WHO WE ARE
Republic of Fritz Hansen is an exclusive, international design brand whose timeless collection unites world-famous classic and contemporary furniture, lightning and accessories.
Founded in Denmark in 1872, the company has a long history of collaborating with leading international designers to bring their visionary concepts to life – and to the spaces they help transform.
Fritz Hansen’s highly distinguished Classic Collection comprises a number of the most iconic pieces of furniture from renowned Danish architects and designers, including Arne Jacobsen’s Egg™, Swan™ and Series 7™ chairs and Poul Kjærholm’s PK22™ chair and PK80™ daybed.
The Contemporary Collection features new furniture and accessory designs from some of today’s most inspiring, internationally recognized modern designers, including Jaime Hayon, Piero Lissoni, Kasper Salto and Cecilie Manz.
Common to the two collections is a sculptural artistic expression that blurs the lines between design and art and unites function and form in unprecedented ways, giving each work significant presence and purpose.
The Danish-based lighting company Lightyears has been part of Republic of Fritz Hansen since 2015. Working closely with internationally recognized designers and architects, Lightyears develops and manufactures high-quality, modern lighting that unites tradition and innovation, continuing Fritz Hansen’s proud traditions of exquisite craftsmanship, quality, and timeless design.
Today as in 1872, Fritz Hansen’s work is guided by the philosophy that a single piece of furniture can beautify an entire room or building – and heighten the well-being of the people who inhabit these spaces. With an international presence and an ever-expanding collection of iconic designs, Fritz Hansen continues its journey of creating elegant, human interior design essentials that never compromise on comfort, and to strengthen its place in the global design, luxury and lifestyle elite
The history of Fritz Hansen begins in 1872, where the enterprising cabinet-maker Fritz Hansen from Nakskov obtains a trade license in Copenhagen. 1885 is a decisive year, where he starts a furniture production company of his own and two years later he has managed to establish a flourishing workshop in Christianshavn – a central part of Copenhagen. Fritz and his son Christian initiated the high quality level, which has been the trademark of Fritz Hansen’s products ever since.
The long list of prestigious orders from the first fifty years of the company’s history, demonstrates how strong the Fritz Hansen reputation already is in the beginning of the 20th century. Buildings furnished by Fritz Hansen include Christiansborg, The University Library, Copenhagen City Hall, The Supreme Court and other significant projects.
Early on in the century, the forward-looking Christian E. Hansen, son of Fritz Hansen, starts to experiment with steam bending beech. In the 1930’s, the technique is so refined that Fritz Hansen is among the world leaders in the field, which later evolves into the firm’s speciality: Furniture created in laminate wood.
As an adjusted variant of Germanic functionalism, the purer lines and the lighter, more practical approach became the breakthrough style in Scandinavia. At Fritz Hansen, the first Danish steel furniture was launched, as well as the famous Church chair by Kaare Klint, which remains in the Fritz Hansen collection from 1936 to 2004.
Despite difficult times during the decade of The Second World War, the Fritz Hansen factory is expanded. Due to some dreadful ice winters, many of the Danish walnut trees succumb. Fritz Hansen buys a great amount of the wood and takes advantage of the situation: A new furniture series in walnut is introduced. The initiative receives great press attention and is a success.
The first classic of the decade is the China Chair™ from 1944, designed by the progressive architect Hans. J. Wegner. The chair is a sculptural celebration of wood and the finest craft of furniture making. The second classic, that sees the light of day, is the spoke back sofa by Børge Mogensen in 1945, that later is re-introduced as the most Danish sofa of all sofas.
Arne Jacobsen completely dominates the 1950’s at Fritz Hansen. The collaboration started in 1934, but the breakthrough comes, when he creates the laminated Ant™ chair. The chair later gave rise to the never-ending success story of the Series 7™ chair – and other pressure moulded veneer chairs. The inspiration for the Ant came from Hvidt & Mølggard’s AX-series, and the introduction of the lamination technique and separable furniture is still a milestone in the history of Fritz Hansen.
Arne Jacobsen shines even brighter with the creation of the classic style icons, the Egg™ and the Swan™ designed for Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. The introduction of his series 3300™ just adds to the myth. Verner Panton also appears on the scene with the Bachelor chairs. But the decade belongs to Arne Jacobsen.
In 1963, the factory in Allerød is expanded with three factory halls and in 1965 the administrative department moves from Christianshavn, to the renovated buildings in Allerød, which also include a showroom.
The democratic table with no ends, the Super-Elliptic™ table, and the table with spanlegs are designed by Bruno Mathsson and Piet Hein and becomes one of Fritz Hansen’s greatest successes. Just as successful, is the re-introduction of Børge Mogensen’s ‘Tremmesofa’ and Hans Wegner’s China Chair™. The Arne Jacobsen models also strongly dominate this period.
