RAYMOND LOEWY // A Charismatic Master of Design

Franco-American Raymond Loewy was the “starchitect” of his time, while not officially an architect, rather an industrial designer, Mr. Loewy was the first celebrity designer ever to grace the cover of Time magazine. He was the ultimate style guru, he rode a Harley-Davidson, hung out with jet setting beautiful people and owned houses in New York, Paris, St. Tropez and Palm Springs. Loewy is credited with launching the industrial design movement that changed the look of American life. In addition to his furniture and china pieces, he designed branding experiences for TWA, Lucky Strike, variations of the modern day Coca-Cola bottle and enduring logos for Shell, Exxon, Quaker and Canada Dry.

In 1963, Loewy designed an automobile, the Avanti  – a personal, luxury coupe, built by the Studebaker Corporation. The car was designed in Palm Springs, CA over a five week period, a feature unheard of in automotive design history. Loewy was concerned with fuel economy, stating that “weight is the enemy” in automotive design therefore the Avanti was designed without a grill, thinking
“who needs a grill… those are associated with sewers…” Raymond Loewy saw the modern world as a magical and interconnected series of phenomena, each in need of careful engineering, Avanti Raymond!

An eye-catching double sided DF-2000 sideboard, c.1965, boasts four bold colored plastic doors ranging from red, pink to orange, with a lemon yellow interior. The metal base is powder coated metal coordinated with the laminate body of the cabinet.

This Droptop desk c. 1950s expresses itself in functional simplicity. The exterior is constructed of cerused wood, the interior a lacquered robin’s egg blue with iron legs and handles. This piece perfectly showcases Loewy’s mantra that simple can still be stylish.

Another piece from Raymond Loewy’s DF Series. This DF-2000 Credenza, c.1965 has a more subdued exterior color palette in browns and beige, however the interior pops in a bright orange. Constructed of lacquered wood, enameled steel and plastic.

The Normende “Spectra Futura” radio c.1960s / Germany, is a stunning example of beautiful functionality. With doors that slide open top and bottom concealing the necessary knobs, tuner, etc. the radio looks like an object appropriate for a James Bond set.

Dinnerware pieces from Raymond Loewy’s Continental China Collection for Rosenthal, c.1950s in charcoal.

The Avanti automobile c.1963. Designed in Palm Springs during a five week crash session.

Looking for a Classic Los Angeles home to showcase these amazing Raymond Loewy pieces? Our city is home to many architecturally significant Mid-Century ModernSpanish, Craftsman homes and Luxury Estates. Visit Beyond Shelter for more Designed Living ideas to create your LA story.