Five minutes with the CEO of Carl Hansen & Son, Knud Erik Hansen

One of the most famous furniture companies in Denmark, Carl Hansen & Son’s products can be seen in stylish homes across the globe. We spoke with CEO and third-generation owner of the company Knud Erik Hansen – while seated on two of the brand’s iconic Wishbone Chairs in its Copenhagen showroom – about the company’s vision and future endeavours.

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The iconic CH24 chair in various hues.

Could you introduce Carl Hansen & Son’s collections in just a few words?

Carl Hansen & Son has more than 100 different pieces in production at the moment. All of them originate from the master architects that lived in Denmark through from the 1930s to the ’80s, like Hans J. Wegner, Kaare Klint, Mogens Koch, Poul Kjaerholm, Ole Wanscher, and Mogens Lassen.

What are your most iconic pieces?

The CH24 chair, also known as the Wishbone Chair, which has been continuously in production from 1950 until today. It sells all over the world and is more popular than ever. Hans J. Wegner worked on it for over a decade – all its fantastic features were inspired by an old Chinese Ming period chair. The result is stunning, and the soft lines that characterise the Wishbone Chair make it one of the most attractive chairs in the world today.

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The CH25 chair

What about within Asia?

The smaller easy chairs are moving faster in Asia. Hans J. Wegner did a large number of these chairs, for instance: the CH25, CH44 and CH07, also known as the Shell Chair. Ole Wanscher also created some beautiful pieces like the Beak Chair and the Colonial Chair, as well as sofas and matching tables.

You also create carpets in addition to furniture. Have you ever thought of creating accessories?

It is our strategy to be a full supplier of everything that has to do with the indoor and outdoor decoration of homes and hotel rooms. We already make cushions both for our woven chairs as well as for our sofas and easy chairs. Last year, we commenced on a collaboration with a Danish company named August Sandgren that make fantastic products like stationary, jewellery, and storage boxes in the finest possible leather finishes and materials. All manufactured in Italy.

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The brand’s new showroom in New York.

What has the company been working on recently? 

We are always working on some kind of expansion. It is very important that we set the trends and follow market demands by constantly expanding our factory and our production, using the most efficient and precise equipment available in the trade today. Working in Denmark is expensive, however, the quality of the Danish production is unsurpassed and recognised worldwide.

We opened a new showroom at Park Avenue in New York in February, and will be opening new flagship stores around the world as well.

What hasn’t Carl Hansen & Son yet done, but that you’d love to do?

That is a tough question, as we have a very long history in Carl Hansen & Son. However, my main focus is to develop Carl Hansen & Son even further as an international brand with even more presence.

Swipe through below to discover more of the brand’s unforgettable Scandinavian style:

The colonial chair by Ole Wanscher in walnut

The CH22 chair

Detail of the CH24 chair

The CH23 chair in walnut and oak

The Beak Chair

Jewel tones merge with neutrals in this living room setting

The CH24 chair in black beech

The CH445 chair

Hand-weaving the Wishbone Chair

The Carl Hansen & Son headquarters in Gelsted, Denmark

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