Born in Germany in 1927, Vladimir Kagan emigrated to the United States in 1938. He studied Architecture at Columbia University before joining
his father, a master cabinetmaker, to apprentice in his woodworking
shop and learn the essentials of furniture design from the ground up.
Vladimir took inspiration from the new philosophy of modern
design molded by the Bauhaus but resisted geometry in favor of
organic shapes, which he infused with a signature Kagan flair. In
1948 he opened his first shop in New York, where the Kagan name quickly became synonymous with undulating, sinuous lines and
After a prolific career spanning nearly 70 years, Vladimir passed
away in April of 2016. At 88 years old, he remained an active
part of his company, debuting a new design the evening
before he passed. While he often declared that his design
philosophy embodied the axiom “less is more,” the same was not
true of his life.
A recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Brooklyn Museum, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and the American Society of Furniture Designers, an inductee into the Interior Design Hall of Fame,
as well as a father of 3 and grandfather of 6, Vladimir’s legacy is far reaching and will continue to be felt for decades to come.
Each with their own unique design sensibility, Holly
and Vladimir were contemporaries of modern design
and collaborated on several projects, including a
custom sofa installation for Holly’s Chicago apartment
(featured in Architectural Digest).
In 2014, Vladimir expressed interest in selling his company
to Holly, trusting her to honor the history of the Kagan
brand and guide its legacy into the future.
Holly said of the partnership: “Vladimir Kagan’s iconic
designs are a significant addition to our brand, because
Kagan represents the ultimate in modern American