By Mary Mullaj
This furniture company brings European sensibility to Miami’s Design District.
Since its founding in Italy in 1912, Poltrona Frau has created classic furniture with attention to craftsmanship, quality, and aesthetics. Its European roots have aided in establishing a strong following of clientele that posses an appreciation for architecture, culture, and history. The elegant and understated design of the furniture combines classic, timeless styling with 21st century ergonomics. Through the showroom in Miami’s Design District, Poltrona Frau provides American consumers with the opportunity to experience the classic European designs.
Many American consumers might inadvertently be acquainted with Poltrona Frau’s creations. The furniture manufacturer is contracted by the top companies in many industries, and its work can be seen in the Guggenheim; European parliament; all Ferrari and Maserati models and high-end models of Mercedes and BMW; Four Seasons hotels; first-class seating for Alitalia airline; and Disney cruise ships.
Craftsmanship and quality are the founding principles of the company, and because everything is made by hand, Poltrona Frau’s overall growth has progressed intentionally slowly. (However, 2008 saw a 38 percent increase in Miami, and the company is certainly making steady progress.) CEO Giampero di Persia desires to keep the artisan soul of the company intact and is adverse to mass production. Thus, he avoids the risk of becoming about numbers rather than the integrity of design. To maintain this integrity, handcrafted methods are stressed, though when necessary, the latest technologies are implemented, and the materials used are all green-certified. Di Persia points out specific examples of the elevated quality that Poltrona Frau provides, one being the leather. The company has a patented 21-step process that the hide must go through; from hand-selecting the calves to treating the leather to be both stain and water-resistant, extreme care is taken in creating this soft material. The dye is not sprayed on, but rather tattooed in such a way that it penetrates the skin entirely, resulting in permanent color. This attention to detail is representative of the overall quality the company strives for.
Though the brand has extended itself across many sectors, the 113 worldwide Poltrona Frau showrooms are the ideal places to experience the company’s creative designs. Di Persia has likened the showroom spaces to art galleries, stressing that art and design are tightly intertwined. Massimo Vignelli and his wife Lella are the masterminds behind the Miami showroom. The duo is renowned for their creative vision; Bloomingdales and American Airlines rely on the Vignelli’s to keep their logos updated, and the pair is also behind the New York City subway map. The Miami showroom is stunning, perfectly showcasing the artists that work with the design house, including Frank Gehry, Ross Lovegrove, and Jean Nouvel.
The Miami showroom will have a tremendous opportunity to display Poltrona Frau’s unmatched designs to the innumerable art enthusiasts who flock to the city for the highly anticipated Art Basel Miami Beach. The show has been hailed as one of the social highlights of the Americas, drawing art connoisseurs from around the globe. The unique showroom will lure those passing by with the inviting combination of Poltrona Frau designs and the eclectic art collection that hangs on the walls. As denizens of Miami become increasingly design conscious-evidenced by the expansion of Art Basel Miami Beach and the satellite fairs-Poltrona Frau answers the call for furniture that is design conscious as well.
Poltrona Frau Miami
10 NE 39 St, Miami, FL 33137