Trend Alert: The 1970s Togo Lounge is Today’s Flop-Down Chair of Choice

Designer Michel Ducaroy’s goal was to create a frameless sofa for Ligne Roset, hence the grub-like look of his now iconic Togo lounge. Introduced in 1973, it’s been in the French furniture company’s lineup ever since. A seat that swaddles, the Togo is the ultimate in slouchy, close-to-the-ground comfort. Which explains the surge of interest in the design of late.

In its annual Resale Report, Chairish ranks the Togo as the single most in-demand item in the vintage and used category. “It’s a museum-worthy feat of design that reconciles comfort with 1970s smoking-gun sex appeal,” writes Vice in a recent ode to the Togo and “equally cool affordable dupes.” We ourselves had been far less smitten. But then, noticing how at-home—and beckoning—the chair looks in a range of settings, we became Togo curious. Here are eight favorite rooms that are all about the design.

the modular togo is often described as a “sofa for one.&#822 9
Above: The modular Togo is often described as a “sofa for one.”  Perched by a 19th-century fireplace, this example is in Undercover Architecture’s London Terrace House with Brilliant Color.

Composed of layers of foam in quilted folds that require hand stitching and master upholstery skills, the chair forms a cocoon around its sitter. Photograph courtesy of Michelle Young via The Modern House.

over the years, the togo has come in a huge variety of upholstery options, incl 10
Above: Over the years, the Togo has come in a huge variety of upholstery options, including leather, as shown in these vintage examples in a Something Old, Something New Beverly Hills Home Designed by Nickey Kehoe.

In 2013, when the design’s 40th birthday was being celebrated, Ligne Roset’s creative director, Michel Roset, explained its enduring appeal: “When Togo was created in 1973, it broke the ‘code’ of design. It was totally new, something that had never been seen before. Since then, it has become an icon, representing a time of radical change in the way we understand our living environment and the use of our furniture, the way we welcome friends and family in an informal way, the way we sit, read, and relax.”

togo sofa and chairs via ligna roset and heals
Above: The Togo comes in a range of sizes, all of which can stand alone or be linked—leading the way to the era of the modular sofa. Shown here, the Togo Sofa Without Arms, Togo Corner Seat, and Togo Loveseat Without Arms. Photograph from Ligne Roset.
michel ducaroy said his inspiration for the shape came from a rolled up tube of 12
Above: Michel Ducaroy said his inspiration for the shape came from a rolled up tube of toothpaste—as is evident from this Togo chaise in a 40th-anniversary, limited-edition houndstooth Alcantara fabric. It’s one of several Togos at Renew Finds in Brooklyn that are available for rent: “These vintage pieces are so dear to us that we can’t stand the idea of parting with them forever.”
spotted on instagram, a buttery togo sofa in the barcelona living room of @femt 13
Above: Spotted on Instagram, a buttery Togo sofa in the Barcelona living room of @Femte.til.Venstre, a 1970s-loving young Danish family of three. There are currently 23,300 posts with the #togosofa hashtag on Instagram.
this 1970s togo was selected by reath design for an autumnal makeover of a 19 14
Above: This 1970s Togo was selected by Reath Design for An Autumnal Makeover of a 1920s LA House. It was purchased on 1st Dibs in its original patterned velvet. Photograph by Laure Joliet.
danish artist simone polk’s copenhagen living room showcases her pa 15
Above: Danish artist Simone Polk’s Copenhagen living room showcases her Patches paintings and new Togo. “Sitting in it feels like floating on clouds,” she writes @simonepolk. “Still, I can’t get it out of my head that if you mixed Alf the alien and a Shar-Pei, the result would probably end up somewhat similar.”
style leader kai avent deleon’s newly remodeled 1960s trailer in u 16
Above: Style leader Kai Avent-deLeon’s newly remodeled 1960s trailer in upstate NY has a velvety Togo lounge that she purchased on Chairish. Kai is the owner of Brooklyn concept shop Sincerely, Tommy; tour her Bed-Stuy townhouse in our new book, Remodelista: The Low-Impact Home.

Search and you’ll find a dazzling range of Togo options for sale, including a good number of knockoffs. For durability, comfort, and a piece of design history, aim for the real thing.

For more design news, check out our 22 Trends for Autumn 2022 (and Beyond).

More 1970s design on our radar: