Flea markets have long been sources of inspiration for designers, offering a trove of vintage finds like used books and ornate lamps that add intrigue to a room. While it’s unclear where the term ‘flea market’ originated, the concept traces back to early outdoor bazaars in Paris — that’s precisely where Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams, co-founders of the home furnishings brand of the same name, discovered the chair that started it all.
Decades earlier, the pair discovered a handsome, worn-in club chair while perusing a flea market in Paris — love at first sit, as they recall. The find led to the birth of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams’ first leather Parisian club chair in 1992, shortly after the brand’s birth in 1989. “Bob and I discovered these types of chairs at the Paris flea markets, and we fell in love with them,” says Gold, Chairman of the company. “We decided to reinvent them, making them larger-scale to appeal to our American consumers.”
In the early 90’s, when the company’s club chairs launched, home aesthetics did not favor distressed leather, but Gold and Williams, Vice President of Design, stuck with their intuition and continued to source distressed leather in their designs to add texture and enhance comfort, while capturing the spirit of the past. Over the years, the company has modernized their signature leather chairs — shifting from club chairs and more traditional styles with turned wood legs to designs that reflect modern, clean silhouettes. “We have always had a love for vintage chairs and making them feel current,” says Williams.
Now the company is carrying this idea into its latest collection, which incorporates Mont Blanc leather from Moore & Giles – a working relationship that spans more than 25 years – and features several new styles, including the Orsen swivel chair and the Arlene recliner. The company’s classic Cooper and Bianca swivel chairs also receive an update with new metallic bases.
“The new Moore & Giles collection is fabulous,” says Gold. The current collection features 14 distinct colors in two types of top grain, pure aniline leathers. These include the Mont Blanc leathers, which develop patina with time, and the Tribeca collection, a high-performance leather, which has a smoother finish that does not include natural imperfections.
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams’ pieces pair well with a range of aesthetics, from modern to traditional spaces. In-stock upholstery styles ship from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams' North Carolina-based factory within five days, while custom orders, which can be created in 300+ fabrics and leathers, ship within 21 days.