This decade brings great changes to Fritz Hansen: On the first working day in 1979, Fritz Hansen announces that the 107 year old firm, is no longer in the hands of the family. 75% of the Fritz Hansen shares are now in the possession of Skandinavisk Holding.
The enfant terrible of Danish design, Verner Panton, becomes leader of the avant-garde, provoking and inspiring in the service of Fritz Hansen. His prominent role results in flattering remarks from the press. The attempt to guide interest back to Arne Jacobsen and the other classics is initiated and comes to fruition a few years later.
Through substantial investments and thorough reconstruction work the new owner, Skandinavisk Holding, succeeds in strengthening Fritz Hansen and preparing the old company for the future.
An exhibition consisting only of new Fritz Hansen models, shown during the Furniture EXPO 1983 at the Bella Center, a trade fair and convention centre in Copenhagen, becomes a convincing manifestation that the old firm once again has entered the scene and is recapturing the position as Denmark’s leading furniture company.
Fritz Hansen purchases the minimalistic Kjærholm Collection with an industrial dimension, which Poul Kjærholm designed from 1951 to 1980. Together with the purchase of the KEVI collections and Munch Møbler it results in increased sales and interest in Fritz Hansen as well.
Expansion became one of the keywords for this decade as well. Fritz Hansen now focuses primarily on five utility areas: Lunch room, conference room, resting/waiting areas, office spaces and the private home. In 1999, a new factory is inaugurated in Vassingerød. The factory, the most modern within the industry, increases the production capacity of stacking chairs dramatically. A showroom and a museum displaying “the Legacy of Fritz Hansen” are now opened for visitors. A new CEO, Jacob Holm, is employed in 1998 and with him, the beginning of a journey changing Fritz Hansen from being a production company to a sales and brand company with a sharpened end-consumer focus.
The introduction of the concept Republic of Fritz Hansen™ in 2000 marks a change in strategy. The message is that furniture from Republic of Fritz Hansen is an important part of the image of companies and private homes, who want to express their individuality and make unique statements. The 00’s also invite a series of new designers to interpret the Fritz Hansen design philosophy with their contemporary perspective. The ICE™ series and Little Friend™ by Kasper Salto introduces both new materials and multifunctional designs along with Piero Lissoni and Cecilie Manz whose inviting designs attract new private end-consumers.
Simultaneously, this decade is focusing on keeping the Classics relevant in time by revitalisations, as i.e. the comprehensive revitalisation of the Oxford™ chair in 2003.
The collection addresses equally the contract and retail market, as the furniture has a built-in capacity of being styled for either public or private use. In 2011 a successful cooperation with Spanish Jaime Hayon begins and a series of beautiful, sculptural furniture is born.
2015 is an eventful year celebrating the iconic Series 7™ chair’s 60th anniversary – 60 Years in Perfect Shape. Fritz Hansen also acquires the Danish lighting company Lightyears, whose design philosophy reflects that of Fritz Hansen’s. Besides acquiring Lightyears, the company introduces the accessories collection Objects in 2016. With the tagline “Complementing your life”, Objects is both an extension of the Fritz Hansen brand as well as a way of inviting new customers inside the brand through beautiful and more affordable items.
Fritz Hansen was established in 1872 by the visionary cabinetmaker of the same name. Since then, Fritz Hansen has become a natural part of both Danish and international design history. Today, it is an exclusive and international design brand. The history of Fritz Hansen is characterized by stupendous craftsmanship, unique design and an inherent sense of premium quality. Leading architects and furniture designers from all over the world have regularly contributed to the collection with beautifully shaped and functional furniture that seamlessly meet through the use of innovative techniques and new materials. Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjærholm, Jaime Hayon, Piero Lissoni, Kasper Salto and Cecilie Manz – the stellar string of designers is long and the list of furniture of classic and iconic fame is even longer.
Our design philosophy reflects our history and inspires the creation of new, simple, sculptural and original furniture that is timeless and relevant in time. Fritz Hansen design is visionary and makes the most out of noble materials. Every detail is carefully thought out, the process is thorough and the high finish is a part of the look, which is unique yet instantly recognizable. The overall style is international and exudes class. Each piece of furniture is sophisticated in its own way, has a strong identity and the ability to discreetly light up any type of space. This furniture is for modern city dwellers and international businesses with a confident taste for elegance and underplayed luxury and the desire to strengthen their identity and image. People who wish to make a statement, which is entirely their own.
At Fritz Hansen, we are not only dedicated to creating timeless design, but we are also dedicated to always delivering the best possible quality. In fact, we call it Premium Quality.
Premium Quality means that we make an extra effort to assure the quality of our designs. In practice, we test our designs as we develop them, just as we carry out a number of ongoing tests when the designs are put into production. This means that suppliers, material selection and the production of parts must live up to these demands. In this way, the customer will be offered the best possible experience, regardless of the demands placed on our designs around the world.