Di­vine De­sign

Hong Kong Tatler Homes - - CONTENTS - BY REG­GIE HO

Poltrona Frau show­cases its up­scale fur­ni­ture and ex­per­tise in qual­ity leather in Hong Kong

Piero Valen­tini, man­ag­ing direc­tor of Ital­ian her­itage brand Poltrona Frau, dis­cusses the brand’s pres­ence at the in­au­gu­ral In­ter­na­tional De­sign Fur­ni­ture Fair Hong Kong

Hail­ing from Turin, Italy, Poltrona Frau is an author­ity on fur­ni­ture and au­to­mo­tive in­te­rior de­sign, with a his­tory that dates back to 1912. The brand is also syn­ony­mous with the ul­tra-high-qual­ity leather known as Pelle Frau, made from hand-se­lected cowhides that go through some 20 steps of treat­ment to achieve the op­ti­mal feel, soft­ness and flex­i­bil­ity.

Pelle Frau is used for the up­hol­stery in the in­te­ri­ors of luxury yachts and cars, as seen in renowned brands such as Fer­rari and In­finiti. Poltrona Frau also made all seats for the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, as well as those in the au­di­to­rium of the Fondation Louis Vuit­ton in France, the Oslo Opera House and, closer to home, in Cathay Pa­cific’s first-class lounges.

From Au­gust 21-23, Poltrona Frau and its con­tem­po­rary sis­ter brand, Cassina, will show­case their “leather­ship” ethos—the com­pany’s own term, which com­bines its lead­er­ship with its ex­cel­lence in leather— at the In­ter­na­tional De­sign Fur­ni­ture Fair Hong Kong (IDFFHK). Piero Valen­tini, man­ag­ing direc­tor of Poltrona Frau, gives us a sneak pre­view of the show.

What do you plan to show­case at IDFFHK?

We will show some prod­ucts that rep­re­sent the crafts­man­ship of Poltrona Frau well, such as [the desk and chair com­bi­na­tion] Fred and Gin­ger; As­saya, a new arm­chair by Satyen­dra Pakhalé; and some of our bestsellers such as the Kennedee sofa and the Archibald chair.

What can vis­i­tors ex­pect when com­ing to the Poltrona Frau booth?

The booth is around 1,100 square feet and will have a res­i­den­tial feel. A very warm and bright decor will en­hance the de­sign and the qual­ity of our col­lec­tion. Vis­i­tors can ex­pe­ri­ence our leather col­lec­tions by touch­ing the prod­ucts. We will also show a cor­po­rate video with fan­tas­tic images that briefly re­count the iden­tity of the com­pany and its three di­vi­sions: res­i­den­tial, in­te­ri­ors in mo­tion and con­tract, the last of which is re­lated to big projects de­vel­oped with pres­ti­gious ar­chi­tects such as the­atres, public spa­ces, ho­tels and bou­tiques. There will also be a video to present our con­cept of “leather­ship”.

What are your ex­pec­ta­tions of the show?

We are very ex­cited about IDFFHK for two main rea­sons: The first is that we be­lieve the fair is ab­so­lutely con­sis­tent with the po­si­tion­ing and the phi­los­o­phy of the brand. The sec­ond is be­cause it will be the first time we show at a fair in the re­gion and we are very cu­ri­ous about the gen­eral feed­back of the tar­get au­di­ences in­volved.

What new sur­prises can we ex­pect from Poltrona Frau this year?

In 2015, Poltrona Frau has launched a num­ber of new prod­ucts that re­flect the evo­lu­tion of the brand to­wards more in­ter­na­tional and con­tem­po­rary tastes. For ex­am­ple, we launched Vo­lare, a mag­nif­i­cent four-poster bed de­signed by Roberto Lazze­roni; Scar­lett, a round el­e­gant sofa by Jean-Marie Mas­saud; Mon­tera chairs with arms, also by Lazze­roni; and a few re-edi­tions such as the Bird [side ta­ble], de­signed in the ’50s by Finnish designer Ta­pio Wirkkala, and the Br­era bench by Guglielmo Ul­rich.

What are some of the new and note­wor­thy trends in home decor?

I see two main streams. On the one hand, there are com­pa­nies that tend to be more down to earth in their new prod­uct de­sign. This means the high­est qual­ity and sober de­sign with a strong fo­cus on re­fined de­tails, on in­ter­pre­ta­tion of ma­te­ri­als in in­no­va­tive ways. On the other hand, there is a great at­ten­tion to re-edi­tions of prod­ucts from the past that are con­sid­ered ev­er­green.

What de­signs do you find work well in Hong Kong and the rest of Asia?

Our bestsellers in Hong Kong and Asia are the Kennedee sofa, Naidei [sofa bed], Mantò [haute cou­ture sofa], Archibald [leatheruphol­stered chair], GranTorino [mod­u­lar sofa] and Mon­tera [a chair de­sign rein­vented as arm­chairs and stools]. In gen­eral, our clients in Hong Kong pre­fer more con­tem­po­rary prod­ucts and so­fas avail­able in com­pact di­men­sions to fit flats that are smaller than those in Main­land China. In the rest of Asia, our his­tor­i­cal icons such as Ch­ester, 1919, Dezza and Van­ity Fair are very popular, too.

THIS PAGE

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP: THE GIN­GER CHAIR; THE NEWLY LAUNCHED HUD­SON COF­FEE TA­BLES; PIERO VALEN­TINI, MAN­AG­ING DIREC­TOR OF POLTRONA FRAU; CHAIRS FROM THE MON­TERA RANGE

OP­PO­SITE PAGE

FROM TOP: THE AS­SAYA ARM­CHAIR; THE ARCHIBALD CHAIR IS A BEST­SELLER FOR POLTRONA FRAU

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