level of experience, it is difficult to differentiate an original from a plagiarised product. There are so many Eames designs on the market that you really have to look closely. But sometimes the fakes are of such inferior quality, I can’t figure out how customers don’t notice that the wrong legs are stuck on their Plastic Side Chair – until the legs suddenly break off and they land on the floor!’
How can people protect themselves from inadvertently purchasing a counterfeit? ‘Be vigilant when you see dumping prices! Only dubious dealers offer so-called originals with inexplicable discounts. You should always buy new pieces from an authorised Vitra dealer, and vintage objects from well-reputed auction houses or galleries, or at an established trade fair. Because the trading of vintage furniture is experiencing such a boom, it’s important to be cautious.’