Founded in 1912 in Turin Italy by Renzo Frau, Poltrona Frau is a leader in high-quality, Italian-made furniture. The firm is known for its partnerships with architects and designers who collaborate to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Today, Poltrona Frau remains at the forefront of luxury design because of its craftsmanship, its employment of the most sophisticated technologies and its meticulous quality control, project design and architectural rigor. A+A recently interviewed its general manager, Nicola Coropulis, via email:
Your design philosophy?
Through the brand’s dedication to hand craftsmanship and its chosen material, leather, Poltrona Frau has built a legacy synonymous with elegance and timelessness. Poltrona Frau is well known for its supreme craftsmanship, attention to detail and preserving artisanal skills. Every stage of production at Poltrona Frau is a concentration of experience. Hand craftsmanship passed down from generation to generation is a cornerstone of Poltrona Frau’s design philosophy. Cultivated in the production units in Tolentino, Italy, the brand offers craftsmanship in the noblest sense of the word. The artisans employed by Poltrona Frau enter the company on a two year apprenticeship, where they learn the art of manual intelligence, impeccable execution, and where they ultimately acquire a legacy of knowledge. Over a hundred years of knowledge has been continuously expanded and consolidated in order to make the most of the rich tactile and aesthetic potential of this material.
The company’s design intent?
Emphasizing its attention to research and innovation, Poltrona Frau has brought together highly specialized departments, each of which is committed to guaranteeing the highest quality and processing standards in a single production chain. A “factory” of creative brilliance and technological know-how, the Tolentino headquarters has included an analysis laboratory since the 1980s which, together with the R&D Department, examine ingredients and models pertaining to the entire production line. Above all, Poltrona Frau’s design intent centers around the culmination of research, cutting edge technology, outstanding craftsmanship and the highest level materials. The result is world renowned Italian furniture.
Can you describe the nature of your collaboration with architects and designers?
The story of Poltrona Frau is also the story of Italian and international architects and designers with which it has collaborated over the years. Some have worked on just a single project, others have collaborated with the company regularly over many years, but all have become an integral part of the Poltrona Frau world. For the 2019 Home Collection, Poltrona Frau has partnered with Roberto & Ludovica Palomba, GamFratesi, Neri+Hu, Roberto Lazzeroni, Tristan Auer, and Jean Marie-Massaud. In several instances, the brand revisits celebrated collections, expanding upon designer portfolios with new pieces that offer greater applications within the home and beyond. These include the Clayton seating collection, the Xi Lighting series and the award-winning Archibald collection. Aligned with the design concept, “Connecting Experiences,” Poltrona Frau and its design partners have created pieces that prioritize comfort and conviviality while supplementing them with innovation and research.
What do all these collections have in common?
For Poltrona Frau, each new collection that has been executed over the past century (and those that will continue to be executed) constitute the resounding Italian excellence vis-à-vis the brand’s legacy of craftsmanship and leathership. Although collections reflect their own time, Poltrona Frau ensures there is a resounding sense of timelessness and elegance throughout the works. Designers and architects who partner with Poltrona Frau as well as Poltrona Frau’s in house design team, strive to create innovative yet classic pieces that can be passed down from generation to generation.
Who is the target market?
Poltrona Frau designs for sophisticated consumers who appreciate handmade furniture and timeless design. We hope in future to reach even more architects and interior designers.
What are the materials used, and how?
Poltrona Frau uses only the finest European full-grain leather. The brand has developed a privileged relationship with a restricted and highly select group of time-honored Italian tanneries, with which it develops original treatments. Full grain leather is the finest of its kind due to its structural qualities; full grain leather is extremely thin, though its fibers are densely packed which together offer the best performance in regard to flexibility and durability. Alongside Poltrona Frau’s commitment to the highest standards in leather treatments, coloring innovations and technology, the brand sources the world’s finest marbles, woods, and fabrics to be used in the manufacturing of their pieces.
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