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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Hilda Stories

In 1953, a high school dropout in her early twenties named Hilda Longinotti saw an ad in the New York Times for a job as a receptionist for a world-famous architect. She didn't know what an architect was, but she donned her pumps, hat and gloves, straightened the seams of her stockings and went to the George Nelson Office to apply. She was hired on the spot.

At age 43, she left the Nelson Office and went to work for Herman Miller. And now, as part of their remarkable WHY series, Herman Miller has created several short films about Hilda Longinotti's favorite anecdotes about working for George Nelson. Animated by Damien Florébert Cuypers and entitled The Hilda Stories, these charming videos provide a fascinating insight into her 21-year run as Nelson's aide-de-camp. Each one ends with brief comments by Longinotti, who is now in her eighties. I highly recommend your reading the short interview with her on the Herman Miller site. You're going to love this woman!

The Receptionist

Bon Voyage, George

The Case of the Missing Warhols

The last video of the series, called The Woman on the Marshmallow Sofa, premiered today on the Herman Miller site. You can bet I was tuned in for Hilda's next tale. How could I resist after seeing the following photo of her?

Hilda Longinetti modeling the Marshmallow sofa

The Woman on the Marshmallow Sofa


Thanks to reader Lauren Fraser for emailing me a link to these great videos. I kept up with the WHY Design series faithfully, but somehow The Hilda Stories had escaped my attention, and I would have hated to miss them. Be sure to check out Lauren's beautiful Etsy store, 2nd Look Vintage.


  1. Thanks for that Dana. I'm keen to check it out. What a gorgeous shot of Hilda! xx

    1. Isn't that photo of her absolutely glamorous!!!