Vanity Chair by Renzo Frau – 2011 IMM Cologne (33)

Vanity Chair by Renzo Frau

Still in the Poltrona Frau collection

Renzo Frau (1881-1926) was the founder of Poltrona Frau. Born in Cagliari, he worked as an apprentice upholsterer since he was a boy and moved to Turin after his military service. In the Savoy capital he began a business as a sales representative which also led him to work in the leather sector and to make several trips to England, where he discovered the classic Chesterfield model armchairs with their somewhat essential comfort, so different were they from the opulent period furnishings French which were then fashionable in Turin. He therefore decided first to become an importer and then to start his own production line, which merged English influences with Central European ones in the style. Thus Poltrona Frau was born in 1912, whose upholstered furniture soon became a must for the rich Piedmontese industrial bourgeoisie, an icon also loved by artists and writers. That was the Turin of the nascent automotive industry, the Turin where Fiat, Lancia and dozens of other small workshops took their first steps, bringing wealth and development: Frau upholstered furniture became one of the symbols of that fruitful and optimistic era, interrupted but not erased from the sad parenthesis of the First World War in which Renzo was also called to the front. New impetus to business was born in the post-war period from the collaboration with the Palermo company Ducrot which involved Frau in the supply of furnishings for large ocean liners, theatres, hotels and restaurants. After Renzo’s premature death, the leadership of the company passed to his wife Savina Pisati, triggering a series of events that led in the early 1960s to the transfer of the ownership and headquarters of the brand to Tolentino in the Marche region, home to a tannery that represented one of the brand’s major suppliers.

Via Salvioni