Philippe Starck has been a darling of the design world since he first rose to prominence in the 1970s after designing a pair of chic Parisian nightclubs.
Since then, he's established a reputation in a dizzying array of fields spanning from architecture to product design and touching on everything in between. His legacy is vast and widespread, but among his many accomplishments, one of the best-known is his iconic lucite Louis Ghost chair.
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Unusually for such an archetypal piece of furniture, the Louis Ghost is relatively new to the scene; Starck released the design for Kartell in 2002. From that point onward, the design has been endlessly copied and riffed upon. Much like the Egg chair before it, this proved to be the hallmark of an instant classic.
Need a crash course in the Louis Ghost's backstory? Here are 5 fast facts you should know:
1. It was inspired by Louis XVI.
The Louis Ghost was inspired by an even more infamous moment in furniture design history. The Louis XVI chair, , was a simple, upholstered armchair popularized during the ill-fated reign of Louis XVI and his queen, Marie Antoinette.
2. It's a single, unbroken piece.
Like several other iconic chairs, including the Eames fiberglass armchair, the Louis Ghost owes a lot of its resonance to its engineering — Kartell, the company that makes the chair, . However, unlike other molded chairs, the Louis Ghost is exceptional because the plastic is injected into a single mold, meaning that the entire piece is made in one fell swoop.
3. It inspired a sibling chair, the Victoria.
The Louis Ghost proved so popular that it inspired Starck and Kartell to create another, related chair. The Victoria Ghost is aesthetically very similar to the Louis, but takes its shape from a baroque style of seating. Other spin-offs of the Louis Ghost include the One More and .
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4. It's designed for indoor-outdoor use.
Most of us would likely think twice before putting a chair that costs several hundred dollars out on the patio, but the Ghost is actually designed for indoor-outdoor use. According to , the chair holds up well against the elements, in part because it is plastic, and has no joints that could crack or warp from exposure.
5. It's not limited to lucite anymore.
The original Louis Ghost was made in crystal clear Lucite, and this remains the most iconic version. However, over the years, Kartell has expanded the line to cater to a wide variety of different palettes. Now, you can buy it in a range of delicate translucent shades including blush and lavender, or in two solid hues, black and white.