The UK furniture brand arrives in Singapore, bringing with it well-loved classics and colourful modern twists to familiar pieces.
23 February, 2012
The Singapore design scene may not be too acquainted with Ercol just yet, but that looks set to change, and quick.
The iconic Studio Couch, designed by Ercol’s founder, was re-released as part of the company’s 90th anniversary.
The UK brand, founded by Lucian Randolph Ercolani in 1920 has, over the course of 90 years, become a familiar household name in the British domestic market; today, it is carried in such high-profile stores as Liberty, Selfridges, Cos, The Conran Store, as well as internationally, in places like Milan’s La Rinascente.
Ercol uses solid hardwoods derived from sustainable forests for its furniture, and produces each piece via a combination of modern machine processes and craft techniques, such as steam bending, which takes years to master.
Love Seat in colour
Perhaps the best proof of its success is in its classic pieces, which Nick Garratt, managing director of Ercol, says are “going as strongly as they ever were”.
The classic Butterfly Chair (1956 – 2012)
“I’m sure everyone’s aware [of] this resurgence in mid-century; we kind of work in basis that it never went away,” says Garratt, pointing to designs such as the Butterfly Chair from 1956, arguably one of the most recognised Ercol designs worldwide today.
The classic Stacking Chairs (1956 – 2012). It stacks straight instead of at an angle, so you get to build it as high as you can reach…
“It’s a good story of our international development really,” says Garratt, adding that since the chair was launched in Japan some 10 years ago, the brand is now in 100 stores in the country.
Japan may be Ercol’s strongest market in Asia, but the company has notably been stepping up its expansion plans in this region in the last few years – the most recent being Singapore, at Dream Interiors, and in Hong Kong at Lane Crawford.
Part of the Barton range by Sir Terence Conran
While Ercol has an in-house design team, it also collaborates with well-known designers in the UK. Check out its Barton collection of solid oak furniture designed by Sir Terence Conran (above), made using modern and traditional craft techniques including dovetail joints and steam bending. And Matthew Hilton’s Treviso Desk (below) for Ercol, also made from oak and featuring dovetail joints in its drawers.
Treviso Desk by Matthew Hilton
Ercol has also updated its timeless pieces in hot, bold colours, which Garrat says have been particularly well received in Asia.
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