Good Questions: Should I Spring For a Knockoff?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Hello AT,

What is your opinion (and the opinion of everyone else) about getting a knock-off of the classic Saarinen Womb Chair that’s very cheap? DWR sells the knoll original for $2,645. This one is $795. The shipping is free, returns are free returns with free shipping. It’s made in china, but it’s overseen by an italian manufacturer.

Thanks, Brenda

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Dear Brenda,

In this case, we suspect you’ll get exactly what you pay for. While Chinese manufacture can be remarkable, everything from the feel of the fabric to the spongyness of the foam seat will be different. Which is not to say, it’s not a good deal, but don’t imagine that your getting Saarinen’s Womb Chair or you might be disappointed.

Which is not to say that DWR’s price is a good one. There is a lot of inflation in that price because manufacture and distribution is carefully locked up by Knoll. It is really hard to get a bargain on it, unless you go eBay or Craigslist or OUR classifieds…

If you love the shape of the chair and have a really good use for it in your home, then go for it. It will be more like an IKEA purchase, that doesn’t quite look as good in 5 years, but it can certainly add joy and comfort to your home.

Anyone else?