Stendig was totally the brainchild and passion of Charles W. Stendig. You cannot write or talk about Stendig without explaining Charles. He was a pioneer of import goods in the mid-century. After serving in WWII as a paratrooper, he studied business with emphasis on international trade at NYU and City College of New York. Afterward first working for Raymor, another pioneering distribution company, for about two years departing to start his own business, Stendig. He opened his first showroom in 1956 in midtown Manhattan. He is credited for sparking America’s interest in furniture from Finland, Switzerland, Italy, and Czechoslovakia. He imported from the likes of Thonet, Asko, and De Sede; and from iconic designers including Le Corbusier, Josef Hoffmann, Eero Aarnio, Tapio Wirkkala, Marcel Breuer, Jonathan De Pas, Donato D’Urbino, Paolo Lomazzi, Carlo Mollino, Carlo Scarpa, and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni to name just a few. By the late 1960’s, Stendig had showrooms in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco with a large headquarters in NYC. They were exciting and good times but short lived. The business was a challenge and when an offer was made by Burlington Industries to purchase, Charles agreed. He stayed on till 1976 to oversee and then retired. I have searched the internet to no avail to find out if a Stendig division is still in operation. But I can only find the Stendig Calendar, the only calendar in MoMA’s collection which was designed for Stendig by Mossimo Vignelli, offered. But having a hard time deciding who is creating and offering it. I do know Burlington Industries was bankrupt by 2001, purchased in 2003, merged with Cone Mills in 2004 and subsequently into ITG or International Textile Group. But the Stendig name reins as an icon of high style mid-century offerings.

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