Knoll joins the good fight, offering iconic pieces in a unique, signature pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Founded in 1982, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is the world's largest nonprofit source of funding for the fight against breast cancer. This year, Knoll will donate all net proceeds from the sale of limited-edition classics to benefit Susan G. Komen® LA County and Susan G. Komen Greater New York City. The local chapters in New York and LA work to develop programming to support local community health outreach, advocacy and other programs.

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Photography by Ilan Rubin

As breast cancer continues to be one of the leading health crises for women, the month of October has continuously struck a deep chord in people, not just those directly affected, but entire communities and organizations. City landmarks glow pink in the nighttime and major sports leagues wear only pink during game time. That seemingly small, ad lib pink ribbon has moved the masses, significantly increasing research funds, the volume of free mammograms, and early detection, not to mention shear awareness. 

This year, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Knoll joins the good fight doing what the company does best: furniture, yet this time it's pink furniture. For the entirety of October, Knoll is offering both the 1952 side chair by Harry Bertoia and the recently reintroduced 1947 Hairpin Stacking Table by Florence Knoll in a special, signature pink powder-coat finish. Sharing much in the way of materiality and craft, the two wire-form pieces strike a good balance between their prominence and their ability to shine pink. 

While less widely recognized than her classic lounge collection or parallel bar furniture, Florence Knoll’s early design for a wire base stool has become an equally legendary example of sleek, Bauhaus-inspired American furniture since its introduction in 1947. First prototyped in the early 1940s, the Model 75 stacking stool became an instantly popular addition to what was then still a small catalog of furnishings from Knoll Associates, with its ingeniously simple three-pronged wire base granting it its “hairpin” moniker. The design remained in production until 1966 and was only briefly reproduced in 1981 for the Innovative Furniture in America exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York. Fifty years later, the Model 75 stool is back. The simple icon has been reintroduced as the Hairpin™ Stacking Table, which is made of a painted steel and laminate and can stack up to five high. As Florence Knoll always intended, the Stacking Table does not just hold its own as a timeless piece of design—it proves its true value in its ability to round out the composition of any inhabited space – a space with a Bertoia Side Chair perhaps.

In forging his first and only furniture collection for Knoll, Harry Bertoia brought together the two essential components behind any exceptional design: theory and practice. Embodying the idea of a designer-craftsman, Bertoia opposed the separation of production from the design process, as is typical in an industrial economy, combining "the ability to think about design, meditate on form," with the skills required to "deliver it with his hands.” As Bertoia discovered, he "was not the man to do research." He explained, "my feeling had to come from an inward direction."

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Shape, line, and contour, then, were born from Bertoia's handling of a material, whether steel, aluminum or beryllium. Tip toeing the line between sculpture and impressive pieces of furniture, Harry Bertoia’s iconic wire-form collection of chairs introduced the world to an entirely new way of looking at hard materials like steel and iron. Heavily influenced by his studies of space, form, steel wire and rod, Bertoia sought to derive a degree of functionality from his work – one that ultimately manifested itself in a series of chairs.

These two signature pieces have delivered functionality, joy, and satisfaction over the course of many years. With their signature pink finish, they now deliver something new: hope and support. 

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