Ready for Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired luggage tags?
Even as the legendary architect’s historic homes continue to command millions, the foundation billed with protecting his legacy is working behind the scenes to roll out branded merchandise including tables, lamps, rugs, notebooks, hardwood flooring and, yes, even luggage tags.
Chief among the array of “lifestyle branded” products now in the process of being licensed and expected to hit stores this fall is a new collection of furniture inspired by nature, said Stephanie Pierotti, the vice president of licensing for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
“There are a variety of Wright designs that people are very familiar with,” Pierotti told Inman. “We’re taking elements of those designs and making patterns out of them.”
Arguably the most iconic architect in American history, Wright is best known for his mid-century modern style and homes like Falling Water. Nonetheless, he was also passionate about merging architecture and design, notable for geometrical shapes and decorations inspired by nature.
Pierotti said that, beside the home furnishings, the product rollout will include new knick knacks expected to be sold at existing Wright souvenir shops in addition to designer replicas of Wright’s work that can cost up to $5,000.
One such replica is the origami-inspired chair Wright made for his desert home, so-named Taliesin West, in Scottsdale, Arizona, recreated by Italian furniture company Cassina. Another is a stacked lamp from Japanese company Shigeru Ban. The line of notebooks, stationery and luggage tags are part of the foundation’s push to keep up with Wright’s dream of making great design accessible to everyone, Pierotti said.
The Foundation has already set up an Amazon page for the products and is currently working with retailers to sell them in other places. The money from the sales will go toward preservation of historic Wright properties such as Taliesin East and the Taliesin West museum.
The foundation has struggled to find the funds necessary to keep up the necessary preservation, and the line of products is meant to tap additional resources, Pierotti said.
“We’re really selling the spirit and essence of what Mr. Wright was about and trying to bring that to a whole new group of people,” Pierotti said.
As part of its broader efforts to continue promoting Wright’s work, the foundation is also expanding its educational initiative — a series of trips that bring schoolchildren to Taliesin West and East and teach them about architecture and art.
“There’s a whole new generation that may not be as familiar with Mr. Wright but would really identify with his teachings on nature” Pierotti said.