Two Family Owned Midcentury Legacy Brands, Revived!
Smilow® Furniture and Robert Long Lighting Share ICFF Booth #1174 New York-based designer Judy Smilow and California-based lighting designer Robert Long were recently introduced to each other when Margo Guralnick of Remodelista included them in her article Second Coming: 5 Family-Owned Midcentury Design Companies, Revived.
Evidence that creativity is hereditary: Four defunct American design studios that had their heyday in the fifties or sixties have been revived of late by a new generation, the sons and daughters of the seat-of-the-pants originators (and, in one case, by a mother-daughter team) who bring their own stamp to bear on the designs. Each of these entrepreneurs grew up immersed in their star parent’s aesthetic, and then spent years fielding requests for the pieces to be brought back into production. And the goods are still fabricated in the United States, except in the case of our fifth selection, the Hansen Family, a happening European furniture line that draws from generations of talent. -- Margot Guralnick for Remodelista - February 2, 2016
Smilow Design Judy Smilow reintroduced her father Mel’s furniture line four years ago and hopes to eventually offer Smilow options for every room. Judy herself grew up in a glass house in Usonia, the Frank Lloyd Wright cooperative in Mount Pleasant, New York, fully furnished by Mel. She studied art at Parsons and went on to work as a graphic designer for MoMA and to create her own glassware and furniture lines. Along the way, she came across her late father’s original drawings and was “struck by how the furniture and aesthetic had really stood the test of time.” She’s been rebuilding the family legacy ever since
Robert Long Lighting Robert Long Jr. was but a toddler when his parents lost their lives in a car accident. Raised by relatives in Savannah, Georgia, Long got to know his father via his 1960s benchmade lighting designs, traditional forms reinterpreted with a modernist sensibility. Now based in Sausalito directly across from Robert Long Lighting’s original studio, Long has reestablished the company using vintage catalogues and even several of his father’s suppliers to make replicas and careful updates. Learn more at A Bright Son: Robert Long Jr. Reopens His Father’s Lighting Company.
Margot Guralnick for Remodelista -- February 2, 2016