The Making of Balletto
More than a year of collaboration, prototyping and inspiration went into the making of Balletto.
The First Model
The earliest iteration of Balletto was a small, rough prototype made of 3D-printed parts and scraps of mirror. The actual size of the model is 5 inches. The idea started by the desire to create a console vanity chiefly out of Robern's signature aluminum and glass construction. The basis of Balletto's design was its signature extruded aluminum legs. By pushing aluminum through customized dies, one can create designs with a distinctive delicacy that belies a long-lasting, strongly performing foundation. By using extruded aluminum as the basis for the new vanity, the intent was to strike the balance between modern and transitional style that is often a hallmark of Robern products.
The First Prototype
The concept of Balletto lies in the design of stiletto heels. Both the practical purposes of a stiletto—to give height and accentuate the calf muscles—as well as the social purposes, like sex appeal and self-confidence were evaluated. The designers took further inspiration from the graceful pointe work of a ballerina. The result is a leg design that starts thick at the top before smoothly tapering to a long slender point, exuding a mix of sensuality and sophistication.
With the leg design in place, the challenge became mounting such legs to a wall-mounted vanity while preserving both style and functionality. Through dozens of computer-aided design models, it became clear aesthetically that the legs should be pushed out to near the edges of the vanity, leaving about 3 inches per side.
Hidden Side Storage
Wishing to assure that the new vanity would be as useable as it was stylish, the design team pushed for a way to give those extra inches back to the vanity owner in a meaningful way. Thus arose Balletto’s central storage feature: the hidden side storage. By creating a fully unique structure that hinges from the bottom to tilt outwards, Robern designers were able to devise a solution that fully utilizes the extra space while meshing effortlessly with the vanity’s graceful, modern aesthetic.
The designers also carefully researched common grooming rituals to identify what people need to enhance grooming experiences. Based on this research, they designed modular inserts for the side storage, including a cotton receptacle, wastebin, magazine holder and articulating makeup box.
Another design question was posed by the idea of a slimmer variety of Balletto. Wanting to make sure that Balletto would bring the same utility to guest bathrooms and half-baths, the design team decided on a tip out drawer and plumbing drawer for the front of the slimmer vanity. The tip out drawer allowed for an under-mount sink while still maintaining storage.
With the core design completed, the engineers set out to create a working prototype. Most prototype components were created via 3D-printed sections. After nearly a dozen prints experimenting with different sizes and forms, the designers created a fully functional model that very closely resembled the final product. From months of dedicated work and design expertise, the Balletto vanity you see today is an aesthetically stunning piece that contains a core of engineering brilliance and innovation.