75 years of design & craftsmanship
In 2018 LE KLINT celebrates its 75th anniversary as one of the most innovative lighting companies ever to come out of Denmark. LE KLINT is known throughout most parts of the world for its unique craftsmanship and is awarded many honours, including "Purveyors to the Royal Danish Court" in 2003. Progress and the use of new technologies are essential to the DNA and the lighting range is continuously developed and modernized to meet the demands of modern times.
The very first lamp
The story of LE KLINT dates back to the beginning of the 20th century in Copenhagen, Denmark, where architect P.V. Jensen-Klint folded a hand pleated lamp shade to fit a paraffin lamp which he had designed. A team of friends and family members worked hard to refine this new shade and in return, received one as a gift of gratitude for their time. The help of especially one friend was useful, namely the navy captain, Hagedorn, who had travelled to the Far East and knew of the Japanese art of origami.
Family hobby turns into business
In 1943 Tage Klint, turned the family handcraft into a real business, almost 40 years after his father, P.V. Jensen-Klint, made the first pleated lamp shade, adding a new decisive detail to the lamp shade in the shape of an elastic collar. He named the company after his daughter, Le who had received her name after Kaare Klint’s first wife, Maria Magdalene, who was called Le.
The Klint family
The Klint family was no stranger to architecture and design. P.V. Jensen-Klint was the architectural and engineering mastermind behind the impressive Grundtvig Church in Copenhagen and his other son Kaare Klint completed the church after his death. Kaare Klint is widely known as the father of Danish Modern and as one of the founders of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Furniture School in Copenhagen where he also acted as a professor. He influenced many students, among those Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner, Børge Mogensen and Poul Kjærholm.
The Flagship Store
The world famous Klint designer also designed the interior of the LE KLINT store in Store Kirkestræde in Copenhagen and is also behind some of the most beloved and distinct designs from LE KLINT’s classic collection. Amongst those the versatile wall and table lamp, LE KLINT 306 in brass and the LE KLINT 101, known as the Lantern. The Lantern became world famous in 1960 when it was featured in the movie “Let’s Make Love” in the love scene where Marilyn Monroe, dressed in a light blue pleated dress to match the lamp shade, sings the title song to co-actor Yves Montand.
The pleated shade at the heart at LE KLINT
The pleated lamp shade in paper and plastic is still at the very heart of the 75-year-old design company. To this day the craftsmanship of the crossed pleated lamp shade is unique and a handicraft that is only mastered at LE KLINT’s original Pleating Studio in Odense, Denmark. The artisans, colloquially referred to as the “Pleating Ladies”, are highly skilled and the driving force that enables the legacy of the hand pleated lamp shades to continue. To become a skilled pleating technician at LE KLINT takes approximately three years and most of the employees in the pleating studio have been with the company for more than 25 years. Due to the vast experience within this group, they are often consulted when new ideas are brought to the table. A lamp is much more than a shade and at LE KLINT all parts are made from the best materials and often produced by local companies situated close to LE KLINT. All parts are put together at the facility in Odense and shipped from here to all parts of the world.
In 1972 the former CEO of LE KLINT, Jan Klint turned the company into the KLINT Trust Fund. The fund runs the company and grants scholarships to young and upcoming architects and designers. In 2012, LE KLINT initiated The Love & Light Project that every year selects a cause to help regardless of gender, race or residence. LE KLINT raises money for the donations through The Love & Light Project seasonal folds, which come out every autumn. 2018 marks the 75th anniversary of LE KLINT and with the launch of the anniversary lamp, ARC, the company embraces the old craftsmanship while moving into the future as a modern manufacturing company of lighting.
LE KLINT anno 2018
During the years, the Klint lamps have been developed in close cooperation with leading architects and designers to meet the technological progress and thus the story of LE KLINT is also a story of the development within design and lighting in general. Today the company is a modern manufacturing company with a strong connection to the old craftsmanship. The classic collection, including iconic designs by Kaare and Tage Klint, Poul Christiansen, Mogens Koch and Erik Hansen, features alongside a contemporary collection designed by acknowledged and established designers as well as talented and ingenious young designers that understand the heritage and the traditions of LE KLINT such as Markus Johansson, Takagi & Homstvedt, Øivind Slaatto and Aurélien Barbry.