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The J39 Portraits Kathrine Agger

Kathrine Agger trained as a designer holding a Master of Arts in Womenswear from the Royal College of Art in London. In 2012 she founded the clothing brand Af Agger to create sustainable products of long-lasting quality and style, seeing the pieces as investing objects envisioned to be passed on like timeless pieces of furniture. Putting her design studio together has been all about having furniture in raw wood made for everyday life while being nice to look at, not minding tear and wear as it adds to the tactility of the space.

I really like uncomplicated things that are made to be used in everyday life. For me, the J39 or “people’s chair”, is the epitome of this.

Kathrine Agger

“We bought the J39s for the studio in 2011. I already had one in the attic that I once found in a trash container, and the others we purchased vintage online. The handwoven paper cord seat had gone on one of them, so we took it to Blindes Arbejde (The Work of The Blind), a social economy company that creates jobs for the visually impaired and who makes our clothes brushes. They managed to repair the seat of our chair, making it as good as new.

I really like uncomplicated things that are made to be used in everyday life. For me, the J39 or “people’s chair”, is the epitome of this. I picked this particular chair for our studio as I wanted a chair that I could afford several of (since we have them in every room in the studio), which was nice to look at and didn't seem to scream “Office!”, but which was practical and light at the same time. Seeing the prices of the vintage ones now, I am also beginning to see them as great investment pieces."

Investing in items made to last

To me, a studio is a playroom where you can try out everything. It is, unlike our store, completely white. It is nice to have such a clean canvas where you can see what you are doing and where you are not distracted in the process. It is almost ascetic monk-like here when we don't have a thousand cardboard boxes and cloth bags all over. But because it is pretty minimal and white, I like that the few pieces of furniture we have are of untreated wood. Never mind that there is a little tactility in the form of wear and tear.

We recently opened our boutique at Gammel Mønt, where we also have the J39s and Børge Mogensen’s magnificent Spoke-Back sofa. He and I share the same design philosophy of using only the best craftsmanship and materials, making quality designs to be handed down from one person to the next. His furniture emphasises our vision of making people buy better, investing in items made to last.”

Explore more J39 Portraits

J39, commonly known as “the people’s chair”, has won the hearts of design enthusiasts worldwide for more than seven decades, and this year it has been 75 years since Børge Mogensen drew his immortal classic.

We mark the anniversary with a series of portraits visiting Copenhagen creatives having the J39 in their homes or studio to chat about what makes good design, creating a particular atmosphere and choosing furniture with the heart.