At the end of 2014 we finished up a commission for a custom valet chair. The customer was fond of our aesthetic and wanted to see what our take on Hans Wagner's iconic Valet Chair (1954) would be.
As par the standard commissioning process we created 3 concepts for the client, what's below is the one he wanted to see become a reality. For those not familiar, the valet chair is intended to be a chair that accommodates getting dressed / undressed. The back of the chair (like many chairs) is to hang a suit jacket/blazer. What's unique from many chairs is the "clothes hanger" section is shaped to replicate ones shoulders, (higher end jackets often have horse hair pads in the shoulders, the shape of the shoulders helps to keep the shape of the jacket). This was the only real criteria from the client, he even provided a hanger to reference.
The seat on the chair hinges from the front edge providing a place to fold / hang trousers over as well as exposing a leather lined compartment for ties / belts / cuff links / wallet / phone / keys and anything else you may want to store.
This valet chair forced me to evaluate a different set of requirements within a familiar form. Yes, like all chairs this one needed to be strong, and have an appealing aesthetic. Where it differed is the emphasis on this chair was not in comfort (it did turn out very comfortable by coincidence), but instead in creating a chair that one could easily and intuitively get dressed / undressed using day in and day out.
Below are the original two valet chairs created in walnut, with leather details and custom fabricated brass hinges.