A meeting of icons: Famous furniture brand Thonet is perfectly at home at fci in Harvey Nichols
When one of the finest names in furniture takes its place in a new homeware takeover on the Fourth Floor of one of London’s celebrated luxury retailers, it’s clearly a match made in heaven. The two well-loved brands have been brought together by fci, a family run company with a long standing reputation for offering the very best in contemporary design.
Thonet has the kind of authentic heritage that cannot be imitated. Founded in 1819 by master carpenter Michael Thonet, the company is known worldwide as a pioneer in design, most famous perhaps for the iconic chair number 214 (formerly no. 14), perhaps better known as the Vienna Coffee House chair. This innovative, hand-made bentwood design became the first mass roduced piece of furniture, ubiquitous in homes, restaurants and cafes alike. The bentwood portfolio has since grown to include other classics such as chair 209 (the architect le Corbusier’s favourite chair), plus contemporary creations that draw on Thonet’s unique DNA.
Another important milestone in the company’s esteemed history was its relationship with the Bauhaus movement, in particular bringing to market the ground-breaking cantilevered tubular steel designs by Mart Stam and Marcel Breuer. These chairs remain in the portfolio today, and have also been updated in the “Thonet All Seasons” collection with new choices of finish and colour, including all-weather coatings and fabrics that make them suitable for indoor or outdoor use.
Thonet GmbH, based in Frankenberg (Germany) continues to thrive and to refresh its extensive furniture offering. Members of the fifth and sixth generation of the Thonet family are still working for the company, bringing their own personal pride and passion to the wider ‘family’ feeling that the brand engenders. Recent additions to the Thonet collection include the striking 808 reclining lounge chair and footstool, a contemporary variation on the winged back armchair that offers all the modernity and functionality one could desire, while possessing all the enduring style and quality one would expect of the name.
This chair, along with the 209 chair, the Marcel Breuer S 64 chair and the All Seasons versions of the Mart Stam S 33 chair and the S 533 chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, plus the Marcel Breuer B 97 side tables, are now all on display at the fci concession on the Fourth Floor of Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge. Says Dimitrinka Rees, Manager of the concession, “Thonet is a unique and iconic brand, loved for their pioneering and innovative designs, dependable quality and timeless appeal. These ideals are also closely aligned to the fci philosophy and connect perfectly with the Harvey Nichols culture. We are delighted to include these pieces in our selective edit for the store.”
About Harvey Nichols: Harvey Nichols is the world’s leading luxury retailer, renowned for its exclusive edit of the most prestigious brands across womenswear, menswear, accessories, beauty, food and wine. Founded in 1831, today Harvey Nichols has stores in London, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Leeds and a dedicated beauty store Beauty Bazaar, Harvey Nichols in Liverpool, and OXO Bar, Brasserie & Restaurant on London’s south bank. Outside of the UK stores include Dublin in the Republic of Ireland and internationally Hong Kong, Dubai, Istanbul, Ankara, Riyadh and Kuwait. For further information on Harvey Nichols see harveynichols.com.
About fci London: fci is an independently-owned family business with deep roots in furniture design, manufacture and interiors. As one of the largest contemporary furniture showrooms in the UK, the company displays exquisite quality pieces from the some of the world’s most exclusive designers. Since 1985, the fci team has worked tirelessly to build many close relationships with the designers who design for the most interesting and innovative brands in the world.
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