This is fun: today the Times asks four design experts to sound off on Brad Pitt's limited-edition new furniture line for New Jersey-based firm Pollaro. But first, let's set the record straight: "This is not Pollaro pays Pitt for his name," Frank Pollaro says. "This is Brad Pitt controlling every single line. I gave him assistance with engineering and materials selection, but the reality is, the man is a great designer."
Opting for heartfelt thoughts—not overwhelmingly positive ones, but certainly encouraging ones—over "the lure of snark," here's what others have to say:
· "These pieces are too nice," says Murray Moss, former owner of the legendary design store Moss, in NYC. "I do not hear Mr. Pitt's voice unleashed with full authority." For Moss, the first word that came to mind upon viewing Pitt's furniture was "stifled," whereas others called it "modern" and "made very well" or "timeless."
· Interior designer Sheila Bridges was taken with the glitzy materials: "The shiny metal surprised me specifically; the mod Trumpian swankiness, in general." Not sure if that's a compliment?
· I was surprised to discover that the bathtub (above) was a bathtub; I thought it was an ashtray," Bridges remarked. "I'm not convinced after seeing three table designs (and a bathtub that reminds me of an ashtray) that Brad Pitt should quit his day job to be in the furniture or product design game. Unless that means I can be an actor for a day and get paid $7 million to star in a Chanel No. 5 perfume ad."
· Moss would have hoped the actor would stay truer to himself: "Mr. Pitt, you are a great actor. Stay that person, with all of his confidence and drive and risk-taking, when designing. These first pieces are audition monologues; you already have the part. If you're going to draw a line in space, do it as Brad Pitt."
&183; Giulio Cappellini, head of the Italian modern-furniture firm Cappellini, commends the actor for mixing periods and influences. Although "strongly influenced by the Bauhaus and Art Deco, which may seem contradictory," this "is part of freedom of the designer, which does not surprise me in a negative way."
· Novelist and former Time archicritic Kurt Andersen is "a big believer" in Pitt's "amateur spirit." He cautions, though, that "Enthusiasm [...] is necessary but not sufficient for making great design."
· Designing a New Role [New York Times]
· Renaissance Man Brad Pitt Unveils First-Ever Furniture Line [Curbed National]