Carl Hansen & Søn Re-Colors The Classics


To celebrate Hans J. Wegner’s enduring legacy and more than 70 years of collaboration, Carl Hansen & Søn has partnered up with the London-based designer, Ilse Crawford, to develop a new color palette for a limited-edition release of the first chairs that Wegner created for Carl Hansen & Søn in 1950.

The visionary First Masterpieces collection includes five of Hans J. Wegner’s most iconic chair designs. Among these are the world-renowned CH24, also known as the Wishbone Chair, and the woven CH25 lounge chair, which have been in production at Carl Hansen & Søn for more than 70 years. On this occasion, Ilse Crawford has dressed the masterpieces in five earthy shades that give a fresh perspective to the collection. The environmentally friendly, water-based colors all have a slightly transparent finish, which allows the chair’s original oak wood grain to shine through, creating a nuanced sense of color and texture.

We wanted to develop a set of colors that reflects the times we live in, and we believe these subdued and muted tones will resonate with a contemporary audience,” explains Crawford. “We were inspired by the paintings of the late Danish artist, Per Kirkeby, whose interest in nature and geology was brilliantly manifested in his work. These are not easy, trend-driven or standard decorative colors, but ones that add depth and complexity to any interior.”

The muddy, painterly tones nod to the raw beauty of the Nordic landscape and they are intended to work both as a group and independently. “Color is so closely tied to our emotions, to our mood,” notes Crawford, “And we think these subtle tones will contribute to the creation of a warm, relaxed and natural environment.”

More than 70 years of collaboration

Hans J. Wegner and Carl Hansen & Søn began working together in 1949, and after an intense year of working with some of the most skilled artisans, the CH22, CH23, CH24, CH25 and CH26 chairs were ready to be launched in 1950. The five designs have very different expressions yet are all bearing Wegner’s unique fingerprint and emphasis on impeccable craftsmanship.

As the largest manufacturer of furniture designs by Wegner, Carl Hansen & Søn has been associated with the prolific Danish master for seven decades, and Wegner continues to be central to the company’s identity.

Hans J. Wegner is an inherent part of our DNA,” says Carl Hansen & Søn CEO, Knud Erik Hansen,These pieces were the forerunners for what would develop into an impressive collection of some of the most iconic pieces of furniture in the world, and to be able to refresh them for a new generation is a great pleasure. Ilse has an ability to imbue any project with great insight and relevance, and this new color scheme has its own cultural history, rooted in Nordic abstraction.”

The limited-edition First Masterpieces will be in stores from May 2021


Ilse Crawford is a London-based designer, academic and creative director with a simple mission to put human needs and desires at the center of all that she does. As founder of Studioilse, together with her multi-disciplinary, London-based team, she brings her philosophy to life. This means creating environments where humans feel comfortable; public spaces that make people feel at home and homes that are habitable and make sense for the people who live in them. It means selecting and designing furniture and products that support and enhance human behavior and actions in everyday life; and that have the least harm to people (makers and users) and the environment.

Studioilse has completed over a hundred projects including commercial, hospitality, retail, residential and social projects that span the globe. Their projects have become benchmarks in their field, including Soho House New York, the first Aesop store in London and Ett Hem hotel in Stockholm. Studioilse also created collections of sustainable, quality furniture, lighting and accessories in natural materials for international design brands. Carl Hansen & Son is proud to announce a collaboration with Crawford and her team focusing on the design of Hans J. Wegner.

Crawford has more than thirty years at the forefront of the international design world. Prior to Studioilse, she was the founding editor of Elle Decoration UK, launched well-being magazine BARE, and the home division of Donna Karan. In 2014 Crawford was awarded an MBE for services to Interior Design and in 2015 received an Honorary Doctorate from the London College of Communication, University of Arts London.

In addition to Studioilse, Crawford is a leading advocate of systemic well-being design, having founded and run the Man and Well-Being Department at the Design Academy Eindhoven. She lectures widely on subjects of business and design, has published three books about her design philosophy, Sensual Home, Home is Where the Heart is? and A Frame for Life and was featured on the Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design.