From time to time people ask us about the difference between knock-off and original furniture. I know the price is attractive but think about it. Knock-offs of classic designs in lighting or furniture are easy to find and don’t last nearly as long as a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture. I believe it is important to support authentic design and local craftsmen whenever possible. Here are a few of the major reasons why:

1. Original furniture is a long-term investment.

An original piece of furniture is the product of the designer’s research, development, innovation, and expertise. A mass produced version will never have the same attention to detail. Not to mention, a lower price usually means a lower quality of materials. Think about how a real leather chair is durable and gets more beautiful with age, while pleather only lasts a few years and will eventually fade, chip, or tear. An original piece of furniture will maintain its quality for generations.

Detail of an original Le Corbusier LC4 used in one of our New Orleans projects.


2. It supports real artists and craftspeople instead of big corporations.

At VLA, we take our relationships with our artists and craftspeople very seriously. Supporting real artists propels design forward while supporting local industry. It also means designs are often more customizable, so you can have a unique piece that truly fits your space. Choosing to invest in original pieces of furniture shows great respect for our creative community. 

Charles and Ray Eames sitting on the La Chaise prototype, 1948. © Eames Office LLC. courtesy of OMCA


3. Choosing original furniture is an ecologically responsible decision.

By choosing to invest in authentic furniture and lighting for your home, you ensure that the pieces in your home will last for generations. Knock-off furniture will often fade, rip, or crack only a few years after purchase. Instead of replacing knock-off furniture every few years invest in a piece that your family can enjoy for a lifetime.  It can be hard to ignore the bargain price of knock-off furniture, but instead of giving your money to fast-fashion brands go to your local flea market or support your local furniture maker. There are plenty of New Orleans furniture makers who produce beautiful pieces that will become an integral part of your home and family . 

An original Le Corbusier LC4 used in one of our projects in New Orleans.