Be Original: Vitra stands up for authentic design.

Jessica Hicks enjoying the Grand Repos Lounge by Antonio Citterio for Vitra.

“Be Original Americas is important because it is a platform to educate and inform people about authentic design,” says Jessica Hicks, president of Vitra North America. “Authenticity is the cornerstone of good design, and good design has a direct impact on the way we live, work and evolve as a society. We must never lose sight of that.”

Vitra is proud to be a member of Be Original Americas, joining Alessi, Carl Hansen & Søn, Cassina, Chilewich, Emeco, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller, Kartell, Maharam and, of course, DWR in the fight against counterfeit design.

Hadid Fire Station
The Fire Station designed by Zaha Hadid for the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein.

Hicks’ passion for smart design extends to her love of architecture, especially the work of Zaha Hadid. “She pushes the boundaries when it comes to architecture and design and achieves the unachievable,” she says. “I feel fortunate to be able to experience this firsthand every time I visit the Vitra Campus and walk through the Fire Station. She is an inspirational female figure and having been the first female recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize speaks to that.”

When we asked Hicks what makes her an original, she replied: “I remain true to myself in the decisions I make, the things I do and the people I influence. It’s allowed me the opportunity to grow, improve and stay relevant… much like good design.”

Organic Chair by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, produced by Vitra. (At DWR, we’re partial to the High Back version.)

Read other Be Original profiles:

Gregg Buchbinder, president and CEO of Emeco
Christian Grosen Rasmussen, head of design at Fritz Hansen
Sandy Chilewich, industrial designer
Ben Watson, executive creative director of Herman Miller
Jan Vingerhoets, CEO of Flos

P.S. Looking for a summer read? Jessica Hicks recommends The Art of War by Sun Tzu. “It has a great approach to building a strong foundation that applies in both the business world and one’s personal life. I read it for the first time several years ago and I find I go back to it every now and again for a refresh. I am always amazed that there is a new take-away every time I do.”


  • Dezikon

    Great article about the essence of supporting original design and why it is so important to the industry! I am a great supporter of original design and have created a marketplace for buying and selling original design in London, UK. It’s called and supports the market of original secondhand/new designer icons!