Charles Eames, born 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri, studied architecture at Washington University in St. Louis and opened his own office together with Charles M. Gray in 1930. Ray Eames was born as Bernice Alexandra Kaiser in Sacramento, California, in 1912. Charles and Ray Eames have had a profound and lasting influence on Vitra. The company's activity as a furniture manufacturer began in 1957 with the production of their designs. Yet it is not just the products of Charles and Ray Eames that have left their mark on Vitra. Even today, their design philosophy continues to profoundly shape the company's values, orientation and goals.