Uniqlo launches collection celebrating careers of Ray and Charles Eames

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Uniqlo launches collection celebrating the careers of Ray and Charles Eames

Multicoloured slippers and T-shirts decorated with Wire chair prints feature in Uniqlo's new collection, which is dedicated to American design couple Charles and Ray Eames.

With its Sprz NY Eames collection, the Japanese high street brand wanted to celebrate the contribution designers Ray and Charles Eames made to 20th century design, architecture and culture.

Unisex garments, including T-shirts, blankets and slippers, are each decorated with pieces of Eames-designed furniture, or patterns reminiscent of their style.

"Among the most influential designers of the 20th century, Charles and Ray Eames transformed how people experienced and observed the world through furniture, architecture, public spaces, and films," said Uniqlo, which worked alongside the Eames Office to produce the collection.

"Like Uniqlo, Charles and Ray believed that good design and quality objects should be available to all," the brand continued. "This belief underpinned their work with innovative materials to celebrate the uncommon beauty of common things and to uplift people in their everyday lives."

Some of the Eames' most famous chair designs feature on one T-shirt, in a print that sees the likes of the Wire, lounge and plastic chairs arranged in a circle.

Another T-shirt depicts a group of Wire chairs – designed by the duo in the 1950s – while a further has multicoloured drawings of the lounge chair spread across the chest.

As well as literal depictions of iconic furniture pieces, the collection includes garments pattered with the Eames' textile designs.

Women's shawls are decorated with both the Dot Pattern, designed by Ray in 1949, and the Circles print – which she created for a 1947 textile competition at New York's Museum of Modern Art.

The collection is the latest in Uniqlo's Sprz NY (short for Surprise New York) collection, which sees items designed in celebration of influential artists and designers. Those featured in the past have included Andy Warhol, Corita Kent, and Keith Haring.

The full collection will be available to purchase online from 12 October 2017, and in selected stores the following day.

Charles and Ray Eames are considered to be two of the most influential designers of the 20th century, having produced some of the most famous furniture pieces in modern design history.

But the late designers' works are also some of the most widely replicated. Last year, Dezeen reported that discount supermarket chain Aldi was selling pairs of replica DSW Eames Plastic Chairs for £39.99 – a fraction of the £339 it costs to buy a single authorised version by Vitra.

In an interview with Dezeen in 2015, the couple's grandson Eames Demetrios – who runs the Eames Office in Los Angeles – blamed the music industry for the volume of designer furniture replicas.

"If you had to ask your grandfather in 1950 to make a copy of a chair he would have said 'okay but it'll take me a week'," he said. "Now if you asked someone, the image in their mind of copying is to drag a file from one side of the desktop to another. They think of everything as cloneable."