May 02, 2024
HOLLY HUNT Reintroduces Vladimir Kagan’s Earliest Designs
The First Collection Includes Modern Translations of the First Chair and Table Kagan Ever Designed

New York, NY | April 2024 – Premier luxury design brand HOLLY HUNT is excited to introduce The First Collection by Vladimir Kagan Design Group. Led by Chris Eitel, Kagan’s protégé and current Director of Design and Production at the legacy brand, this launch includes modern translations of Kagan’s earliest designs – a chair and a table, originally designed for his parents’ home in 1947. Launching this April, the collection will be available exclusively through HOLLY HUNT showrooms and HOLLY HUNT partner showrooms.

Before Vladimir Kagan made a name for himself as a pioneer of mid century modern design, he worked alongside his father to learn the trade of carpentry. In 1947, Kagan produced two original designs for his parents’ home, which later came to be known as The First Chair and The First Table. Versions of these pieces hit the market in 1948 at the first Kagan store on E 65th St. in New York City, but were phased out around 1950 when Kagan partnered with textile designer Hugo Dreyfuss to open the Kagan-Dreyfuss Store on 57th St. Today, they can be seen as archetypes of what would later be recognized worldwide as Vladimir Kagan’s avant-garde design aesthetic.

“Being intimately familiar with the Kagan design DNA, there are elements within both of these pieces that influenced his designs for the next several decades,” says Eitel, Director of Design and Production at Vladimir Kagan Design Group. “Vladi was endlessly inspired by nature, and you can see this in the way he designed The First Table with a set of four very thin, flared legs that evoke the stance of a baby fawn or filly. This First Collection honors his two earliest designs and represents the first iteration of a design language that defined Vladi’s long and illustrious career.”

With these reintroductions, Eitel stayed true to the original form of each piece, making slight adjustments for today’s lifestyle. For the armchair version, he gave the inside of the arms a more sculpted design compared to the original – a feature that honors Kagan’s ethos of sculpting “vessels to hold the human body” – while he kept the outside of the arms a more defined line like the original. The First Chair and The First Table are offered in their vintage dimensions, but Eitel also designed a larger-scale version of the chair to better suit the needs of the modern home.

“Chris has proven himself a noble steward of the Vladimir Kagan brand,” says Jo Annah Kornak, SVP and Executive Creative Director at HOLLY HUNT. “Over the past 8 years, he has struck a perfect balance between preserving the brand’s rich history with thoughtful reintroductions of vintage designs while also leading the brand into the future with original pieces that translate Kagan’s design language for the modern market.”

This launch comes after the Fall 2022 introduction of Eitel’s Forward Collection, a series of original pieces informed by Kagan’s design DNA. The First Collection furthers Eitel’s mission to honor his mentor’s legacy with regular vintage reintroductions.

HOLLY HUNT designs, produces and showcases high-quality, custom design pieces for the most exquisite residential and commercial interior spaces and properties around the globe. Founder Holly Hunt opened her first eponymous showroom in 1983 and established a reputation for emerging yet timeless design, exceptional quality, and outstanding service. HOLLY HUNT showrooms and collections now lead the industry in luxury furnishings, including indoor and outdoor furniture, lighting, rugs, wallcovering, textiles, leathers, art and accessories. Today, there are 14 HOLLY HUNT-owned to-the-trade showrooms in the US and London, along with partner showrooms in other major markets across North America and an expanding international presence.

About Vladimir Kagan Design Group
Vladimir Kagan is widely considered to be one of the most prolific American mid-century modern designers, known for his mastery of ergonomics and sculptural approach to furniture, creating “vessels to hold the human body.” His work quickly gained popularity among creative luminaries in art, film and industry and earned him international recognition. Kagan remained an active designer and craftsman until his passing in 2016 at the age of 88, leaving his brand in the hands of Chris Eitel, his long-time apprentice and protégé. Kagan’s legacy lives on today through Eitel, now Director of Design and Production of the Vladimir Kagan Design Group. Today, the brand is part of the HOLLY HUNT portfolio and available through all HOLLY HUNT and partner showrooms.

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Caroline Busch, Account Director