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Keep Calma

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At their Buenos Aires shop, a couple reissues classic Argentine designs—and moves the regional furniture design field forward, one “simple object” at a time.
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  Calma Chicha's high-ceilinged storefront displays home wares at every scale. “Pouffes (from $46) were one of our first products, and we have become famous for them. When we first started, the traditional, pear-shaped version was the only one on the market. So we started doing other shapes, including oblong ones big enough to seat three people. The covers, which can be changed, are made of elasticized gabardine, so they stretch to accommodate every type of bottom. We were the first here to make sheets in cotton jersey ($95). And we sell a lot of cowhide placemats ($15), as well. Argentina is a big exporter of cowhide, but it’s much cheaper to buy here. It’s worth remembering that the hides are from animals that have already been slaughtered for meat, so the material does have an ecological aspect."  Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

    Calma Chicha's high-ceilinged storefront displays home wares at every scale. “Pouffes (from $46) were one of our first products, and we have become famous for them. When we first started, the traditional, pear-shaped version was the only one on the market. So we started doing other shapes, including oblong ones big enough to seat three people. The covers, which can be changed, are made of elasticized gabardine, so they stretch to accommodate every type of bottom. We were the first here to make sheets in cotton jersey ($95). And we sell a lot of cowhide placemats ($15), as well. Argentina is a big exporter of cowhide, but it’s much cheaper to buy here. It’s worth remembering that the hides are from animals that have already been slaughtered for meat, so the material does have an ecological aspect."

    Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

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  B.K.F. Chair, $320“We have always loved the B.K.F. chair, and back when we started, nobody was reproducing them. Now they’re in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Very few people know it is an Argentine design. The frames are made locally, and we offer various covers: canvas, cowhide, fur. At the moment, we are working on one printed with a crocodile pattern.”  Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

    B.K.F. Chair, $320“We have always loved the B.K.F. chair, and back when we started, nobody was reproducing them. Now they’re in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Very few people know it is an Argentine design. The frames are made locally, and we offer various covers: canvas, cowhide, fur. At the moment, we are working on one printed with a crocodile pattern.”

    Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

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   Robin Day Chair, $60“This is one of the few pieces we buy from an outside supplier. They’re extremely comfortable, well-priced, and you can use them all over the house, indoors or out.”  Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

     Robin Day Chair, $60

    “This is one of the few pieces we buy from an outside supplier. They’re extremely comfortable, well-priced, and you can use them all over the house, indoors or out.”

    Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

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  Co-owner Diego Olinik, pictured here, says, "Twenty years ago, there were very few original designers in Argentina; there was more of a tendency to copy from abroad. Now there is more inspiration from within. The development of Palermo as a creative hub has helped this process immensely.”   Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

    Co-owner Diego Olinik, pictured here, says, "Twenty years ago, there were very few original designers in Argentina; there was more of a tendency to copy from abroad. Now there is more inspiration from within. The development of Palermo as a creative hub has helped this process immensely.” 

    Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

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  Striped Cushions, from $35“We make cushions in lots of materials and sizes. They’re one of our most popular products. Here there is a big demand for large cushions, maybe because Argentines like to sit on the floor!”  Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

    Striped Cushions, from $35

    “We make cushions in lots of materials and sizes. They’re one of our most popular products. Here there is a big demand for large cushions, maybe because Argentines like to sit on the floor!”

    Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

  • 
  Penguin Jug, $14“These are made in a local ceramics workshop. It’s a reissue of a traditional jug, used to serve barreled wine, that always came accompanied with an old-fashioned soda siphon. These days, you can use it as a water jug. The fun part is seeing the water pour from the penguin’s beak. They make a great souvenir.”  Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

    Penguin Jug, $14

    “These are made in a local ceramics workshop. It’s a reissue of a traditional jug, used to serve barreled wine, that always came accompanied with an old-fashioned soda siphon. These days, you can use it as a water jug. The fun part is seeing the water pour from the penguin’s beak. They make a great souvenir.”

    Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

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  Patchwork Cowhide Rug, $430  Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

    Patchwork Cowhide Rug, $430

    Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

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  The Vertical Bag, $95“This is another one of our own products, inspired by a plastic shopping bag that we had made up in leather. It’s one of our best sellers and roomy enough for a laptop computer.”  Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

    The Vertical Bag, $95

    “This is another one of our own products, inspired by a plastic shopping bag that we had made up in leather. It’s one of our best sellers and roomy enough for a laptop computer.”

    Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

  • 
  Zinc Box, $65“We have been using zinc a lot lately, loosely inspired by the roofs of Argentine workshops and factories. Zinc doesn’t rust and doesn’t need a second finish, so it’s easy to work with. You can use these boxes for storing rubbish or dog food or toys. They’re very useful objects.”  Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

    Zinc Box, $65

    “We have been using zinc a lot lately, loosely inspired by the roofs of Argentine workshops and factories. Zinc doesn’t rust and doesn’t need a second finish, so it’s easy to work with. You can use these boxes for storing rubbish or dog food or toys. They’re very useful objects.”

    Photo by: Ali Kate Cherkis

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