The S has become such a classic piece of furniture and has been so widely copied that it's hard to understand just how revolutionary it was when it first appeared.
Its designer, Verner Panton, had the idea in 1960, on a visit to a factory making safety helmets and buckets, according to the Design Museum. But it would be several years before he could find a manufacturer who was able to mass produce it. Made from a single piece of cantilevered plastic with no back legs, it was the first of its kind.
"The design was very difficult to work on," says Joanna Moore from Vitra, the Swiss company that still holds the licence to make them. "Many manufacturers just refused to get involved with it but Vitra was willing to work with Panton to develop his idea.
"Once it had been put into production, the chair was very well received and became very popular. It's still very popular today, partly because of its organic shape and also because of its great history."
Panton was a master of the futuristic 1960s design which became known as the Pop movement. Born in Denmark, he joined the Resistance during the Second World War and spent several months in hiding after a cache of weapons was found in his bedroom.
After studying with another legend of design, Arne Jacobsen, Panton created the Cone chair in 1959. So many people gathered to see it in a New York shop window that the police ordered it be removed. He then moved on to make the first inflatable furniture and, in 1967, the S was born.
Panton fell out of fashion during the 1970s but then, in the 1990s, the S was in vogue – literally – as mid-century modern became fashionable again. He won more awards and the chair was put back into production. He was invited to design an exhibition in his honour in Copenhagen in 1998 but died 12 days before it opened
We offer these at $125 with free shipping and no tax (sorry, California is excluded in no tax offer).
Please note! That these are high quality replicas we offer and not the real thing (but no one will know)
- - Stackable
- - Matte finish (Compare with glossy finish, matte finish is more scratch resistant)
- - Available in black, white and red.
- - Tough ABS construction
- - Perfect for indoor and outdoor use