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Design Outdoor

This Is When America Discovered A Life Of Leisure Outdoors

Brown Jordan’s Innovative Designs Helped Usher In The Era Of Glamourous Outdoor Living In Post-War America, And They Continue To Change The Way We Live Today.

At Your Leisure

The iconic pool at celebrity-favorite The Colony Hotel in South Beach, surrounded by Brown Jordan’s Calcutta lounge chairs.

Timing is everything, especially for big ideas. For industrial designer and California native Robert Brown, the big idea was outdoor furniture that could withstand the elements and be used all year. He launched his first collection, Morning Glory, in 1939, just as World War II was beginning, and immediately had to halt production. Fast-forward to the mid-1940s, when Brown connects with architecture graduate Hubert Jordan and taps into a vibrant Hollywood scene. Brown Jordan officially opened its doors on September 7, 1945, just days after VJ Day, not only riding the wave of the cultural shift toward leisure time and outdoor living but influencing it as well.

At Your Leisure

Left: Frank Sinatra collected Brown Jordan furniture and loved the classic designs. Shown here with Yul Brynner, poolside at his house in Palm Springs, in the Tamiami Rocker, 1965. Photography by John Bryson/Getty images.
Right: In an early innovation, Morning Glory was made from wrought iron treated with a rust- and heat- resistant-finish to minimize maintenance.

The company continues to build on its history of collaborating with top designers, such as Walter Lamb, Tadao Inouye, Michael Smith, Richard Frinier, who spent 20 years as its design director, and most recently, Ann Marie Vering. Their award-winning designs were part of both the Eisenhower and Kennedy White House—the pieces they purchased are still there today, and found in iconic hotels such as The Colony in South Beach and the Beverly Hills Hotel.

At Your Leisure

Left: In 1977, the brand’s newly developed Sling fabric is combined with tubular aluminum frames for Nomad, an elevated collection
of foldable, portable furniture.
Right: Designer Billy Ceglia chose the tropical Calcutta for the outdoor spaces for the 2023 Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach. photography by nick sargent.

In 2023, Brown Jordan opened its new showroom in The Mart. Chief Brand Curator Steve Elton says, “We were thrilled to be expanding our space at The Mart, in a position of prominence on the first floor of this historic building. We are a distinctly American brand that is sought-after around the world, and we continue to live up to a standard of design excellence set by Robert Brown and Hubert Jordan.”

At Your Leisure

Ann Marie Vering’s third collection is launched in Spring 2023. Oliver captures the carefree glamor of summer behind the wheel of a 1964 Fiat Jolly, radiating that era’s la dolce vita charm.