Poltrona Frau, Milan Showroom

“Imagination is a place where it rains on us”, wrote Italo Calvino in his American Lessons, evoking an intangible but open, permeable, contaminable space to be cultivated. It is this absolutely creative vision and dimension, always ready to evolve, that inspires Poltrona Frau with the 2024 collection, entitled “Imagine“. Poltrona Frau has devoted a great deal of thought to the ability to imagine and think about the new, which is then translated into furniture that accompanies domestic life. The challenge of the Imagine collection is precisely to bring imagination into everyday life, using it as a tool to transform reality according to personal desires and needs. 

We therefore draw on the etymological value of the word imagination – from the Greek “eikasia” – which recalls the ability to think outside the box. A principle that has always guided the company and its founder, Renzo Frau, since its inception, and that today finds new expression thanks to the contribution of international names and their chameleon-like design. This is how the seven themes that define and highlight the new collection were born, each representing a specific aspect of the macro concept of imagination: Imagine Reality, which gave birth to a limited-edition reinterpretation of the Vanity Fair XC in collaboration with Fornasetti.

Imagine Culture meets Crafts, which led to the expansion of the capsule collection launched last year with fashion designer Ozwald Boateng; Imagine Well-Being, which encompasses all the Beautilities accessories and complementary collections; Imagine Boundless Living, which takes Poltrona Frau’s concept of living outdoors, creating fluid spaces; Imagine Versatility, which amplifies the Poltrona Frau concept of living in the home, creating a sense of fluidity in the home. Imagine Versatility, which reinforces the company’s artisan approach and love of raw materials through the expansion of the range (starting with the iconic Archibald) and new collaborations that explore expressive forms of production (hence the meeting with Sebastian Herkner, creator of the Nymph table lamp and the Stock’n roll bedside table).

Imagine Variety, an area dedicated to research into new materials – such as Outdoor Leather and Impact Less – unprecedented colours and surprising leather finishes – from digital printing to hand-stamped Pelle Frau Nubuck Tribal leather; and finally Imagine Softness, where the Frau ideal of comfort is reinterpreted by authors such as Faye Toogood and the duo Draga & Aurel. With British artist Faye Toogood, Poltrona Frau expands the horizons of home furnishings to include bold and spontaneous forms that combine past and present with elegant ease. The result of this first collaboration is the Squash collection: a series of armchairs, ottomans, coffee tables, mirrors and carpets that the designer describes as “a mixture of English folklore and Italian craftsmanship”.

The lines are soft, the upholstery fluffy, the appeal informal, as if each piece were the result of a spontaneous gesture – the stacked cushions of the coffee table evoke this, or the free, hand-painted stroke of the checkerboard pattern of the rugs. The concept of the collection, however, comes to life from the armchair, Toogood says, and from reclaiming Poltrona Frau’s historical past: “The collaboration began with the Squash chair, the centerpiece of the collection.  We started with a trip to the incredible Poltrona Frau factory and archive in Tolentino. I discovered and immersed myself in the pieces created in the 1970s”. Bold and surprising shapes are now revived in the Squash collection, which also pays homage to Poltrona Frau’s heritage in color. “I also loved Poltrona Frau’s iconic 1930s Vanity Fair in lipstick red. 

I knew immediately that I wanted to honor these archival colors and respond with a contemporary form that respected their boldness.” With Squash, design abandons all rigidity and formality to become a soft and welcoming embrace, in line with the Imagine Softness philosophy, where creativity has no limits and the only goal is to improve the quality of everyday life.