I admit that at first I was a little put off that they chose to appropriate the name "France & Son" from that of the well-known 20th century Danish manufacturing company which ultimately put into production the designs of a number mid-century icons, such as Arne Vodder, Grete Jalk, Peter Hvidt & Orla Molgaard-Nielsen, Finn Juhl, and Ole Wanscher. I could find no mention of the original company on their website, nor a disclaimer saying they have no connection to that historic company.
To be fair, they are under no legal or ethical obligation to do so, since the original company has not existed for decades. However, my concern was, and still is, that some people who are familiar with the name of the Danish company but do not know its history might be misled by the new company's name.
That said, after receiving numerous promotional emails from the company, I decided to make a purchase and take a look at the quality of the products they sell. I ordered their $39.99 walnut version of the Eames Hang-It-All, which is sold by Herman Miller for $299.
The Herman Miller version measures 14.7H x 19.7L x 6.5D, while the France & Son version measures 15.5H x 19.75L x 7D. I was quite pleased with the sturdiness and workmanship of the France & Son version, considering the difference in price, and I can justify spending $40 for a coat rack far more easily than I can justify spending $300.
Once a real purist about mid-century design, my attitude began to shift after doing some research for this blog. If you'd like to know why, see the links below.
|France & Son version of Eames Hang-It-All|
|Close-up of France & Son version of Eames Hang-It-All|
NOTE: A recurring theme on this blog has to do with legal and ethical issues surrounding knock-offs, reproductions and reissues. Whenever I broach this subject, I always reference a series of three "Is It Real?" posts I did in 2011 for any new readers who would like to examine the topic in more detail. First post : According to a Collector; second post: According to a Manufacturer; third post: According to an Heir