AT THE HIGH POINT MARKET, OCTOBER 2017 – Iconic luxury furniture brand Marge Carson, founded in 1947 by interior designer Marjorie Reese Carson, is celebrating 70 years of style leadership, custom design and defining the “California Casual” look.
“During its 70 years, Marge Carson has continually evolved and adapted and has always pushed the envelope in developing exciting fashion-forward upholstery, unique fabrics and case goods collections,” said Jim LaBarge, chief executive officer. “Throughout our history, Marge Carson has remained the most design-forward company at the premium end of the furniture industry, by remaining in touch with the dynamics of the industry, as well as the evolving nature of consumers’ tastes.”
In recent years, under Jim LaBarge’s leadership, Pomona, Calif.-based Marge Carson has greatly expanded its product line, distribution and capacity, opening designer showrooms in Los Angeles and Dallas, and renovating its High Point showroom. In addition, the company opened an upholstery factory and finish facility in Mexico and a warehouse and artisan finishing facility in the Philippines. Marge Carson is a full-line resource including bedroom and dining room furniture, with a diversified product line reaching beyond European traditional to include transitional and even edgy styles. Prior to LaBarge’s ownership, Marge Carson was known primarily as a West Coast regional upholstery specialist. Under his leadership during the last 22 years, the company has so diversified its product line and expanded its corporate footprint, that Marge Carson is now international in its scope and influence.
In the last few years, Marge Carson has added smaller and lighter-scaled furnishings, along with the generously scaled pieces it is known for. Last year, Marge Carson launched a new brand, CARSON, a concise and curated line of more affordable and moderately-proportioned furnishings without the multiple options of the regular line.
Marge Carson is perhaps most famous for developing a style of upholstery whose generous scale and casual elegance came to define the “California Casual” look. The look –characterized by larger proportions, ample cushions and a neutral palette of rich textiles -- was first developed by designer Marge Carson herself in the mid- 20th Century, to blend with the Pacific Coast’s more relaxed way of life and spacious houses. Transcending a strictly regional appeal, Marge Carson’s “California” style went on to sweep the country and influence interior design around the world. Marge Carson’s look today is considered inimitable. “When so much furniture looks alike, we truly stand out on a retail or showroom floor,” said LaBarge. “It’s a look defined by soothing neutral fabrics and tone-on-tone textures with pillows giving a pop of color, then adding the defining characteristics of unique finishes, jewelry-like
Along with the designer roots of the company’s founder, a tradition of family ownership helps define the character of Marge Carson. Believed to be the only major furniture manufacturer founded by an interior designer, the company has been family owned since 1947, except from 1987 to 1994, when it was owned by Masco Corp. Jim LaBarge purchased Marge Carson from Masco in 1995.
Since its inception, Marge Carson has been known for its made-to-order customization, allowing designers and consumers to design every detail of furniture to their liking, selecting from a palette of over 60 finishes and 25 decorative trims. Marge Carson even has the capability and willingness to make furniture of virtually any size. “We’ll make everything from a dining table for 40 people to a small table for a charming nook, and everything from a sectional that fills up a room to a loveseat or
Over the years, Marge Carson has developed a reputation as “furniture for the stars,” and is shopped by celebrities in the entertainment, political and sports arenas. Customers include past and current U.S. presidents. Other celebrity customers, just to name a few, have included Miley Cyrus, Frank Sinatra and Larry King, along with numerous NBA, NFL, NASCAR and PGA sports stars.
“This has been a very interesting and exciting time to be in the furniture industry,” said LaBarge. “We are looking forward to the next chapter in our company’s rich history.”
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