García Cumini’s Almo Sofa for Poltrona Frau Takes Comfort to New Heights
Last spring, during Salone del Mobile in Milan, Poltrona Frau presented the new Almo sofa, designed by García Cumini. Founded in 2012 by Cinzia Cumini and Vicente García Jiménez, the incredibly comfortable seating unit was the duo’s first collaboration with the design brand. Whitewall spoke with Cumini about the inspiration behind the unique shape and use of material.
WHITEWALL: The Almo sofa is your first collaboration with Poltrona Frau. Can you tell us about the initial inspiration?
CINZIA CUMINI: We had a brief at first, and we presented a concept of ours to the company. We had a different inspiration, we can say. This is a high back sofa. It’s quite difficult to do a high back sofa with these proportions, but we played around and we used a first concept with this back pillow. It was inspired by a typical Spanish pillow from the fifties, more or less, a long Iberian pillow. In Spain it is used in a bed. When couples go to sleep, they have only one pillow that looks kind of like a long sausage. It’s very comfortable, but long, and you can move it as you want. We thought that it was nice to use it as a support for the back and as a support for the arm. So the real arm in the sofa is the pillow, actually, and then the backrest is higher. It’s like a crib, in a certain way. But it’s open, like a shirt collar. It’s very comfortable.
WW: Can you tell us about the technical aspects and the material—the Pelle Frau leather that it’s upholstered in?
CC: The pillow is not fixed. It’s not moveable, but it’s flexible. It’s better for the back because it is more comfortable with all the proportions. We have sort of three layers, the two for the back and the one for the seat. We were given the proportions of the height of the seat, the depth of the seat, and the proportion between the seat and the tube back. It has a double back, somewhat—one for the lower part and the other part for the neck.
Today, of course, the trend in furniture is to create a sofa with a very low back. And they are very nice and comfortable, too, but they need many pillows. When you want to relax, you end up looking at the ceiling. You can’t watch TV or read without many, many pillows for support. This sofa is so supportive for the neck.
And as for materials, Poltrona Frau is a specialist in leather, so we had to work in leather. But they have now introduced a new mix of leather and fabric. In our opinion, we prefer this version in leather and fabric. I think it’s younger, fresher, more contemporary.
WW: Is there a limited edition for this piece?
CC: No, it’s available in three sizes for now. It’s not a system, though. They are unique pieces.
WW: And after this first collaboration, do you have plans to work with Poltrona Frau again?
CC: We don’t know yet. Now that we have an open door with the company, it’s time for us to propose new ideas, and we will see what happens. This year, Poltrona Frau has changed a lot. They have turned a new page. They’ve introduced many new names to their list of designers. In a certain way, it’s part of a new philosophy for the company that is younger and more international.
This article appears in Whitewall’s fall 2016 Fashion issue.