today's post was to be about a fabulous find or two we discovered on overstock.com. we say was, because though we'll probably get to the good stuff at some point, today's post is not about the cool stuff we found at overstock.com, but rather about a pretty uncool find...
does the above chair look familiar? well, it should, because it's a cheap knock off of a thomas pheasant for baker chair (below). why does maison21 have a problem with this? isn't he about the look for less? well, yes, we are all about that- we love "in the style of" just as much as genuinely "designed by", and never have a problem mixing the two together- style is always paramount to pedigree in our book. so why the problem? because this is just outright piracy- the below chair is something mr. pheasant painstakingly designed, and baker paid for him for the intellectual property rights, and then paid more to actually build prototypes, and to make samples, and print marketing materials, and on and on. then some dude in china sees it on the baker website, decides to copy it in a cheap and clunky fashion, and ultimately sell it to overstock, who in turn sells it for a small fraction of the price of the baker original. not cool.
not only did overstock have the nerve to knock the chair off, it's made worse by the fact that they are selling it on their website as "baker leather dining chairs" two for $299.99. that's the extremely uncool part (and what truly moves it into the piracy corner). for all we know, perhaps mr. pheasant took his design from a long out of production tommi parzinger chair, tweaked it and called it his own- m21 has no way of knowing that, and that kind of thing goes on all the time in the design world- but he didn't call it a "parzinger" chair, and it wasn't still under copyright, earning money for another firm. maison21 can think of all kinds of variations on the chair overstock could have made instead, to give the same "feeling" but without being a blatant rip-off; and we really think that's ok- after all, designers have been riffing on one another's work as long as there have been man made objects, and that won't change anytime soon. plus, we really do like the idea of offering chicness at different price points for different markets; but there is a line that can be crossed between a homage and a knock-off, and this chair for sure crossed that line.
bad overstock.com. you are in time-out for this week's posts!