Target released their new line of mid-century modern inspired furniture in stores on September 19th. Called Project 62, the line is definitely getting some serious inspiration from the sleek looks and great designs of the 1950s and 1960s. Even the name itself - Project 62 - comes from the year that Target was founded and the period many of the designs are inspired by.
So far, consumer reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Although it’s impossible to say how these pieces will hold up long-term (after all, they’ve only been on sale for a few days!), a lot of people are impressed by the aesthetics of the collection.
Whenever a major company brings out a collection of “inspired” pieces, however, it’s worth looking back at the original designs. Many of the pieces from Project 62 are definitely similar to classic designs, and those designers deserve some credit! Take a look at some of the most interesting pieces from Project 62 as well as the original vintage pieces they resemble.
Esters Wood Arm Chair in Husk (Target Project 62 Collection)
Inspired By: Adrian Pearsall 2315- C Lounge Chair
Clearly, these two pieces have a lot in common! Both have curved arms, a forward stance, and kickback legs. The proportions are also similar, including the wide seat. However, the Target version has a thicker cushion, which makes the design look clunky. It also lacks the contour in the front crossbar, which adds visual interest to the original Pearsall piece.
Goddard Modern Stacking Chair (Target Project 62 Collection)
Inspired By: Arne Jacobsen Ant Chair
It's fairly obvious that the Goddard modern stacking chair was heavily inspired by the designs of Arne Jacobsen. It is most similar to Jacobsen's Ant Chair, although there are some key differences. Both likely use similar technology to mold the plywood, and both have a very similar silhouette. Even the thin steel legs look alike! The Target version, however, is missing the distinctive cutout on the chair's back, and the durability is unlikely to match the Ant Chair, which was first introduced in 1952.
Newerk Tufted Slipper Chair With Wood Base (Target Project 62 Collection)
Inspired By: Florence Knoll Slipper Chair
These tufted slipper chairs definitely have a lot of similar attributes. The original Knoll slipper chair seat is 16 inches off the floor, which is in keeping with mid-century modern chairs of the time. The Target version, however, has a seat that is 18 inches from the floor. Not a big difference, but it does impact the profile. You can also see that the Target Project 62 version lacks the sculptural element that the back of the seat is resting on. It might appear similar when you face the chair head-on, but the original boasts a sculptural element from the side that this Target version doesn't replicate.
Catalonia Woven Chair (Target Project 62 Collection)
Inspired By: Webbed Chair Designs by Jens Risom
Jens Risom created a number of webbed chair designs in a range of styles. His aesthetic is definitely behind the Catalonia Webbed Chair in Target's Project 62 Collection. The Target versions are more square, making them more like a formal dining chair than a comfortable lounge or accent chair. The Target chair's webbing is made from faux leather, while most Risom chairs used rejected parachute material!
Toulon Marble Top Pedestal Accent Table (Target Project 62 Collection)
Inspired By: Eero Saarinen's Tulip Side Table for Knoll
There's another strong resemblance between these two designs. The silhouette, profile and proportions of both are very similar. Take a look at the Target table's base, and you'll see that it is not cast out of a single piece of metal. Instead, it is clearly made from multiple parts. That might make it lighter, but it might also mean it is less durable. The Target version also lacks the signature bevel around the edge of the marble top.
The good news is that the Project 62 Collection from Target is bringing more mid-century style into the world. The pieces are readily available and affordable, even if they don't quite stand up to true vintage pieces. You'll also find a range of textile products that look great! Here at Trystcraft, we were impressed by some of the sheets, throw pillows and planters. (Want to know a secret? Our built-in sofa is decorated with some throw pillows from Target! They had the perfect shade of yellow to fit in the space.)
If you're looking for durable, lasting pieces with plenty of history and the potential for resale value, stick with the vintage classics. Pieces dating back to the 1960s are clearly meant to last - and the same can't be said for Target's collection: Only time will tell. At Trystcraft, we have a variety of mid-century modern furniture pieces that can suit any space. Shop now!