I guess when Genius Jones commissioned one of the old Long Island City manufacturers of Mies Van Der Rohe's Barcelona Chair to make a 2/3-scale children's version, and it got written up in The New York Times [below], and it turned out awesome, Knoll figured they'd see what this kid-sized superchair thing is all about.
Because it was almost exactly a year later that the company unveiled official scaled-down versions of two of its chairs at an office furniture expo in Chicago: Saarinen's Womb Chair and MVDR's Barcelona Chair:
Retail products such as the chairs, which cost at least $2,267, boast high margins, [Knoll CEO Andrew Cogan] said, because target customers are willing to pay a premium for an iconic piece of furniture.While Genius Jones' knockoff was a Smurf-like 2/3 size, Knoll's Barcelona Chair [Barcelonita?] is reduced only 80%. Knoll did the ottoman, too.
Cogan would not give a sales target for the child-sized chairs, but said they have branding value, too.
"If we could have sold them out the front door here today I could have sold 100 of them," he said. "It's another way for people to connect with our brand."
Unlike the Womb Chair, the children's Mies chair isn't listed in the current Knoll price list. So unless you want it in Turtle Creek Tacky Red, you may have to wait till after Christmas.
update: Or not. Kidsmodern posted about the children's version after the Milan furniture show, though it says it costs EUR 4,640, which sounds at once more right and oh so wrong. Guess the red leather's on clearance.
Knoll Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe Barcelona Chair, $3,500 and Ottoman, $1,838, plus $690 [!] shipping [neimanmarcus.com]
Previoiusly [it looks like they came]: I shall call him Mini-Mies, at least until Knoll's lawyers come for me.