15 Minutes with Pierre Frey


QUITE POSSIBLY ONE of the most renowned and respected companies in the design business, Pierre Frey is still as blissfully relevant today as it was in 1935. Their iconic collections, which now also include wallpaper and furniture feature a range of prints and materials that pay tribute to the past and predict the future. Currently at the helm, Pierre Frey (grandson of the founder), is keeping his grandfather’s legacy vibrantly alive by continuing to push boundaries.

How would you describe the essence of Pierre Frey?
The Maison Pierre Frey is inventive and deeply eclectic. We have five brands and products that run from classic to contemporary but share a common element: our daring approach to the products. Creation is at the core of our Maison, and the quest to explore and express that is the driving force for all that we do.

What core values make your business a success?
We are passionate about quality and design excellence. Our aim is to be the best in the market and our clients appreciate that.

How does the design emerging from California influence
your work?
There are a growing number of great projects coming from California lately. The appreciation for natural materials is something we embrace. We have greatly expanded our offerings of natural linens and wools in a broad range of natural colors. Our NateCru collection, which is an acronym of natural and ecru, began with linens and wools, then we added sheers and silks, and most recently a broad range of NateCru Indoor/Outdoor fabrics that suit the California way of living.

Technology is shifting the business and production processes in our industry. What does the future of the textile business look like? It is funny that we push in both directions. Digital printing has improved tremendously, and we use it with increasing frequency for fabrics and wallpapers. But we also preserved an original jacquard loom that is 200 years old to weave the most exquisite silk velvet. The actual process of weaving fabrics has not changed very much over the years. Technology on the business end has been helpful to allow us to take better control of our stock and anticipate when we should produce more. The tools to analyze our business help us reduce our waste, which is good for the company and good for the environment. I only see this improving over the years.

Name four people (dead or alive) who you would love to host at a dream dinner party.
René Prou, a talented designer who happens to be my great grandfather who I have never met. Oscar Wilde, for the vibe thanks to his wit and character; Ken Fulk for the decor and the table setting (and he’s lots of fun) and Jamie Oliver for the dinner. I’ve always loved his shows and his books.

A grouping featuring MARTINIQUE, VOL D’OISEAUX, SUR LE NIL and TAMPA prints, all from the new collection.

What is the one item in your home that you cannot live without?
My Invité sofa, where I always end my day to finish a little work, sleep, chill, read, chat.

If you weren’t a fabric designer, you would be?
I would have loved to be an architect or a musician.

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