Vladimir Kagan emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1938. He studied Architecture at Columbia University before joining his father, a master cabinetmaker, to apprentice in his woodworking shop and learn the essentials of furniture design.
Kagan took inspiration from the new philosophy of modern design molded by the Bauhaus but resisted geometry in favor of organic shapes. In 1948 he opened his first shop in New York, where the Kagan name quickly became synonymous with undulating, sinuous lines and superior craftsmanship.
He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Brooklyn Museum, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and the American Society of Furniture Designers, and was an inductee into the Interior Design Hall of Fame.