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Why buy authentic design products?

Eero Aarnio is one of Finland’s most widely copied designers. There are hundreds of companies pushing 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 high quality 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 when 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 at first 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. Furthermore, the origin of a fake product often remains unknown. Organized crime and bad working conditions, including child labor, can’t be explicitly ruled out. Contributing to an overall unethical market results 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 including the Ball, Bubble, Pastil and Pony can be identified by unique ID-labels to ensure the origin and verify authenticity. In addition, these items are 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.

 

Eero Aarnio Originals x Habitare 2019

We want to thank everyone who came to see us during the furniture fair Habitare 2019 in Helsinki, Finland. It was our pleasure to share the world of Eero Aarnio once again.

It was also our pleasure to see Eero himself with his wife Pirkko spending time at the stand, as happy as always. We hope many of you got to experience what it is like to sit in the Ball and the Bubble chair. Especially, the Giant Ball chair which sparked joy for so many of you!

 

The Rattan Collection is back!

As a designer, Eero Aarnio has always been intrigued by new materials, and in 1954 he had the chance to try weaving rattan. For the first time Eero wove a basket of rattan. Turning it upside down he thought it looked like a stool. Inspired by this, Eero draught the first sketch of a rattan stool, adding a curve to the form to make it more interesting. This was the first sketch of the Mushroom.

The first official prototype was made by the Sokeva crafts organization in Helsinki. Eero’s basket had been loose, and he wondered whether the material would work properly for the final design of the stool. Sokeva immediately said it would be fairly straightforward to make, and so the production began. The rattan Mushroom stool was the first commercial success by Eero Aarnio, presented at the Cologne Furniture Fair in 1962. Asko Furniture company was very excited about the sales, and confident in the wide recognition the design would gain. After the fair, the stool was featured on a one-pager in the Femina magazine. In the colored picture there was a girl sitting on the Mushroom.

Initially, the name of the design in Finnish was “Juttujakkara”, which translates at its best as “Story stool”. Eero felt like the name depicts perfectly a setting, where a close family is gathered in front of a warm fire place. However, the name was never fluently translatable to English, and later it was renamed by an American seller as Mushroom.

The Mushroom is a multifunctional furniture piece, as it works both as a stool as well as a small table. The functionality and neutral aesthetic make it a perfect addition to any interior decoration. Now, Eero Aarnio Originals is beyond excited to bring back the true classic Mushroom in various sizes along with the Elephant Boot from the 1960s. The collection is also available in black poly-rattan, suitable for outdoors. Shop the rattan collection here.

Aarnio Originals x Disney | Mickey Ball Chair

Disney’s Mickey Mouse, global icon and true original, turns 90 years!

To celebrate Mickey who has brought so much joy and magic to people’s lives all over the world we partnered up with Disney to combine the two true originals: Mickey Mouse and the Ball Chair by Eero Aarnio.

90 years ago, on 18th of November 1928, Mickey Mouse made his first appearance in Steamboat Willie. To celebrate this occasion, Disney has teamed up with iconic brands who are paying homage to the mouse that has delighted people all over the world for almost a century.

Four years after Mickey’s debut, Eero Aarnio was born. When he was a little boy he was so impressed by Disney’s animations that he used to make drawings of Mickey Mouse. In 1963, Eero designed one of the most recognisable chairs in the world, the Ball Chair. The chair is one of the most beloved classics of Finnish design and it was his international breakthrough. The Ball Chair can be found in the collections of design museums around the world and it has starred in several movies, music videos and magazine covers.

Disney has been a fan of Eero Aarnio's colorful and playful style for a long time. They reached out to Eero Aarnio and suggested a collaboration to celebrate Mickey's anniversary. Eero's idea was to combine the two true originals sharing the same round shapes and iconic status. Disney loved the idea of the Mickey Ball Chair. Eero drafted Mickey's face to the back of the Ball Chair, and the illustration is hand painted to each chair.

From these two icons, both in love with optimism and creativity, stems an almost perfect and natural bond. Two true original peers who have played major roles in pop culture now come together in this extraordinary version of the Ball Chair, aimed at the true connoisseur.

