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Lilly Reich

1885 - 1947

Apparel and Interior Designer, Lilly Reich was an outstanding figure in Germany in-between the two World Wars, and covered significant roles in the Design Industry

Lilly Reich

Lilly Reich established herself as apparel and interior designer thanks to a personality aiming for constant improvement. Berliner by birth, she began working as an apprentice seamstress, then moved to Vienna as a collaborator at the Wiener Werkstätte. In the '10s she returned to Berlin where she designed furniture, apparel and interiors, among which an pilot dwelling for a working-class family in the "Berlin Gewerkschaftshaus; her reputation helped her to join the Deutscher Werkbund, where she will be later appointed as a member of the board, the first woman to hold this role. In the '20s she was head of design for the Frankfurt Trade Fair, and there she met Mies van de Rohe, to which she will be linked for many years. With Mies Lilly will work in 1927 for the Stuttgart Werkbund "Die Wohnung", by designing various interiors, and collaborating to all his furniture design projects, to which she will bring the added value of her deep knowledge of finishes, fabrics, upholstery and padding. Lilly Reich will not follow Mies in the USA at the close of Bauhaus, and will remain in Berlin where she will continue to exercise her work as a designer and to teach at the "Hochschule für bildende Künste"


Suggested Readings

Matilda McQuaid, Magdalena Droste (editor) "Lilly Reich Designer", Museum of Modern Art, 1996