FAMOUS DESIGNERS

The history of Acapulco chair

Legend has it that a French tourist was visiting Acapulco in the ’50s and was uncomfortably hot atop a solidly-constructed chair in the Mexico sunshine. Inspired by the open string construction of traditional Mayan hammocks nearby, he designed a chair fit for the modern tropics.

Whether or not this is true — who was that mysterious visionary Frenchman — the Acapulco chair was first produced in the ’50s, and quickly became popular in Mexico. Usually made of vinyl cords on a metal, slightly pear-shaped frame, the Acapulco chair has most commonly been used as outdoor lounge seating, in bright, tropical colors.

Lately, designers have been producing some variations on the Acapulco theme — round versions, leather versions, Mobius strip loveseat versions, etc. In all its iterations, the Acapulco chair shows its roots in folk design, modernism and tropical Hollywood glamour.