One look at Kenneth Cobonpue’s furniture will transport you back in time to the blockbuster Disney movie, Star Wars, and its sequels. This is because Disney has commissioned this multi-awarded furniture designer and manufacturer from Cebu, Philippines, to design high-end Star Wars furniture.
This came about when Disney asked Kenneth to design this line of furniture. Surprisingly, Kenneth initially had reservations about this project. He explains, “At first, I said you don’t need me for this because I don’t make replicas of machines and the Star Wars fans will only buy something if there’s the face of Darth Vader on it…I don’t do that.” However, Disney persisted by offering him the flexibility to design it his way.
Although Kenneth agreed to this partnership with Disney, doubts about the project persisted. Says he, “I wasn’t sure how to marry my design philosophy and language with that of the Star Wars franchise, but I decided to view it simply as a design challenge…I knew I needed to incorporate the various shapes and motifs from the world of Star Wars sufficiently enough to make them recognizable but to also stop short of being too literal. Finding a balance proved to be the project’s biggest challenge for me.”
Kenneth launched his first Star Wars furniture in the Philippines itself. It subsequently made its way to select retailers and showrooms across the US. Such was the response to this line of furniture that it made hardcore Star Wars fans delirious with joy. The furniture showcases items ranging from fuzzy Chewbacca hair footstools to mini lightsaber-wielding Jedi lamps and many more…enough to quench the thirst of its diehard fans.
Though the furniture may excite the Star Wars fans, it’s heavy on the pocket. For example, his Vader Easy Armchair, that imitates the Star Wars’ character’s mask, with a moveable armrest-cum-tabletop, sells for $4,320 and his Emperor Palpatine arm chairs cost $2,535. The cheapest item is TIE Fighter table, both in black and white, that goes for $655. However, this furniture cannot be bought online, but the names of the distributors can be accessed from Kenneth’s website.