The Egg chair.
Midcentury modern furniture and Scandinavian design continue to be popular aesthetic choices for homeowners in the Twin Cities, with AlwaysMod—preivously FinnStyle—serving as a premier source for inspiration and resources. The shop already carries the lines of well-known names, like Marimekko, Georg Jensen, and Tom Dixon, but now it has become the exclusive retailer of Fritz Hansen furniture.
To celebrate, AlwaysMod is hosting a meet-and-greet and cocktail reception on October 20 with Fritz Hansen's vice president, Henrik Hjorth, and sales manager Adrian Pollack, who will share information about the iconic Danish design company over wine and hors d’oeuvres. Mpls.St.Paul Home & Design spoke with the two about what makes a timeless piece of furniture, Fritz Hansen's place in Minnesota design, and why everyone needs a Series 7 chair.
What inspires Fritz Hansen's designs?
Hjorth: Fritz Hansen is constantly aiming to create classic design pieces. A slogan for our company is “crafting timeless design,” so we have that in mind with everything we create. The quality of the material used in Fritz Hansen furniture is integral to the design. Each piece aims to convey this purity of form that is faithful to the high-quality materials that go into making it. Also, there is always a touch of Denmark in Fritz Hansen pieces. We work with many international designers, but even with their influences and ideas, there’s always Denmark in the furniture.
Are you influenced by current furniture trends?
Pollack: This is a tricky question, because our furniture crosses over into many categories outside of the expected midcentury modern classification. Although it is not particularly masculine or feminine, I do have to say, our furniture had more lines and angles a few years back and has more recently featured some softer edges and less brash red and black color schemes. There’s also an interest in more natural materials and woods, so we have been moving away from metals and chromes in our furniture. Fritz Hansen's design pulls references from older furniture styles, like the wingback chair for example, and modernizes them not for current trends but for lasting ones.
It's the 60th anniversary of the Series 7 chair (above), more than 7 million of which have been sold. Why has it remained so popular over the years?
Pollack: I would say it’s the purity of design. This is an extremely functional chair, and it is also versatile. I’ve seen it work so well in many places, from museums to rooms decorated in a classical baroque way, and it is good at fitting in with its surroundings. Plus, it is comfortable, high quality, and stackable.
Hjorth: The most important part is how it goes with all kinds of furniture and design in the modern day, not to mention the many decades of designs throughout the 20th century. The Series 7 chair is a classic design piece. I would say it’s the quintessential symbol of Fritz Hansen.
Why is Minnesota a great market for you?
Hjorth: The design language of our furniture speaks of high-quality craftsmanship, as well as a simple relationship between form and function, which is the basis of Nordic design. We believe there is a place for Fritz Hansen furniture everywhere, but especially in Minnesota, where there is such a strong Scandinavian heritage and many people who would be interested in the practicality our furniture.
Why did you want to partner with AlwaysMod to be Minnesota's exclusive retailer for Fritz Hansen furniture?
Hjorth: When we look for retail partners, we look for a match between our brand and theirs. We want to see an understanding of original, high-class design, which doesn’t necessarily mean design that is high in price but rather high in quality. We saw that this mesh between AlwaysMod and Fritz Hansen was there, from the brand to the presentation of furniture to the high quality. It was all there. Plus, we didn’t have any distributors yet in Minnesota, so we wanted a place where we could display Fritz Hansen pieces and retail them. We also wanted a place where interior designers and architects could see these pieces in person, because the best way to experience Fritz Hansen furniture is to see it with your own two eyes.
The Fritz Hansen Designer Event & Cocktail Reception is Tuesday, October 20, from 5-7 p.m. at AlwaysMod. RSVP at alwaysmod.com to meet the experts, learn more about Fritz Hansen, and enter to win a Fritz Hansen Drop chair by Arne Jacobsen.