Vintage Mid-Century Modern French Les Arcs Cognac Leather Chair by Charlotte Perriand, 1960s



This Les Arcs chair was designed by Charlotte Perriand for the alpine resort of Les Arcs in the Tarentaise Valley during the 1960s. The frame is made of chrome metal. The seat with the backrest is made of high-quality natural leather in a cognac color. The chair is slight and comfortable. The designer called her chairs “machines for sitting”, which were to fulfill the functions for which they were designed and adapt to human needs.

Charlotte Perriand was a French architect and designer. Her work was aimed at creating functional living spaces in the belief that better design helps create a better society. In his article L’Art de Vivre from 1981 he states: The art of living is an extension of the art of inhabiting – living in harmony with the deepest urges of man and with his adopted or fabricated environment. At twenty-four, Charlotte Perriand approached Le Corbusier and asked to join the famous designer studio. Le Corbusier rejected it, commenting on the famous sentence that we do not embroider pillows here. A few months later, after seeing her Bar sous le toi at the Salon D’Automne exhibition in Paris, he apologized and hired her. Perriand worked for him for ten years, working with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret on many projects, most notably the tubular steel chair set which became one of her best known designs. In the 1930s, preoccupied with social issues, Perriand worked on creating functional and affordable designs. Moving away from the aesthetics of glass and metal, Perriand began experimenting with natural materials. She went to Japan as an official industrial design advisor to the Ministry of Trade and Industry and fell in love with the simple beauty of Japanese design. Perriand studied local woodworking and immersed herself in functional yet sophisticated forms. Perriand resumed her career after returning to Europe in 1947, creating a harmonious simplicity in her designs – what she called l’art d’habiter. She continued working with Le Corbusier at Unité d’Habitation in Marseille and collaborated on various assignments with Fernand Leger and Jean Prouvé. In 1985 her long career was celebrated with a retrospective at the Musée des Arts-Decoratifs in Paris and she remains one of the most influential designers of the 20th century.

Chair is in original vintage condition. It has minor discoloration on the leather, natural patina, leather repair on the backrest. One plastic leg plug is missing. The seat is 43 cm high.

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