Poltrona Frau, Fornasetti Collaborate on Limited-edition Capsule

MILAN — As a kid, Milanese artist Barnaba Fornasetti was told he had his head in the clouds. For his latest collaboration with Italian luxury furniture-maker Poltrona Frau, the son of the late Piero Fornasetti has transported the celestial motif of a print in his childhood bedroom onto a limited number of 50 of Poltrona Frau’s famed Poltrona Frau Vanity Fair XC armchair.

The motif was originally designed by the elder Fornasetti in the ’50s and was recently reimagined by Barnaba. The design of the Vanity Fair dates back to 1930 and was inspired by founder Renzo Frau’s original designs. 

The Fornasetti family oeuvre, which historically been told in notes of seductive faces and vibrant butterflies, was reinterpreted by Fornasetti with a design illustration composed of a sun and a moon rising over swirling clouds, a visual tribute to the 2024 Poltrona Frau Imagine Collection that will be presented during Milan Design Week.

The younger Fornasetti said in a joint statement with Poltrona Frau that he had the epiphany to resurrect his father’s old motif when he 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,’” the Fornasetti artistic director said.

Vanity Fair Capsule Fornasetti Poltrona Frau

Vanity Fair XC Armchair by Fornasetti x Poltrona Frau

Courtesy of Poltrona Frau

The collection demonstrates Poltrona Frau’s know-how and digital printing potential as, for the first time, it employed a silk screen technique — a method that involves the use of frames while digitally printing gives a unique tactile sensation to the touch of the leather.

Poltrona Frau said the 50-piece series will be individually numbered and delivered with an exclusive leather clutch, and a signed certificate of authenticity and special edition Vanity Fair XC leather key chain.

Both Poltrona Frau and Fornasetti have been amping up their collaborations over the past few years. Barnaba, who is at the helm of the furniture-to-decor firm his father started in the 1940s, is credited with propelling the Fornasetti world into modern times by expanding its product offering, geographic reach and through a variety of collaborations — notably a Louis Vuitton collection in 2021 and the Mandarin Hotel in 2020.

The Milan-based firm ventured into the nautical world in 2023 with a special collaboration with Italian yacht company Ferretti Group.

Most recently, Poltrona Frau enhanced its roster of collaborations with Ozwald Boateng, the veteran Savile Row tailor known for his colorful bespoke patterns and intricate designs for a capsule collection consisting of furniture, accessories, textiles and wallpaper, combining Poltrona Frau’s artisanship with Boateng’s culture and African aesthetics and British tailoring expertise. In 2022, the firm marked its 110th anniversary by tapping Argentinian Spanish visual artist Felipe Pantone to reinterpret its signature Archibald armchair in a limited-edition drop of 110 pieces.

“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,” said chief executive officer Nicola Coropulis.

Preorders can be made on the digital launch from Thursday, exclusively on Poltrona Frau e-shops across key European markets, and will be available at select Poltrona Frau stores worldwide for order starting April 10.

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