The Poltrona Frau icons are clear, intense objects you will fall in love with. They are immediately recognisable and thus recognised, full of meaning and tradition. They endure passing trends, crossing generations eternally. Here, we pay hommage to these icons and the way they have shaped the Italian design aesthetic by taking a closer look at the top ten designs.
1. Chester by Renzo Frau (1912) // Even before the Great War, Renzo Frau had already discovered the Chesterfield sofas and armchairs featured in London’s most exclusive clubs. He immediately saw the potential and initially imported original models from Great Britain to Turin. He then decided to make some major changes and produce the item himself. It was thus that Frau’s Chester was born in 1912. First an armchair and later a sofa, the design features a spiral armrest and deep plissé.
2. Sanluca by Achille & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni (1961) // Designed in 1961, the Sanluca armchair is rather unusual for the Castiglioni brothers. The bourgeois Bergere is revolutionised by the design of an expressionistic and futuristic backrest, but one that starts from the definition of complete ergonomic comfort. When resting against the backrest, designed with separate lumbar and head supports, the body is supported perfectly.
3. Letizia by Gastone Rinaldi (1945) // This small armchair is part of a specific group of works from Gastone Rinaldi's ‘organicist’ period, which was very unusual for the time and Italian scene. Volumes become sensual and rounded. Deep cavities make the design unique and at the same time give the backrest a certain amount of elasticity.
4.1919 Chair by Renzo Frau (1919) // First designed for Filiberto Ludovico of Savoy - Duke of Pistoia, the 1919 chair has become one of the first great public successes. A re-interpretation of the classic Bergere model, the ‘1919’ adds to its forefathers, with the strength of its backrest details and complementary arm accesory with ashtray and wine glass holder.
5. Vanity Fair by Renzo Frau (1930) // Officially named the ‘model 904’, but known, since 1984, as ‘Vanity Fair’, over time this armchair has become the very emblem of Poltrona Frau. The design was first produced in 1930, four years after the premature death of Renzo Frau. The strong volumetric configuration of Vanity Fair has raised it to the status of a universally recognised icon of Italian design.
6. Dezza by Gio Ponti (1965) // Dezza sums up some of the most important design canons of Ponti, both in formal terms (see the leg with its characteristic tapered triangular section) and in methodological terms, for its revolutionary ‘system’ modularity by means of a limited number of pieces. Finally, note that when he designed the Dezza armchair and its variants, Ponti was already 74 years old. Since 1957, he has been living on the top floor of the house he designed in Via Dezza, Milan.
7. Kenedee by Jean-Marie Massaud (2006) // A sofa with a personality that stands out from the crowd, with its international elegance and dynamic and wide-ranging lines. Kennedee is a modular system with an infinite number of combinations. The light and modern quilting of the backrest and cushions reveals Poltrona Frau's age-old artisan skills. The delicate 'X' motif is hand-sewn with contrast stitching.
8. John John by Jean-Marie Massaud (2011) // John-John is a collection of sofas that stand out for their enveloping, self-assured elegance - designed in tribute to John F. Kennedy, Jr. The cushions are padded with soft goose down and with micro-perforated Pelle Frau® leather on the reverse, adapt to the movements of the body and really give you the feeling that the seat is smothering you in a warm hug.
9. Gran Torino by Jean-Marie Massaud (2013) // Jean-Marie Massaud takes inspiration from the world of saddlery to design GranTorino. A modular sofa with exquisite detailing, Gran Torino is made with hand-cut and hand-shaped leather which closely moulds the lines and structure of the seat. The high and slim armrest also presents intricate, careful workmanship. The small but spacious trunk-container acts as an armrest and is fitted out with an elegant, natural oak tray.
10. T904 by Gastone Rinaldi (2013) // A minimalist design, the T904 bench is painstakingly designed in tubular steel with a black finish. The cushions are padded with polyurethane foam and dacron. The upholstery is in Pelle Frau® leather or removable fabric.
The full Poltrona Frau collection is available exclusively in Australia from Cult. Visit our showrooms to discover the collection.