For centuries, lacquerware was among the most precious cargoes crossing oceans from East Asia to Europe. Because the sap of the Toxicodendron vernicifluum tree couldn’t be transported by boat without hardening en route, Japanese and Chinese craftsmen became experts in imitating European furniture styles and decorating them for export with the sought-after finish. But globalism comes for even the most regional of crafts. By the early 20th century, methods of transport had improved and a number of European designers began to experiment with lacquer in its raw form. The pioneering furniture designer Eileen Gray was among the first to grasp the contemporary potential of the millennia-old technique after she studied under the Paris-based lacquer master Seizo Sugawara in the early 1900s. Others soon followed suit, sometimes using innovative new compounds to imitate the resin. The Carimate Chair, designed by the late Italian modernist Vico Magistretti and newly reissued by Fritz Hansen, demonstrates the happy unity and timeless appeal of traditional lacquer and contemporary lines. The chair, made in beech wood and finished in red and black lacquer, was initially designed by the Milanese architect for the Carimate Golf Club House in 1959. To celebrate the centenary of Magistretti’s birth, Kinfolk spent a day in the studio considering the light-reflecting potential of lacquer alongside a series of monochrome fashion looks. This post was produced in partnership with Fritz Hansen. Words by Harriet Fitch Little Photography by Sarah Blais Styling by Monika Tatalovic Model Madeleine Blomberg Hair & Makeup Sabina Simmelhag TwitterFacebookPinterest Words by Harriet Fitch Little Photography by Sarah Blais Styling by Monika Tatalovic Model Madeleine Blomberg Hair & Makeup Sabina Simmelhag Over 100 meters of flag line is woven by hand to create an organic seat inspired by the straw that was used in the original design. Fritz Hansen has added small modifications to the seat height and backrest for comfort. The chair comes in red and black lacquer to honor earlier versions of Magistretti’s design. Related Stories Design Issue 19 David Rager David Rager, co-founder of design firm Weekends, shares his tale of LA and Paris and how he makes time for life’s little distractions. Design Issue 19 A Day in the Life: Frida Escobedo With her own firm and scores of global projects in her inventive portfolio, this architect is transforming Mexico City, one artful building at a time. Design Issue 19 In Anxious Anticipation The effects of adrenaline are positively pulse-pounding, but the physical whoosh we feel in our bodies actually starts in our brains. Design Issue 18 Happiness by Design Think more like designers: The strategies employed to create a perfectly proportioned bookshelf can also be used to enhance our personal well-being. Design Issue 18 Sense in Symmetry From radial swirls to mirror images, the natural world often shows that there’s beauty in balance. Design Issue 18 The Nature of Desirability The head of Harvard’s Desirability Lab examines what consumers like and why so designers can create products that hit the sweet spot.