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This Fornasetti Armchair Is the Surreal Touch Your Living Room’s Missing

comfy chair with a sun pattern design radiating on the back and a replica of that same pattern on a rounded wall behind the chair
Poltrona Frau Teams Up With FornasettiCourtesy of Manufacturer

About a century ago, Italian designer Renzo Frau thought up the Vanity Fair armchair—a joyfully plump design that would come to define his namesake brand, Poltrona Frau (and would later appear on this magazine’s very first cover, in 1989). In the 1940s, Milanese artist Piero Fornasetti founded his eponymous label, producing black-and-white illustrations that are still prized in home decor.

Now, for the first time, these two legacies have merged, resulting in a limited-edition Vanity Fair armchair upholstered in archival Fornasetti prints. The pattern, which features a beaming sun and swirling clouds, was originally conceived by Fornasetti in the 1950s. Its whimsical design elements were a perfect match for Vanity Fair’s playful yet timeless silhouette. “When I sat on the armchair, I felt as if I was on a cloud,” says Barnaba Fornasetti, Piero’s son and the brand’s artistic director. “I began to daydream.”

a vanity fair armchair from poltrona frau
The new Fornasetti edition of the iconic Vanity Fair chair is limited to just 50 pieces.Fornasetti/Poltrona Frau

The final product, then, is something that celebrates Italy’s many contributions to the design world as well as its bright future, particularly the continued evolution of the country’s tried-and-true techniques. For the chair, for example, Poltrona Frau developed a new printing technique that allowed the intricate, swirling motif to be perfectly recreated in leather. “It’s not simply something to own,” Fornasetti adds. “It’s something to live with and to be inspired by every day.”

april 2024 cover elle decor
Hearst Owned

This story originally appeared in the April 2024 issue of ELLE DECOR. SUBSCRIBE

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