Icon of mid-century style, imagined for children, but adopted by the whole family: the Eames coat rack and its multicolored balls have stood the test of time without taking a single wrinkle.
Indeed, there are these objects whose design is so successful that they do not need to change one iota. This is the case of the famous Hang-It-All coat rack created by the no less famous couple Charles and Ray Eames, easily recognizable by the 14 colored balls that make it up.
“It was invented in 1953, and the design hasn’t changed since then,” says Vanessa Sicotte, author of interior design blog Damask
The object is made up of eight hooks made of white steel rods, crowned at their ends with as many wooden balls, each painted a different color. Around it gravitate six additional small balls, which Vanessa Sicotte compares to “little satellites”. The set is hung on a very simple rectangular base.
We know the mythical designer couple Charles and Ray Eames best for their chairs, but what we know less about him is that he also wanted to design toys, underlines Vanessa Sicotte, also a design historian and who s particularly interested in feminine design. She mentions as an example the elephant of the two designers, a kind of stool that serves as decoration in children’s rooms. “They made several items like that, and the Hang-It-All was for that collection. When it came out, it was actually a toy company that produced it. »
In fact, its playful design, which is a bit reminiscent of chemical molecules, or even billiard balls, is ideal for children, notes Vanessa Sicotte. The goal was for them to hang everything they want on it, not just their clothes, but also toys and all kinds of accessories. For this reason, the support is robust, and it is no coincidence that its base is made of the same steel rods as the Eiffel chair, another great classic of the Eames family.
But from children’s bedrooms, the medium has found its way into every room of the house (except the bathroom, where humidity could harm it). Perhaps because in addition to being solid, the lacquered wooden balls with which it is equipped protect the clothes which are hung there. “When you think of the hooks we have at home, they are always very sharp, they can deform the sweaters, notes Vanessa Sicotte. While these balls not only are safe for children, but at the same time brilliant for clothes. »
In 2012, to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ray Eames – who died in 1988 – the Swiss company Vitra reissued the coat rack in different colors, namely red, green and white. Today, it can be found in several shades, including mahogany, or even black, the one for which Vanessa Sicotte has opted for her own house.
In Quebec, the EQ3 store sells the Eames Hang-It-All through Herman Miller, a company renowned for the resale of mid-century objects. The product is available in six colors, in-store and online. Cost: $419 (white or black, however, are $348).
Maison Prunelle also offers reproductions of the coat rack in its store on Mont-Royal Avenue East, or online. For the moment, multicolor, white and black are available, but other colors should be added. Cost: $99.