Herman Miller’s ‘Experiential Concept Store’ Has To Be the Classiest Place on Earth to Buy a Gaming Chair

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Photo: Gabe Carey

Herman Miller x Logitech G Embody Gaming Chair | $1,495 | Herman Miller

As John Wilson eloquently put it in his HBO docuseries How To with John Wilson, New York City “is a brothel of exotic chairs, pointing his camera at the row of nearly identical gaming chairs—all from different brands—standing before him. “And once you’re finally back in the market, you’ll notice that each one is desperately trying to seduce you.”

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Long before I set foot in upscale office chair brand Herman Miller’s recently opened ‘experiential concept store’ location in New York City’s posh Hudson Yards neighborhood, I had my eyes set on its Embody gaming chair. The end result of an unlikely collaboration between Miller and Logitech G, the computer peripheral company’s gaming subdivision, this gamer-friendly reskin of the regular Embody chair adds a touch of gamer flair to ensure your marathon play sessions never are never cut short due to a little back pain.

Illustration for article titled Herman Millers Experiential Concept Store Has To Be the Classiest Place on Earth to Buy a Gaming Chair

Photo: Gabe Carey

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Beyond the obvious Sonic-blue paint job on the backside of the chair, coupled with the Logitech ‘G’ etched to the front, the Herman Miller x Logitech gaming chair is blessed with an extra layer foam sitting between it and your butt. Not only does this make it more comfortable to sit on, but it’s also fused with copper to keep the chair cool and protect your posterior from swamp ass. Apart from those minor tweaks, Logitech’s take on the Herman Miller Embody isn’t much different from the original, of which the most compelling feature is its sophisticated backrest, modeled after the anatomical human back, complete with adjustable ribs and a central spine.

The Embody gaming chair is host to a number of buttons and levers, as most high-end chairs are, each serving a unique purpose impossible for me to remember without fidgeting with them a little bit before committing to a new setting. Looking at the online instruction manual, the only one you’ll find since Herman Miller doesn’t include a physical pamphlet in the box, the seat height, tilt tension, tilt limiter, arm height, arm width, backfit, and seat depth can all be fine-tuned to your liking. Because it’s primarily used for work, I’m partial to a more restrictive configuration that promotes a healthy posture during the day. If you’re someone who prefers sitting back playing Stardew Valley for hours on end, however, you might want to release the tilt limiter and decrease the tension. The beauty of Herman Miller is that it’s entirely up to you.

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Photo: Gabe Carey

As for the new, “experiential” retail stores, which saw the opening of its first two locations last month in Hudson Yards and Westfield Century City, Los Angeles, I was initially skeptical. Of all the years to double down on brick-and-mortar, 2020 seemed to be the worst. But this isn’t Herman Miller’s first rodeo—founded in 1905, the Michigan-based furniture brand is well known for its outstanding customer service, both in person and online. Those not yet comfortable making the trip to one of these affluent locales can pay Herman Miller a visit, virtually, using an online chat feature found on its website.

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That said, if you’re taking all the necessary precautions and don’t mind traveling outside your home, I HIGHLY recommend those residing in New York or LA stop by and check it out. Especially if you’re in the market for a better chair to improve your work-from-home life like I was (sorry, dining chair I sat on from March to November, it’s time to retire!), the experience is so pleasant my wife started shopping for a Herman Miller Aeron to buy for herself as soon as we got home. Though their words are convincing, the company sales reps don’t have to open their mouths to let you know what you’re missing out on. The chairs speak for themselves. Don’t believe me? Just take a seat.

Illustration for article titled Herman Millers Experiential Concept Store Has To Be the Classiest Place on Earth to Buy a Gaming Chair

Photo: Gabe Carey

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As sterile as the concept store appears, there’s no denying the effectiveness of its modernist interior design. Walk around and you’ll find catchy slogans, artsy photographs, concept sketches, and fancy trimmings I’m willing to bet were purchased from West Elm sprawled out across its walls. The Herman Miller concept store is a chameleon in “The Shops” at Hudson Yards, embodying everything ordinary, working-class New Yorkers hate about the neighborhood and everything the ultra-rich living nearby in the Upper West Side of Manhattan seemingly can’t get enough of. And yet, just as I can’t go to a mall without leafing through an Apple Store, the Herman Miller concept store is an unmistakable tourist trap, and one I’m certain will attract out-of-town sightseers and native fancylads alike.

The day my Embody gaming chair arrived in the mail, the box was so large the doorman called me down to take it up to my eighth-floor apartment right away. Naturally, I hopped on the elevator, let out a deep groan, and said to him, “Well, there goes my next hour putting this thing together.” After making my way upstairs, I removed it from the box only to find out the chair shipped already assembled. All I had to do was personalize the fixtures and get back to work while my wife took a nap inside the box with our pets. $1,495 is a steep price to pay for convenience, comfort, and a 12-year warranty, but as it says on the Herman Miller website, this could be the last chair you ever have to buy.

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