April 19, 2016

Remembering Vladimir Kagan

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We were so saddened to hear of the passing of iconic furniture designer, Vladimir Kagan, recently, who died of a heart attack at the age of 88. He started his career, designing furniture, over 65 years ago and was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2009.

The son of a Russian cabinetmaker, he was born in Germany in 1927, and emigrated to the United States in 1938. Early on, his focus was painting and sculpture, but soon found himself deeply attracted to architecture and design. He graduated from the School of Industrial Design in 1946, majoring in architecture and later continued his architectural studies at Columbia University. 

In 1947, he joined his father in his woodworking shop, where he learned to make furniture. In an interview he recounted his father telling him, "'Measure three times and cut once'; I would be of the school of cut three times and never measure"

His early interest in sculpture was evident the design of his furniture pieces, with their organic curves and continuous lines. Over the years we have reupholstered several of his pieces, such as this Swanback sofa:

We have also made pieces that are influenced and inspired by his beautiful designs and shapes:

For another client, we reupholstered their Serpentine sofa, and designed an ottoman to match the style.

He will sorely be missed, but his designs live on. 

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