1872 – 1929

The history of Fritz Hansen begins in 1872, where the enterprising cabinet-maker Fritz Hansen from Nakskov obtains a trade license in Copenhagen. 1885 is a decisive year, where he starts a furniture production company of his own and two years later he has managed to establish a flourishing workshop in Christianshavn – a central part of Copenhagen. Fritz and his son Christian initiated the high quality level, which has been the trademark of Fritz Hansen’s products ever since. 

The long list of prestigious orders from the first fifty years of the company's history, demonstrates how strong the Fritz Hansen reputation already is in the beginning of the 20th century. Buildings furnished by Fritz Hansen include Christiansborg, The University Library, Copenhagen City Hall, The Supreme Court and other significant projects.

1930 - 1939

Early on in the century, the forward-looking Christian E. Hansen, son of Fritz Hansen, starts to experiment with steam bending beech. In the 1930's, the technique is so refined that Fritz Hansen is among the world leaders in the field, which later evolves into the firm’s speciality: Furniture created in laminate wood.

As an adjusted variant of Germanic functionalism, the purer lines and the lighter, more practical approach became the breakthrough style in Scandinavia. At Fritz Hansen, the first Danish steel furniture was launched, as well as the famous Church chair by Kaare Klint, which remains in the Fritz Hansen collection from 1936 to 2004. 

1940 - 1949

Despite difficult times during the decade of The Second World War, the Fritz Hansen factory is expanded. Due to some dreadful ice winters, many of the Danish walnut trees succumb. Fritz Hansen buys a great amount of the wood and takes advantage of the situation: A new furniture series in walnut is introduced. The initiative receives great press attention and is a success. 

The first classic of the decade is the China Chair™ from 1944, designed by the progressive architect Hans. J. Wegner. The chair is a sculptural celebration of wood and the finest craft of furniture making. The second classic, that sees the light of day, is the spoke back sofa by Børge Mogensen in 1945, that later is re-introduced as the most Danish sofa of all sofas. 

1950 – 1959

Arne Jacobsen completely dominates the 1950's at Fritz Hansen. The collaboration started in 1934, but the breakthrough comes, when he creates the laminated Ant™ chair. The chair later gave rise to the never-ending success story of the Series 7™ chair – and other pressure moulded veneer chairs. The inspiration for the Ant came from Hvidt & Mølggard’s AX-series, and the introduction of the lamination technique and separable furniture is still a milestone in the history of Fritz Hansen. 

Arne Jacobsen shines even brighter with the creation of the classic style icons, the Egg™ and the Swan™ designed for Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. The introduction of his series 3300™ just adds to the myth. Verner Panton also appears on the scene with the Bachelor chairs. But the decade belongs to Arne Jacobsen. 

1960 - 1969

In 1963, the factory in Allerød is expanded with three factory halls and in 1965 the administrative department moves from Christianshavn, to the renovated buildings in Allerød, which also include a showroom. 

The democratic table with no ends, the Super-Elliptic™ table, and the table with spanlegs are designed by Bruno Mathsson and Piet Hein and becomes one of Fritz Hansen’s greatest successes. Just as successful, is the re-introduction of Børge Mogensen’s ‘Tremmesofa’ and Hans Wegner’s China Chair™. The Arne Jacobsen models also strongly dominate this period. 

1970 - 1979

This decade brings great changes to Fritz Hansen: On the first working day in 1979, Fritz Hansen announces that the 107 year old firm, is no longer in the hands of the family. 75% of the Fritz Hansen shares are now in the possession of Skandinavisk Holding.

The enfant terrible of Danish design, Verner Panton, becomes leader of the avant-garde, provoking and inspiring in the service of Fritz Hansen. His prominent role results in flattering remarks from the press. The attempt to guide interest back to Arne Jacobsen and the other classics is initiated and comes to fruition a few years later.

1980 - 1989

Through substantial investments and thorough reconstruction work the new owner, Skandinavisk Holding, succeeds in strengthening Fritz Hansen and preparing the old company for the future. 

An exhibition consisting only of new Fritz Hansen models, shown during the Furniture EXPO 1983 at the Bella Center, a trade fair and convention centre in Copenhagen, becomes a convincing manifestation that the old firm once again has entered the scene and is recapturing the position as Denmark’s leading furniture company.

Fritz Hansen purchases the minimalistic Kjærholm Collection with an industrial dimension, which Poul Kjærholm designed from 1951 to 1980. Together with the purchase of the KEVI collections and Munch Møbler it results in increased sales and interest in Fritz Hansen as well.

1990 - 1999

Expansion became one of the keywords for this decade as well. Fritz Hansen now focuses primarily on five utility areas: Lunch room, conference room, resting/waiting areas, office spaces and the private home. In 1999, a new factory is inaugurated in Vassingerød. The factory, the most modern within the industry, increases the production capacity of stacking chairs dramatically. A showroom and a museum displaying "the Legacy of Fritz Hansen" are now opened for visitors. A new CEO, Jacob Holm, is employed in 1998 and with him, the beginning of a journey changing Fritz Hansen from being a production company to a sales and brand company with a sharpened end-consumer focus.

2000 - 2009

The introduction of the concept Republic of Fritz Hansen™ in 2000 marks a change in strategy. The message is that furniture from Republic of Fritz Hansen is an important part of the image of companies and private homes, who want to express their individuality and make unique statements. The 00's also invite a series of new designers to interpret the Fritz Hansen design philosophy with their contemporary perspective. The ICE™ series and Little Friend™ by Kasper Salto introduces both new materials and multifunctional designs along with Piero Lissoni and Cecilie Manz whose inviting designs attract new private end-consumers. 

Simultaneously, this decade is focusing on keeping the Classics relevant in time by revitalisations, as i.e. the comprehensive revitalisation of the Oxford™ chair in 2003.

2010 - 2019

The collection addresses equally the contract and retail market, as the furniture has a built-in capacity of being styled for either public or private use. In 2011 a successful cooperation with Spanish Jaime Hayon begins and a series of beautiful, sculptural furniture is born.

2015 is an eventful year celebrating the iconic Series 7™ chair's 60th anniversary – 60 Years in Perfect Shape. Fritz Hansen also acquires the Danish lighting company Lightyears, whose design philosophy reflects that of Fritz Hansen's. Besides acquiring Lightyears, the company introduces the accessories collection Objects in 2016. With the tagline "Complementing your life", Objects is both an extension of the Fritz Hansen brand as well as a way of inviting new customers inside the brand through beautiful and more affordable items.