LONDON – Luther Vandross famously crooned “A chair is still a chair/Even when there’s no one sittin’ there.”
By Natalia Rachlin, CNN
But is a chair still just a chair when it sells for a cool £2.43 million ($3.74 million)?
When designer Marc Newson’s Lockheed Lounge chair hit the block at Phillips in London in April 2015, it broke the world record for the most expensive work of contemporary design ever sold at auction and proved that the market is on fire.
While vintage wares from late greats like Jean Prouvé, Jean Royère, Carlo Mollino and Gio Ponti have long fetched eye-popping sums at auction, the Lockheed sale — though undoubtedly an anomaly — hinted that contemporary designers working today are capable of being as hot a commodity as their predecessors.
Marc Newson’s Lockheed Lounge chair sold for £2.43 million ($3.74 million) at a Phillips auction in London in April 2015, setting a new record for the most expensive piece of contemporary design ever sold.
The good news for budding design enthusiasts is that the majority of the contemporary design market still is much more accessible, and an exciting space for novice collectors to explore.
As Design Miami kicks off, offering up the best of both vintage and contemporary goods, CNN Style asked four design world insiders about the current state of the market and the best ways for first-time buyers to dive in. The consensus? While it’s tempting to believe that design is a wise investment (and it very well may be), collecting should always come from the heart and be for the love of design, rather than future gains.
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