The limited-edition of 50 chairs is available only until the end of 2019. Get yours from our shop here.

Stockholm Furniture Fair 2019

 Our stand at the SFF19 this year welcomed visitors again to experience sitting in the iconic Ball, Bubble and Pastil chairs. We also brought with us the Pony, the Mickey Ball Chair and a selection of ongoing projects from Eero Aarnio Originals. 

 The Giant Ball chair stood in the entrance lobby, where we encouraged more than one people to take a seat at the same time.

During the fair we also had the pleasure to host a meet and greet with Eero himself, who was as excited as ever to exchange thoughts with you, and of course, sign some books. 

Hope to see you again next year!

#loveoriginal campaign against copies

Love the original, say no to copies

Together with a group of 23 other Finnish design companies Eero Aarnio Originals is campaigning for authentic design products, against the industry of copied designs. #loveoriginal is a campaign to value the work behind original design.

The design process is usually long and costly and it might take several years to create a perfect product with all the supporting details and materials. To copy someone else’s design is always wrong. The copying of design products has a severe impact on many different partiers, with economic losses from the designer to manufacturers and the chain of distribution. Consumers also suffer as the copies are made and sold more cheaply and are thus always of poorer quality than the original products.

 

The genuine Ball Chair is made in Finland

Eero Aarnio is one of Finland's most copied designers. The most copied designs  are the Ball Chair and Bubble chair. The Ball Chair has been copied since the 1970s and the copies are usually made in China.

The genuine Ball Chair has been made only in Finland since the 1960s, at the Artekno factory in Luopioinen, in addition to the other Aarnio Originals fibreglass classics. The original Bubble is manufatured in Orimattila at the Keraplast factory.

Eero Aarnio Originals is the only licensed manufacturer and distributor of the items in the Aarnio Originals collection, including the Ball Chair, Bubble, Pastil, Pony, Parabel, Formula, Tomato, Screw, Mushroom and Copacabana. Our official retailers are listed here.

The genuine Aarnio Originals products include a unique ID label and a certificate of authenticity.

Share the original designs

The goal with the #loveoriginal campaign is to highlight original products and original design. Consumers and other brands are invited to take part of the campaign and to spread the word and share original designs with the hashtag #loveoriginal.

The group of design companies behind the #loveoriginal campaign released an official media release on the subject, read the original statement below in Finnish.

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Lehdistötiedote, julkaisuvapaa 3.9.2018

Suomalaiset design-yritykset kampanjoivat yhdessä aitojen tuotteiden puolesta

Suomalaiset design-yritykset haluavat tuoda esiin alkuperäisten tuotteiden taustalla olevaa työtä ja kampanjoivat siksi aitojen tuotteiden puolesta. Kampanja sai alkunsa, kun design alan pk-yritykset huomasivat, että yhteiset keskustelut ajautuivat yhä useammin kopiointiin liittyviin ongelmiin. Pienissä yrityksissä luovan työn osuus on todella merkittävä ja eikä yrityksillä ole voimavaroja taistella kopiointia vastaan.

Alkuperäisten tuotteiden kopiointi on kasvava ongelma: useat suomalaiset tuotteet ovat joutuneet kopioinnin kohteeksi sekä kansainvälisesti, että kotimaassa.

- Mm. Lundian tuotteista löytyy kopioita Suomesta ja ulkomailta. Tuotteiden lisäksi on kopioitu markkinoinnissa käytettäviä kuvia. Tällöin kuluttajan on lähes mahdoton tietää, että tuote onkin kopio. Yritysten taas on erittäin hankala vahtia kopiointia. Kopioinnin vastainen työ vie yrityksiltä paljon resursseja ja juristikulut ovat kalliit, Lundian toimitusjohtaja Michaela von Wendt kuvaa ongelmaa.

- Kopiointi on yrityksille suuri ongelma, johon toivoisimme enemmän tukea virallisilta tahoilta. Kopiointiteollisuutta pyörittää järjestäytynyt rikollisuus ja on selvää, että pienet yksittäiset firmat eivät pysty taistelemaan sitä vastaan. Tästä seuraa myös mittavia kansantaloudellisia menetyksiä, jatkaa Secto Designin toimitusjohtaja Emma Frenzel.

