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Made in Melbourne

An ode to Tessa Furniture and the virtues of buying local...

My Living Room, with Tessa swivel chair in pride of place

On June 30th 2019 Tessa Furniture held a final warehouse sale after announcing their closure earlier this year. The news is a blow to advocates of Australian-made as yet another local designer and manufacturer shuts up shop. Tessa Furniture has been fabricating the signature designs of Fred Lowen for over 50 years in their Melbourne-based factory and have leveraged off the mantra "quality without compromise” since 1968. The brand is synonymous with quality workmanship, quality materials, and the hallmarks of a mid-century design ethos that values ergonomics over ornament.

With the rise of Pinterest and Instagram public awareness of designer names has grown so that furniture like the Eames Lounge Chair (once only recognised by architecture students and the super-rich) are now widely known. This renowned chair is remarkably similar to Tessa's Melbourne-made T21 swivel... but I can name more Melburnians who own a fake #Eames than a #Tessa original!

So what went wrong? Competition from cheap alternatives? Missed marketing opportunities? Here is my ode to Tessa Furniture and the virtues of buying local...

Vintage advertisement for the model T21 armchair and foot stool

#Fler #FredLowen #designer #furniture #midcentury #midcenturymodern #Australianmade #local #homedecorating

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