Pollaro Custom Furniture turns actor’s designs into reality, launching Pitt-Pollaro as new business partnership.
For their New York debut, the Brad Pitt designs were intermingled with a selection of original Pollaro designs and reproductions of other early 20th century designers done by Pollaro Custom Furniture.
Celebrities frequently capitalize on their fame to explore new business areas, but often there is little substance beyond the name attached to a product. That is not the case with an intriguing new collaboration between Frank Pollaro of Pollaro Custom Furniture, Union, N.J., and actor Brad Pitt. What started as a friendly chat over a bottle of wine has now become a full-blown furniture enterprise launched with a well-received exclusive New York exhibit and plans for major international expansion.
Wine and a sketch book
Pollaro says the collaboration began in 2008 when the Golden Globe-winning and four-time Oscar-nominated actor commissioned a custom desk from Pollaro Custom Furniture. Pollaro, who is known for specializing in high-end veneered furniture and especially reproductions of pieces from legendary Art Deco designers such as Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, personally delivered the finished desk to Pitt’s chateau in the south of France. While sharing a bottle of wine with the actor, Pollaro noticed a sketch book Pitt had filled with hundreds of designs Pitt had created over a 10-year period. “I said to Brad, ‘You know we could make these real,’” Pollaro recalled.
Thus began a serious collaboration between Pitt and Pollaro that resulted in the debut in November 2012 of less than a dozen realized designs, including tables with continuous line bases in wood, steel and glass, upholstered chairs, a wall mounted cabinet, and even a marble bathtub for two.