 

Kopiointi on rikos ja eettisesti väärin

Useat yritykset ovat suojanneet tuotteidensa tuotemerkin ja muotoilun, jolloin teollisoikeudet suojaavat tuotteen kopiointia lakisääteisesti. Omintakeinen ja uniikki muotoilu voi myös saada osakseen tekijänoikeussuojan, joka syntyy luonnollisesti rekisteröimättä. Näitä tuotteita suojaa tekijänoikeuslaki. Monia tuotteita ja mallistoja julkaisevat yritykset eivät kuitenkaan pysty suojaamaan jokaista tuotettaan. Kaikkien tuotteiden, siis myös suojaamattomien, kopioiminen on joka tapauksessa eettisesti erittäin kyseenalaista toimintaa. Tuotteen suunnittelu ja muotoilu ovat parhaimmillaan usean vuoden luomistyön tulos. Yksityiskohtia on mietitty tarkoin ja materiaaleihin on kiinnitetty erityistä huomiota.

-Pienissä yrityksissä uuden luominen vie runsaasti taloudellisia ja henkisiä resursseja. Silloin tuntuu äärimmäisen pahalta huomata, että joku toinen on kopioinut kaikkien niiden unettomien öiden lopputuloksen häikäilemättömästi omaksi tuotteekseen, toteaa LumoKidsin perustaja Tuomo Puhakainen.

LumoKidsin sängyt ja yrityksen arvot on kopioitu Venäjälle. Saman yrityksen mallistosta löytyy kopioita myös muilta eurooppalaisilta lastenkalustevalmistajilta. Kopiointityö on ollut äärimmäisen järjestelmällistä ja ammattimaista.

Kopiointi ulottuu tuotteiden lisäksi myös kuoseihin ja innovaatioihin.

- Lapuan Kankureiden kuoseista ja tuotteista on tehty suoria kopioita sekä muunnelmia niin idässä kuin lännessä. Lapuan Kankurit ovat tehneet vuosien varrella myös paljon tuotekehitystyötä, jota toiset yritykset ovat hyödyntäneet omissa mallistoissaan. Valitettavan yleistä design alalla on, että pienet yritykset kehittelevät ja tekevät innovaatioita, joita isot yritykset sitten hyödyntävät, kertoo Lapuan Kankureiden markkinointijohtaja Jaana Hjelt.

 

Alkuperäinen on turvallista

Tuotteiden käyttäjien kannalta erityisen tärkeää on alkuperäisiin tuotteisiin liittyvä turvallisuus. Alkuperäiset tuotteet on usein testattu EU:n turvallisuussäädösten mukaisesti tai vähintäänkin niiden turvallisuus on testattu valmistajan toimesta. Lisäksi tuotteet valmistetaan valvotuissa olosuhteissa, tarkoin valituista raaka-aineista ja hyvissä työoloissa. Alkuperäisten tuotteiden kohdalla taustalta löytyy aina yritys, johon voi ottaa yhteyttä vuosienkin päästä.

 

Jälleenmyyjät eivät aina tiedä tuotteen olevan kopio

Jälleenmyyjillä ei aina ole tietoa, että tuote on kopio. Toisinaan yhteydenotto kopioita myyvään yritykseen voi johtaa halvan kopion poisvetämiseen markkinoilta, koska kaikki eivät myy tarkoituksella kopioita. Osa jälleenmyyjistä taas tuntee aidot tuotteet ja välittää tietoa valmistajille, mikäli ovat tavanneet markkinoilla kopioita.

 

Lisätietoa kampanjasta

Kampanjan taustalla on 24 kotimaisen design-yrityksen joukko. Tavoitteena on korostaa alkuperäisiä tuotteita Habitaren aikaan, kun sisustaminen on muutenkin pinnalla.

Myös kuluttajat ja muut brändit kutsutaan kampanjoimaan tärkeän asian puolesta. Kampanjaan mukaan haluavia kannustetaan jakamaan kuvia alkuperäisistä tuotteista hashtagilla #loveoriginal.

