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Fine Italian furniture speaks with a Disney accent

March 23, 2010 |  7:44 am


An animation powerhouse and a fine Italian furniture firm hardly seem like a natural match, but at a fundraiser that closed Monday night in New York, Disney and Cappellini proved they could collaborate on a collection fusing their shared love for fantasy and vibrant color.

“We are very different companies,"  Cappellini owner Giulio Cappellini said, "but we speak the same language.”

DisneyRed Cappellini and Walt Disney Signature, an upscale furniture brand started in 2007, offered a sneak peek of their line at a five-day design showcase hosted by Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, better known as DIFFA. The whimsical collection will have its official premiere April 14 at the Milan furniture fair in Italy.   

Dominating the DIFFA display was the mammoth white Fronzoni 64 chair, above, which seated a 10-foot-tall polyurethane sculpture of Mickey Mouse.

More functional pieces in the line include renditions of iconic Cappellini chairs. The red ribbon stool by the Japanese design firm Nendo has been outfitted with a Mouseketeer-hat-shaped back support -- a seamless bit of Disney flair to an already expressive piece.

DisneyMouseEars The upholstery of the Rive Droite armchair by Patrick Norguet, however, shows off the famous mouse ears in a subtler (and some might say  more sophisticated) fashion, left.

“It’s not kid’s furniture, but all of the pieces embody the spirit of Disney,” Cappellini said before sitting down for dinner inside the installation Monday night.

The designs will be sold through Cappellini retailers around the world; prices have not yet been released. Expect to see more Cappellini and Disney partnerships in the future, said Pamela Lifford, executive vice president of Disney Consumer Products.

“This is just the beginning of a partnership that will continue to grow,” she said.

-- Lizzie Garrett

Photos from Walt Disney Signature

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