Cassina Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck covers furniture for Cassina with apple-based vegan fabric

French designer Philippe Starck has created a collection of furniture for Cassina that have been upholstered in Apple Ten Lork, a vegan fabric.

A total of 16 pieces designed by Starck for Cassina, including the Volage EX-S sofa, redesigned with a thinner arm rest, the Privè collection and the Caprice and Passion chairs, have been covered with Apple Ten Lork.

The Italian furniture brand embarked on the "experimental process" from a desire to research alternative materials.

"Cassina's DNA has always been strongly identified by its drive for research and development," said the brand. "This is a first move in looking at what alternatives are available."

Each if the pieces is covered with Apple Ten Lork, a vegan alternative to leather, made from apple cores and skins, a biological industrial waste product.

It is one of a number of apple skin materials manufactured by Italian company Frumat and comes in white, orange and black colourways.

"The idea was to transform biological industrial residuals into a new raw material and to develop with them innovative materials with highly sustainable, bio-based fundamentals," explained Frumat.

"Those residuals, classified as special waste, otherwise got put in landfill or in some cases are burned."

Cassina's Rive Gauche showroom in Paris has been reconfigured to tell three stories about apples, to accompany the furniture covered in the apple-based material.

The first recounts the Adam and Eve story, with giant reproductions of Albrecht Durer's 1507 paintings of the biblical characters decorating the showroom.

The second refers to Newton's theory of gravity, sparked when an apple fell from a tree onto his head. Large apples covered in orange Apple Ten Lork fabric, are suspended from the ceiling of the showroom above the furniture covered in the same fabric.

The third apple reference is the Belgian surrealist painter Magritte's famous portrait of a man with a large green apple floating in front of his face, the torso of which has been reproduced across the showroom's back wall.

Starck hopes that the collection will encourage consumers to think about the materials that are used to produce the items that they purchase, as well as the way it looks and feels.

"A leather sofa is beautiful and comfortable, but why stop there? We pretend not to hear the question but we really need to find other solutions," said Starck.

"Today, perhaps apples can give us the beginning of the answer. Like Eve, Newton and William Tell, we believe in the apple, in Apple Power. Let's eat apples and hope that this Cassina sofa made from apples creates a new vegetal path to mutual respect," he continued.

The installation is on show at Cassina Paris Rive Gauche from the 17 to 30 January.

Philippe Starck recently collaborated with the French coast guard to create Dial, a waterproof silicon wristband with inbuilt GPS capabilitise that send the exact location of the wearer should they run into trouble in the water.