 

Lisätietoa kampanjasta antavat:

Larissa Immonen, Finarte, puhelin: 040 701 0913,

sähköposti: larissa.immonen@finarte.fi

Emma Frenzel, Secto Design, puhelin: 040 565 4543,

sähköposti: emma@sectodesign.fi

Tuomo Puhakainen, LumoKids, puhelin 044 070 3248,

sähköposti tuomo@lumokids.com

Kampanjan allekirjoittajat

BEdesign, Bette Eklund ja Cilla Eklund

Eero Aarnio Originals, Stefan Mahlberg

Finarte, Larissa Immonen

Fleimio, Jussi Leimio

GRANdesign, Meiju Granholm

Hakola, Annaleena Hämäläinen ja Jari Hakola

Hile Design, Hilja Nikkanen

Himmee, Timo Niskanen

Inno, Niklas Korhonen

Interface, Tuukka Leppänen

Kutomo Rasinmäki, Eija Rasinmäki

Langø, Susanna Osala

Lapuan Kankurit, Jaana Hjelt

Lovi, Anne Paso ja Mikko Paso

LumoKids, Tuomo Puhakainen

Lundia, Michaela von Wendt

Magisso, Juhani Sirén ja Anssi Hurme

Mattotalo Helma, Aino Herlevi

Muoto2, Kirsi Pasanen ja Mikko Kentta

Nikari, Johanna Vuorio

Parolan Rottinki, Anitta Herranen

Secto Design, Tuula Jusélius ja Emma Frenzel

Teemu Järvi Illustrations, Teemu Järvi

Woodnotes, Mikko Puotila

-end of release-

Aarnio Originals x Minna Parikka

What becomes when you combine Eero Aarnio Originals design classics with Minna Parikka's amazing shoes and accessories? A delicious display of course!

The Ball Chairs and Mushrooms are a perfect match with Minna Parikka's Lollipop Heels and satin Bunnies.

Photo credits: Minna Parikka

Stockholm Furniture Fair 2018

This year our stand in the Stockholm Furniture Fair was a little pink and joyful bubble, where everyone was welcome to have a relaxing break from the hectic fair. Eero Aarnio's Ball Chairs, Bubbles and Pastils offered a perfect spot for resting ones feet, having a chat with a friend or just a moment with oneself.

Thank you for everyone who visited us. Hopefully we will see again next year!

Eero Aarnio's birthday party at Flow Festival Helsinki

We celebrated Eero Aarnio's 85th birthday at the Flow Festival Helsinki in August 2017. The weekend started by raising a toast for Eero with friends and family in our Aarnio Originals tent next to the Balloon 360 stage. The amazing birthday cake was by talented Say it with a cake.

All the festival guests were welcome to enjoy the Aarnio Originals design classics the whole festival weekend; swing in the Bubbles, enjoy good music in the Ball Chair, and relax in the comfy Pastils.

Photo credits for images 1-3, 5, 7-12: Milena Törmi

Stockholm Furniture Fair 2017

The new Eero Aarnio Originals brand was launched at the Stockholm Furniture Fair 2017 as the production and sales rights of Eero Aarnio’s most beloved designs from Ball Chair to Bubble were transferred to our newly founded Finnish company in December 2016.

Eero stopped by on the first exhibition day and was interviewed by Stefan Mahlberg, the CEO of Aarnio Originals, about his designs and stories behind them. Overall we had great time at the fair; we met wonderful people and had the chance to share our vision about the new label 'Eero Aarnio Originals' that will bring the iconic design classics back to the spotlight where they belong.

Photo credits for images 4-6, 8-10: Milena Törmi

 

About Eero Aarnio Originals

The sales and manufacturing rights of Eero Aarnio's most celebrated design classics were transfered to a newly founded Finnish company Eero Aarnio Originals in December 2016. The former manufacturer was a German company Adelta.

The Eero Aarnio Originals collection includes classics from five decades, all the way from the 1960s. The cornerstones of the collection are the Ball Chair, Bubble, Pastil and Pony, followed by Parabel, Formula, Tomato, Mushroom, Screw and Copacabana.

The brand and collection are developed together with Eero Aarnio himshelf. The brand got its inspiration from Eero's world that is full of color and joy.