...in 2002, when young Stefan Mahlberg met Eero Aarnio while working on expanding his atelier. Later on Stefan gained momentum in the furniture industry as one of the co-founders of One Nordic and as partner at Hem.com. In 2015 Stefan partnered with Eero to bring the classic Aarnio collection back home to Finland. The brand Eero Aarnio Originals was developed in close collaboration with Eero and has had a positive impact on both the pricing as well as quality.
The brand Eero Aarnio Originals was developed in close collaboration with Eero and has had a positive impact on both the pricing as well as quality. The corner stones of the collection are the Ball Chair, Bubble, Pastil and Pony. Additionally, we keep on bringing both old iconic designs back as well as new design classics of the future. Our purpose is to deliver the authentic experience of Eero Aarnio’s most celebrated and cheerful classics. We focus on keeping the production and distribution up to date - sustainable and responsible. Our business has a big role and ambition to raise awareness and significance of original designs.
Honouring the Finnish legacy of Eero Aarnio classics our aim is to handcraft the majority of our collection locally in Finland. Our factories have been working with many of our iconic products for decades resulting in both high quality as well as unique skills in fibreglass production and upholstering our signature items. We continuously strive to improve our processes to create long-lasting products and more sustainable business solutions.
Eero Aarnio is one of Finland’s most widely copied designers. There are hundreds of companies which push replicas to the market every day. In China, one company can produce as many Ball Chairs in one day as Eero Aarnio Originals produces in Finland in one year. These factories are proud of their ability and skills to copy. While styled similarly, fake products often fail to deliver solutions comparable to an original design. Counterfeiters are focused on mass production of items that look adequate but do not fulfill sufficient standards. Production is aimed to deliver results as cheap and fast as possible. Whereas an original design is all about functionality, aesthetics and high-quality materials, replicas inevitably lack to possess these characteristics.
“No matter how well a copy is made, it is still stealing”, Eero says. Designing a piece of furniture might take years of work. Shape is merely one aspect of the design. Before any initiatives are taken towards actually producing the first prototype, there is usually a long period of processing creativity and emotions within a designer’s inner world. Economically, this can mean years of unpaid time. The journey from an idea to an actual product is a long one. After the product is finalized, considerable investments are needed, for example to promotion and sales before the designer receives any compensation.
The copying of design products is a business that impacts not only the designer, but all parties involved in the manufacturing and distribution chain. Hence, economic losses do not lie only with the brand itself, but fall onto suppliers, manufacturers, shipping and insurance companies, and everyone else involved in the entire life cycle of the product. The designer is only one part of the chain. That is to say, stealing is taking away from everyone involved in the production.
Often, consumers are not fully aware of the buying decision’s impact. Sometimes in buying a replica, one does not even know that the piece of furniture in question is in fact a copy of an original design. A replica might look completely the same, only considerably cheaper. Price of an unauthorized copy indicates plenty about the materials used in production. A replica is always of poorer quality than the original product. The origin of a fake product often remains unknown. Furthermore, organized crime and bad working conditions, including child labor, can’t be explicitly ruled out. Contributing to an overall unethical market result to replicas bearing eternal shame throughout their short life cycle.
An original classic is forever authentic and designed to last the test of time. The manufacturer of an original is established, the sales network and retailers are legitimate, hence, consumers can rely on the information provided by all parties. All Eero Aarnio Originals products can be identified by unique ID-labels to ensure the origin and verify authenticity. In addition, every item is delivered with a separate certificate of authenticity, signed by the designer himself.
Thinking about all the Eero Aarnio replicas in the world, Eero himself will rather focus on what he is about to design next. To him it appears as a form of flattery in today’s world. If his designs would not interest anyone, they wouldn’t be copied either. “My own interest lies on taking steps to stay ahead of the game”, Eero says. In today’s world, protecting intellectual property has never been harder for furniture designers. Moreover, there is only so much we can do to prevent the manufacturing and distribution of replicas. At the end of the day, the consumer always has a right to acknowledge only high-quality design.
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