This Iconic 1970s Chair Is Finally Back in Production

published Jun 15, 2022
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Credit: HAY

Watching the new collaborations and news dribble out of the Salone del Mobile Milano furniture fair has been a pure delight for design journalists and enthusiasts everywhere. So many pieces have caught my eye (India Mahdavi’s Loop Chair for Thonet — be still, my heart!), but the launch that has me most excited is not a new design at all. 

Cult-favorite Danish brand HAY and furniture manufacturer Dietiker are teaming up to reintroduce the Rey seating collection by Swiss designer Bruno Rey. I’ve had my eyes on these curvy, circa-1971 chairs for years, and I can tell you, a full set is hard to come by! This may be design enthusiasts’ chance to finally score a complete set in a color of their choice — although, let’s be real: They are very pricey, at $595 per chair. The thing is, the demand for vintage versions is high, so there’s a decent chance your investment on these new pieces will appreciate one day, too. Even just a single one of these chairs — at a desk, for example, or as an accent in a dining table setup — would add a lot of visual interest to a space and last a lifetime, thanks to its organic, shapely lines and solid wood construction.

I first saw Bruno Rey’s chairs in a home by architect Yaiza Armbruster, and when she told me they were vintage, I immediately set up an eBay alert for them. To my dismay, the Rey Chair almost never showed up in the States (and I definitely wasn’t willing to pay shipping from Europe). I kept spotting the chair in interiors though, which only fueled my desire further. There the Rey Chairs were in a home designed by 2022 Small/Cool designer Jess Davis (as shown below from a recent Elle Decor feature), and there they were again on the cover of House & Garden U.K.! With each passing season, the prices on the vintage market crept higher and higher.

The new Rey Chairs are a slight update on the original (you can apparently adjust the height, which may make them even more functional or adaptable to their surroundings). The Rey Collection also includes a backless stool, a dining table, and a coffee table, all slightly tweaked from their earlier incarnations. HAY has also updated the color palette (which, sadly, for me means that perfect green Davis used above is still elusive). The full assortment launches in the U.S. today.

Credit: HAY

The only downside of this relaunch is that I predict the high prices of the new production pieces will also drive up the price in the vintage market for originals from the 1970s. So if you’re lucky enough to spot this iconic chair at a flea market or estate sale, scoop it up! As for me, I’ll be over here saving up for one of these pieces, new or old!