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Furniture Feb 21, 2024

Design luminaries Fornasetti and Poltrona Frau

Design luminaries Fornasetti and Poltrona Frau have joined forces for the reimagining of the iconic ‘Vanity Fair’ chair.

The chair, which will make its debut during Salone del Mobile 2024, was originally designed by Renzo Frau in 1930 and updated by Roberto Lazzeroni in 2020 is distinguished by its arched back and timeless design. 

For their limited-edition “Vanity Fair XC Imagine Reality Edition” design (only 50 pieces are available), the team had Fornasetti’s whimsical black-and-white motifs digitally printed onto Pelle Frau Impact Less leather, with which the chair was then upholstered.

Part of Poltrona Frau’s Imagine collection, the chair marks the brand’s foray beyond conventional furniture design. This collection has previously showcased collaborations with Savile Row designer Ozwald Boateng and Spanish artist Felipe Pantone.

The partnership is a celebration of Italian excellence, as Nicola Coropulis, CEO of Poltrona Frau, noted: “As Poltrona Frau expands its horizons into the lifestyle realm, no brand makes better sense to partner with than Fornasetti – especially to mark the launch of our 2024 Imagine collection.

“Founded in the 1940s by Piero Fornasetti and now led by his son, Barnaba, Fornasetti has sparked the imagination of its devotees for nearly a century. As two of the most recognisable and historic Italian brands still operating today, Fornasetti and Poltrona Frau represent the best of Made in Italy excellence.”

Known for merging classical iconography with architectural motifs, often rendered in a playful black-and-white palette, a Fornasetti archival illustration featuring a sun and a moon rising over swirling clouds was chosen by Barnaba Fornasetti for the ‘Vanity Fair’ chair.

“’Even as a young child, people used to tell me that I had my head in the clouds,’ says Fornasetti. ‘So, I replicated the clouds from an old print in my bedroom and used them as wallpaper and decoration on various objects. The sun, with its face and stylised rays, is one of the themes my father interpreted obsessively, to the point that it became a Fornasetti icon.

“’When I sat on the ‘Vanity Fair’ armchair, I felt like I was on a cloud and began to daydream. Then, as if by magic, I met with Poltrona Frau and I was fascinated by this company that manages to combine manual craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technology. It was a chance to revisit my youth and return to the clouds, yet another example of ‘practical madness’”.

Available in a limited edition of 50, pre-orders can be placed on poltronafrau.com.

Poltrona Frau in South Africa

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