Frank Pollaro and Brad Pitt: A class act
When one of the world's finest furniture-makers paired up with an Oscar winner, the results were undeniably award-worthy
Frank Pollaro was just 21 when he founded his eponymous furniture company. Absorbed from a young age by the work of Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, his passion for using exotic woods in the same way as the Art Deco master designer was stoked early on. Almost three decades later, he remains committed to quality.
Characterised by cabinetry, handcrafted pieces and richly architectural woodwork, Pollaro's work has won critical acclaim on five continents, leading to high-profile projects such as the refit of Tiffany & Co's Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York. Specialising in optimising traditional methods for modern consumption, he has dedicated himself to an ongoing study of 18th and 19th century techniques, taking references from his extensive library of rare books.
Back in 2008, Pollaro received a fillip in the shape of a celebrity endorsement. Commissioned by Brad Pitt to design a custom-made desk for his French chateau, he struck up a friendship and, later, a business partnership with the actor that was inspired by their shared zeal for design and relentless pursuit of perfection. The resulting Pitt-Pollaro collection is the embodiment of sketches made by the Oscar-winning star over a decade and the epitome of the furniture-maker's philosophy.
The pieces, all limited edition, are distinctly modern, with elegantly fluid lines and unashamedly bold silhouettes. They include the startlingly alabaster-hued polyurethane CC-2 Chair, which has a high sheen and no legs, taking the form of a cube with a seat carved into it. This robust, graphic look is also evident in the mammoth Toi et Moi Bath Tub – carved from a single piece of marble, its grey veined surface and dual curved interior lend it an almost muscular look. And, of course, the exclusive collection also features wood, Pollaro's signature. The Bastogne Walnut Slab Wall, standing 6.5ft tall, is an impressive blend of furniture, art and the kind of specimen you might expect to find in a museum of natural history. True to Pollaro, and indeed Pitt, this is a collection that does not do things by halves.