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Are These Knockoff Chairs More Authentic Than the Real Deal?

Modernica’s mid-century modern fiberglass chairs are almost too authentic, and that’s the problem.

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Founded more than 25 years ago, Modernica makes furniture out of all sorts of materials, but it’s perhaps best-known for its use of fiberglass. The company’s fiberglass-molded chairs, modeled after a 1950s design by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller, are made with the same materials and molds as those early mid-century examples. In fact, these chairs could make a claim to be more “authentic” than Herman Miller’s own products today — but not without a fair bit of controversy.

On account that it was completely unrecyclable, Herman Miller and Ray Eames deemed the Eameses’ original fiberglass plastic damaging to the environment, ceasing production in 1989. A re-released version made with polypropylene, a fully-recyclable thermoplastic known for durability and versatility, has been available since 2013.

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An original fiberglass chair mold at Modernica’s Los Angeles campus.

Meanwhile, Modernica was making the original chair with the original fiberglass plastic from the original molds, a practice that has resulted in several ongoing legal battles between them and Herman Miller.

Regardless of where you fall on questions of authenticity, environment-friendly design or IP theft, you can’t call Modernica’s line of fiberglass chairs a half-assed attempt at mid-century nostalgia — they’re high-quality chairs, made the old-fashioned way and unlike anything else out there. If you want one, the entire lot of them is marked down 15 to 25 percent off right now.

Learn More: Here

Gear Patrol also recommends:
Article Svelti Dining Chair ($49)
DSW Molded Fiberglass Chair ($195)
Eames Molded Fiberglass Side Chair ($710)

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