Eames lounge chair

The Eames brand has been around for over 60 years, yet it was in the 1990s that film and television suitably transformed them from a workplace name to a household one.

Let’s go back to 1993. The year that Bill Clinton was sworn in, we were given Beanie Babies for the first time, and Meatloaf had us all questioning if there was anything that he wouldn’t do for love.

Those were simpler times. Teenagers were wearing high-waisted jeans listening to Nirvana and playing Myst. Their younger siblings were chatting into Talkboys and seeing Jurassic Park in theaters.

1993 was also the year Tom Hanks captured the hearts of every last romantic while pursuing Meg Ryan through the Emerald City in Sleepless in Seattle. Despite several award nominations, the film was not the cultural phenomena that put the city on the map. Kelsey Grammer and Frasier are the ones responsible for pushing Seattle into our collective consciousness.

A spin-off of the wildly successful Cheers, the sitcom follows Dr. Frasier Crane (Grammer) as he moved back to Washington to help care for his aging father. The show is a sympathetic representation of an awkward bachelor sailing his middle age, working in a local radio station as a phone psychiatrist.

Frasier makes countless nods to popular culture beneath its admittedly great comedy. Helping the show serve as something of a historical record of what America in the early 90s.

The seventh episode, ‘Call Me Irresponsible’ serves as a model case in point. Flirting outrageously with yet another woman he shouldn’t be flirting with, Grammer’s character is tested on his apparent ease at holding back from romance. 

He responds quickly with : “you think I don’t want to pick you up right now, carry you over to that Eames classic and show you why it’s the best-engineered chair in the world?”

This gutsy dialogue line elevated the Eames Lounge Chair from a thing of aesthetic beauty to something with an aspirational glow around it.

Like all culturally significant products, the Eames Lounge Chairs have become a part of film and television. A shorthand for understated sophistication and smarts, they’re symbolic of people and places that ooze success in many ways.