The Vanity Fair 904 was originally conceived back in 1910 by Sardinian-born Renzo Frau. Renzo had trained as an upholsterer in the early Twentieth Century working for traditional upholsterers around Milan and Turin. This traditional background provided Renzo with a solid foundation and confidence to start his own company Poltrona Frau in 1912. With ideas for many more contemporary pieces (including the Model 904) Renzo recruited many skilled craftsmen who had previously been leather workers in the automotive industry.
[sc:postdsense ]His aim for Poltrona Frau was to produce some of the finest hand crafted chairs on the market. With his eye on creating new looks fused with great craftsmanship Poltrona Frau became an instant hit with early classics like the 128. In 1926 Poltrona Frau was appointed as official supplier to the Italian Royal House, an appointment that confirmed the quality of craftsmanship in both construction and design but most of all the most luxurious leather.
In 1930 the Model 904 Vanity Fair finally came to light out of the original concepts laid down by Renzo way back in 1910. The Vanity Fair with its opulent styling, plump and shapely form became an instant glamour icon. It featured goose down stuffed arms padded with horse hair, fine leather piping, hand crafted construction, leather covered nails and delicate beechwood feet.
The Model 904 Vanity Fair oozed the period, silently evoked the glamour, luxury and comfort of an age of opulence. The Vanity Fair and Poltrona evoked luxury for Royalty and were also commissioned to design the interior furnishing for the Italian Navy’s flagship transatlantic liner the Rex.
As with many classic design, at first the appeal can be seen as a fashion statement and the Vanity Fair Model 904 was no exception. In 1940 Poltrona Frau ceased production of the Vanity Fair in favour of other models more reflectant of the times. However as many design classics prove, they age well. In fact they age wonderfully and show their true classic nature after many years have passed. In 1982 Poltrona Frau reintroduced the Vanity Fair to capture a whole new market.
The Vanity Fair is still available today and still made by the fine hands of Poltrona Frau staff.
Interestingly Poltrona Frau and it’s connection to the automotive industry still remains to this day, the company still works with Ferrari and Maserati and Rolls Royce
All in all Renzo Frau’s vision of a luxury upholstery company has most certainly been realised.
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