Story of a classic

With its cool, futuristic shape, Tam Tam could only have been born in the late 60s. It wasn’t intended for the homes of the new generation of hip urbanites, though. Henry Massonnet ran an industrial manufacturing company called Stamp in a village in eastern France. His factory specialised in moulded plastic and he needed something to sit on while waiting for the fish to bite.

His solution was Tam Tam – light and ergonomic, with handy storage inside. He began to produce it commercially, the public caught on and sales hit 12 million. But it wasn’t just fisherman sitting on Tam Tam. Massonnet must have been pleased to see it gracing the living room of Brigitte Bardot’s St Tropez home in a 1970 photoshoot for Paris Match.

Even Brigitte couldn’t stop the 1973 oil crisis, which threw the plastics industry into turmoil, or a shift in the style barometer in the 80s, when kitsch couldn’t have been less cool. But as a great-value design classic, it was only a matter of time before Tam Tam returned. It was put back into production in 2002 (the same year it joined Habitat’s collections) and is now made in the original French factory, using the original mould.

Tam Tam is available online and in-store.

For the inside track on more Habitat favourites, click below…

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