Be Original: Sandy Chilewich stands up for authentic design.

Sandy Chilewich in her Showroom in NYC
Sandy Chilewich in her NYC Studio. Photo credit: Kristin Gladney for Chilewich

“It’s empowering to be part of an organization that acknowledges and values the contributions and challenges of those who truly innovate,” says Sandy Chilewich of her involvement with Be Original Americas, joining Alessi, Cassina, Emeco, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller, Vitra and, of course, DWR in the fight against counterfeit design.

Chilewich became a household name in 1978, when she co-founded HUE hosiery. In 2000, she introduced floor mats and placemats made from her proprietary woven vinyl. Soft and flexible yet extremely sturdy, the material, which she dubbed “plynyl,” was the result of an intensive research process.

Chilewich floor mats and placemats.

“It takes a tremendous amount of work to create and sustain original design,” she says. “It also requires taking continuous risks because when you create something new there is no certainty that it will be well received and a success. One can’t be original without accepting that there will sometimes be failures. Those who copy are getting a free ride on the backs of those who have taken these risks with the accompanying investments of talent and financial resources.”

Chilewich’s fans love her innovative approach, and when we asked what makes her an original, she replied: “I am passionate about making both small and big changes to manufacturing processes; experimenting and uncovering the untapped potential of a process in order to make something new.”

Being a member of Be Original means that we’re a vetted retailer of authentic goods. When you purchase Chilewich products from DWR, you can be sure they are 100% authentic.


Read other Be Original profiles:

Gregg Buchbinder, president and CEO of Emeco
Christian Grosen Rasmussen, head of design at Fritz Hansen
Ben Watson, executive creative director of Herman Miller
Jessica Hicks, president of Vitra North America
Jan Vingerhoets, CEO of Flos