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The Line Style in Context

The Line is a modern and personal approach to retail. We bring together carefully chosen fashion, home, and beauty items and place them in context through inspiring editorial features and intimate offline shopping experiences. The thematic, seasonal, and handpicked assortments we call Selections offer another way to explore our evolving edit of things you’ll wear, use, and treasure for years to come.

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Hans Wegner:
Just One Good Chair

“If only you could design just one good chair in your life….But you simply cannot,” said Hans Wegner in 1952. He is pictured here surrounded by his designs and lounging on the Flag Halyard Chair, one of his most radical and significant works. In addition to approximately 500 chairs, Wegner designed lighting such as the Pendant lamp, now available in a special edition that marks the centennial of his birth.
A meeting of organic modern minds. Wegner chats with fellow designer Charles Eames at the opening of the 1959 Wegner retrospective at Georg Jensen in New York.

One hot summer afternoon in 1950, Hans Wegner was watching his children play near the ocean, but his designing mind didn’t pause for a beach day. He dug a hole in the sand, experimenting with sitting positions and finally creating a comfortable perch: one that allowed him to recline while maintaining an unobstructed view of his surroundings. It was a new way for a chair to hold someone. Back at his summer cottage, Wegner sketched out the angles from the beach and began to develop the form for the Flag Halyard Chair.

“The Flag Halyard is unique in Wegner’s oeuvre,” says Christian Holmsted Olesen, author of Hans J. Wegner: Just One Good Chair, a monograph to be published this fall by Hatje Cantz in celebration of the Danish designer’s one-hundredth birthday and in conjunction with a major exhibition of the same name that is on view through November 2 at the Designmuseum Danmark. Oleson, a curator at the museum, points to the innovative use of tubular steel and the function that guided every detail of the chair’s design. “Despite its hard, industrial appearance, the Flag Halyard displays a sprawling, casual expressiveness that is conveyed by more than just the comfortable sheepskin and pillows. Its very construction makes the entire chair look playful and light.”

The chair is made from stainless steel in a broad, wheelbarrow-like shape with angled sides, a form that Oleson compares to a stealth aircraft but at least one early skeptic likened to a chair for a gynecological exam. It is covered in nearly 800 feet of specially developed flag line that forms the seat and back. By attaching the ends of the plaited halyard to the stretchers beneath the chair, Wegner ensured that they could be tightened if they become loose. The angled legs are propped on large feet that visually anchor the form and protect the floor from scratches. A long-haired sheepskin softens the industrial rigor of the steel.

“If only you could design just one good chair in your life….But you simply cannot,” Wegner said in 1952. By the time he died in 2007, he had designed some 500 chairs, including the Wishbone and the Round Chair, along with hundreds of other pieces of furniture. And while he never rested on his quest for the perfect chair, he knew exactly when one of his creations was complete. According to Wegner, “A chair isn’t finished until someone sits in it.”

Wegner lounges in another of his large and laid-back chairs, the Ox, designed in 1960. “Although its huge, bulging body stands in contrast to the Flag Halyard Chair, the Ox presents a similarly radically innovative design,” notes Christian Holmsted Olesen in the forthcoming book Hans J. Wegner: Just One Good Chair. Pictured at right is a 1950 drawing for the Wishbone Chair, which soon became Wegner’s best-selling and most famous piece of furniture. (Drawing courtesy Hans J. Wegner Design Studio I/S)
The Flag Halyard Chair is constructed from solid stainless steel, nearly 800 feet of specially developed flag line that forms the seat and back, and a long-haired sheepskin that softens the industrial rigor of the steel. Wegner designed it in 1950 with no particular manufacturer in mind but soon gave it to Getama. PP Møbler took over production in 2002. (Photo at right courtesy Hans J. Wegner Design Studio I/S)

Hans Wegner: Just One Good Chair

Hans Wegner:
Just One Good Chair

“If only you could design just one good chair in your life….But you simply cannot,” said Hans Wegner in 1952. He is pictured here surrounded by his designs and lounging on the Flag Halyard Chair, one of his most radical and significant works. In addition to approximately 500 chairs, Wegner designed lighting such as the Pendant lamp, now available in a special edition that marks the centennial of his birth.
A meeting of organic modern minds. Wegner chats with fellow designer Charles Eames at the opening of the 1959 Wegner retrospective at Georg Jensen in New York.

One hot summer afternoon in 1950, Hans Wegner was watching his children play near the ocean, but his designing mind didn’t pause for a beach day. He dug a hole in the sand, experimenting with sitting positions and finally creating a comfortable perch: one that allowed him to recline while maintaining an unobstructed view of his surroundings. It was a new way for a chair to hold someone. Back at his summer cottage, Wegner sketched out the angles from the beach and began to develop the form for the Flag Halyard Chair.

“The Flag Halyard is unique in Wegner’s oeuvre,” says Christian Holmsted Olesen, author of Hans J. Wegner: Just One Good Chair, a monograph to be published this fall by Hatje Cantz in celebration of the Danish designer’s one-hundredth birthday and in conjunction with a major exhibition of the same name that is on view through November 2 at the Designmuseum Danmark. Oleson, a curator at the museum, points to the innovative use of tubular steel and the function that guided every detail of the chair’s design. “Despite its hard, industrial appearance, the Flag Halyard displays a sprawling, casual expressiveness that is conveyed by more than just the comfortable sheepskin and pillows. Its very construction makes the entire chair look playful and light.”

The chair is made from stainless steel in a broad, wheelbarrow-like shape with angled sides, a form that Oleson compares to a stealth aircraft but at least one early skeptic likened to a chair for a gynecological exam. It is covered in nearly 800 feet of specially developed flag line that forms the seat and back. By attaching the ends of the plaited halyard to the stretchers beneath the chair, Wegner ensured that they could be tightened if they become loose. The angled legs are propped on large feet that visually anchor the form and protect the floor from scratches. A long-haired sheepskin softens the industrial rigor of the steel.

“If only you could design just one good chair in your life….But you simply cannot,” Wegner said in 1952. By the time he died in 2007, he had designed some 500 chairs, including the Wishbone and the Round Chair, along with hundreds of other pieces of furniture. And while he never rested on his quest for the perfect chair, he knew exactly when one of his creations was complete. According to Wegner, “A chair isn’t finished until someone sits in it.”

Wegner lounges in another of his large and laid-back chairs, the Ox, designed in 1960. “Although its huge, bulging body stands in contrast to the Flag Halyard Chair, the Ox presents a similarly radically innovative design,” notes Christian Holmsted Olesen in the forthcoming book Hans J. Wegner: Just One Good Chair. Pictured at right is a 1950 drawing for the Wishbone Chair, which soon became Wegner’s best-selling and most famous piece of furniture. (Drawing courtesy Hans J. Wegner Design Studio I/S)
The Flag Halyard Chair is constructed from solid stainless steel, nearly 800 feet of specially developed flag line that forms the seat and back, and a long-haired sheepskin that softens the industrial rigor of the steel. Wegner designed it in 1950 with no particular manufacturer in mind but soon gave it to Getama. PP Møbler took over production in 2002. (Photo at right courtesy Hans J. Wegner Design Studio I/S)