first ever

Chair (foldable)

Giancarlo Piretti (1940) studied at the Instituto Statale d’ Arte in Bologna and worked as an interior designer for Castelli. During his twelve years with Castelli, he developed countless innovative furniture designs primarily in the field of seating.

Salt & pepper pots

Founded in 1853 by the miller Daniel Straub and the brothers Schweizer Metallwarenfabrik Straub & Schweizer, WMF is a German tableware manufacturer.

Chair (bentwood)

Founded in 1853 by Michael Thonet as ‘Gebrüder Thonet’, Thonet is a European furniture manufacturer, particularly known for their bentwood furniture made with a unique steam-bending technology.


Founded in 1885 by Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith as ‘Binney & Smith’, Crayola is a brand of artists’ supplies and best known for its crayons.

Surf trunks

Founded in 1954 by Nancy and Walter Katin as a small boat cover business, Kanvas by Katin is one of the oldest surf shops in California.

Sofa (sofabed)

Founded in 1941, Spectrum is one of the oldest Dutch furniture companies still existing. The collection includes design classics from Martin Visser, Gerrit Rietveld and Constant Nieuwenhuijs, all from around 1960, and some newer items by Dutch designers.


Founded in 1937 by eye health company Bausch & Lomb, Ray-Ban is a brand of sunglasses. Their most iconic models are the Aviator (which also features on Wikiconic) and the Wayferer.

Shirt (polo)

Founded in 1933 by René Lacoste and André Gillier, Lacoste is a French clothing company that sells high-end clothing, footwear and most famously polo shirts.

Boules (pétanque)

Founded in 1904 in Marseille by Félix Rofritsch, La Boule Bleue makes the most iconic pétanque boules. It all started when Rofritsch opened a shop on the rue des Fabres, and sold goods that he called ‘articles from Paris’.


Founded in 1933 by Werner Dorsch as a small retail shop for writing instruments in Frankfurt, WEDO now is an important player on the national and international office product market.

Boots (desert)

Founded in 1825 by Quaker brothers Cyrus and James Clark in Street, Somerset, Clarks is an international shoe manufacturer and retailer.

Chair (stackable)

Graduated at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, David Lincoln Rowland (1924-2010) was an American industrial designer mostly famous for his 40/4 chair.


Founded in 1926 by Lou Rose, Derek Rose’s father, Derek Rose is a family business of three generations making the best nightwear, loungewear and underwear.

Coat (raincoat)

Founded in 1824 by Charles Macintosh, a Scottish chemist and inventor of waterproof fabrics, Mackintosh is a manufacturer of waterproof raincoats, made out of rubberized fabric.

Shearing shears

Founded in Sheffield in 1730, Burgon & Ball is a manufacturer of shears, scissors and knives. In the 19th century the company patented a design for the iconic shearing shears (as pictured above), which are still in production today.

Umbrella stand

Founded in 1949 by chemical engineer Giulio Castelli, Kartell has always been specialized in making articles of plastic (see also the product category ‘night stand’ on Wikiconic), and is still a leading design firm working with this material.

Sweatshirt (crew-neck)

Founded in 1902 by Benjamin Russell, Russell Athletic produces uniforms for a wide range of sports. The original mill produced women’s undershirts and children’s undergarments.

Ring binder

Founded in 1871 by Johann Ludwig Leitz as a workshop for the manufacture of metal parts for office organizing materials, Leitz is a world-leader in premium office products and maker of the long-iconic Lever Arch File.

Teapot (black tea)

A Brown Betty is a round teapot made from the red clay that was discovered in the Stoke-on-Trent area. This clay retained heat better and found use as the material for tea- and coffeepots as early as the seventeenth century.

Lip balm (stick)

Invented in 1880 by Dr. Charles Browne Fleet, ChapStick is a brand name of lip balm now manufactured by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

T-Shirt (deep V-neck)

Founded in 1989 by Dov Charney, American Apparel is one of the largest apparel manufacturers in North America. After its experience as a wholesale brand, selling blank T-shirts to screenprinters, uniform companies and fashion brands, the company moved into the retail market in 2000.

Scotch tape

In the 1920s American inventor Richard Drew invented masking tape and cellophane tape. Working at 3M, Drew learned that two-tone auto paintjobs were difficult to manage at the border between the two colors.

Book series

Created in 1931 by Jacques Schiffrin, the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade is a French series of books with reference editions of the complete works of classic authors in a pocket format.

Hair pomade

Developed in 1925 by C.D. Murray, who wanted make a quality and inexpensive, product for his Chicago Barbershop, Murray’s is one of the world’s leading hair pomades.

Sofa (daybed)

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969) was a German-American architect and is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of modern architecture.

Wall plug

Originally founded in 1887 as Rawlings Brothers, Rawlplug Ltd. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of specialist anchoring and fixing systems.

Men’s shoes (boat)

Founded in 1935 by Paul A. Sperry, Sperry Top-Sider is the original brand of boat shoes. Paul A. Sperry was an avid boater who wanted to tackle the problem of injuries while walking on the slippery deck of his boat.


The first commercial sunscreen was brought to market in 1936 by Eugène Schueller, the founder of L’Oreal. During the same period, Hamilton Sunscreen came to the Australian market in 1932.

Wellington boots

The wellington boot, also known as rubber boot or welly, is a type of boot based upon leather Hessian boots, worn and popularized by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.


Regarded as one of the best-known designers in Britain, David Rogerson Mellor (1930–2009) was an English designer, manufacturer, craftsman and retailer.

Boxer briefs

Founded in 1968 by Calvin Klein as a coat shop in the York Hotel in New York City, Calvin Klein Inc. is an American fashion house that changed the American market of men’s underwear.

Bicycle helmet

Founded in 1985 by Jim Gentes, Giro is a US manufacturer of helmets, apparel and shoes for cycling, and goggles for skiing and snowboarding.

Milk glass

Founded in 1945 as registered trademark of Saint-Gobain (established 1665), a pioneer in the tempered glass technology, Duralex is a French glass tableware and kitchenware manufacturer.