Eileen Gray
Eileen Gray (1878 - 1976) was born in Enniscorthy, Ireland, to an aristocratic Irish-Scottish family.  She studied architecture and design in both London and Paris establishing herself as a leading designer of lacquered walls and decorative panels.  After the First World War, Gray returned to Paris where she undertook a much-celebrated interior for milliner, Madame Mathieu Lévy.  The interior was developed from 1917 to 1921 with Gray designing most of its furniture (including her now famous Bibendum chair), carpets, and lamps, as well as the lacquered panels on the walls.  The interior was favorably reviewed by several art critics and subsequently Gray opened up a small shop in Paris called Jean Desert in order to both exhibit and sell her work and that of her artist friends.  During the mid to late 1920s, Gray designed furniture for her E1027 modernist villa in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France.  Her designs were at the time revolutionary - most are now included in museum collection and are icons associated with the International Style of the late 1920s and early 1930s.  In the 1970s, Eileen Gray began working with Zeev Aram to put many of her furniture, rug, and lighting designs into serial production.  In 1973, she granted the worldwide rights to manufacture and distribute her designs to Aram Designs Ltd., London.  The Vereinigte Werkstätten, from which ClassiCon emerged in 1990, already produced and distributed Eileen Gray designs under this license.  Gray's lifetime achievement was honored in 2013 with a large solo exhibition at Centre Pompidou, Paris.  After years of restoration, Eileen Gray's famous villa in Roquebrune reopened to visitors in summer 2015.

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