Bebe Rexha has paid homage to arguably one of the most iconic pieces of furniture ever created: the peacock wicker chair. The Brooklyn-born singer and songwriter posted a photo in the wicker armchair as she announced new music – and while we're inevitably excited about the latter, we can't help but be distracted by this enduring piece of furniture.
Often mimicked for outdoor furniture designs, the distinctly peacock tail-shaped chair has a powerful history – beginning with debated origins. Some argue the chair's design came from Africa, while others say it hails from Asia, specifically the Philippines (hence its other names: the Manila or Philippine Chair).
For African Americans, the chair is celebrated as a cultural symbol, most significantly associated with political activist Huey Newton, who was pictured in a peacock chair in an image published in 1967.
Today, the chair remains a symbol of Black liberation and kinship while also having an unwavering popularity in the wider design world. The chair continues to top design trends, season after season, but never so much as in summer. And, while we can't tell whether Bebe Rexha's piece is indoors or out, we do know we're inspired to shop one, too.
A photo posted by on
Rattan has been a popular material for wicker furniture for centuries, but could it ever actually fall out of fashion?
'The short answer to your question is no,' says Delaware-baed designer Renée Biery. 'Wicker furniture evokes a sense of nostalgia, representing a simpler time, a connection to the past, and the joy of outdoor living. Its classic and timeless aesthetic allows its usage to evolve over time.'
As mentioned, we're unsure where Bebe has chosen to place her wicker armchair, but since it is the season for soaking up the warm weather, we're particularly wondering how this statement fares outside.
Renée is a luxury interior designer, podcast host, and construction expert in Wilmington, Delaware. For the past three decades, she has created niche expertise in large-scale construction, from renovations to new builds serving clients working in Fortune 500 companies.
'There are pros and cons to wicker furniture, especially outside. Newer materials, like resin and synthetic fibers, are durable to the elements – helping combat the cons of maintaining natural rattan or bamboo wicker versions – which can be susceptible to damage from moisture,' Renée explains of modern lookalike materials.
However, regardless of the materials used, the wicker furniture is always woven – allowing air to circulate for improved breathability. This can be especially beneficial in hot and humid climates, and can make it the perfect choice for covered porches.
'Historically, wicker furniture was lightweight and durable, making it ideal for porches, patios, and gardens. It became a staple in outdoor spaces, creating a charming aesthetic on front porches as well as inside sunrooms,' Renée adds.
Deciding where to put this piece is secondary, however. First, we need to pick up the furniture – and we love this Bebe Rexha-inspired piece (available from Wayfair) below.
This intricately woven chair reminds us exactly why white wicker will never lose its appeal. Much like the singer's sweeping staple piece, this chair has a boho-style woven chair has a flared-back that is said to turn a forgotten corner 'into a showcase.'
'While lately, this chair competes with other outdoor furniture materials, its vintage appeal and classic lines can complement a variety of design styles giving wicker a resurgence in appeal in recent years,' Renée says.
And with Bebe Rexha's approval, we're sure to follow suit.
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Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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