Classic Designs Return

Retailer CB2 launches new furnishings line by esteemed MCM designer Paul McCobb
Fridays on the Homefront
With its welcome, new Paul McCobb Collection, retailer CB2 brings back 36 furnishing pieces as reproductions designed by a revered artist from the mid-century. The collection includes 17 lighting fixtures and 11 wire-style chairs (as above) and 17 lighting fixtures that were his trademark, and more. Photography: courtesy CB2

In a career spanning the 1950s and '60s, designer Paul McCobb's modernist home furnishing creations became such an integral part of American homes, they are still in demand a half-century later.

At least, that is what retooled retailer Crate & Barrel is betting on with its intriguing, new line of McCobb reproductions, launched recently through the company's CB2 brand.

"As things become covetable and valuable, the pieces become scarce and valuable—and that draws a higher price tag," noted Sara Kodja, lead merchant for CB2, an observation validated immediately by Internet searches for McCobb originals.

Fridays on the Homefront
Pavilion sofa.

Speaking to Architectural Digest magazine upon the product reissue launch in early spring, Kodja explained, "These designs are straightforward, but they are classic."

Seventeen of the 36 pieces in CB2's Paul McCobb Collection are lighting fixtures and 11 are the wire-style chairs that were his trademark. McCobb was known primarily for his furniture, but also designed a wide range of household items, from TVs and stereos to glasses and dishes.

"We approached it the same way we approach our other product developments: from an aesthetic and stylistic point of view," Kodja says of the revival by CB2, which acquired rights to the designs from their owner, Copenhagen-based FORM Portfolios.

  Fridays on the Homefront
Pavilion lounge chair.
 

Paul McCobb (1917-1969) studied art in his native Massachusetts and served briefly in the Army Corps of Engineers before rising to prominence as a design and decorating consultant in New York City. His work has been described as neo-traditional, but the more angular and modular pieces definitely reflect International and Scandinavian styles of modernism. The Eichler Network's CA-Modern magazine recently cited McCobb as one of its 'Unsung Masters' of mid-century modern furniture design.