Design Within Reach is the source for fully licensed classics. Our business started when our founder tried to furnish his apartment with the mid-century classics he’d come to appreciate while living in London. What he discovered was that acquiring the clean, simple work of designers like Saarinen, Eames and Bertoia was neither clean nor simple.
There had to be a better way, so in 1999 we bought 20 containers of product, mailed out a catalog and waited for the phone to ring. (It didn’t for 24 hours, until we realized the nighttime answering machine had been accidentally left on.) The rest, as they say, is history. By giving customers access to these items, and by having them in stock and ready to ship, we made design within reach.
What we mean by a “fully licensed classic” is that it’s manufactured by the company holding the license to the original design. It’s true that in the beginning, our product mix included unauthorized reproductions. It took years to build the necessary relationships, but in 2006 we completed our mission to be the source for authorized classics from license holders Herman Miller, Knoll, Cassina, Fritz Hansen, Stua, Vitra, Kartell, Emeco, Artek, Objekto, Flos and Cherner Chair Company.