Choosing Pierre Frey’s fantastic Le Marché (above) for the “et al.” pages of our May/June 2012 issue (now online) was both an easy and a not-so-easy decision. Easy because it is fun and new, evocative of French countryside charm, and arouses appetites for fresh vegetables. Not so easy because there are so many sumptuous fabrics and items in the 7,000 plus Frey collection from which to choose. Every time a new sample lands on our desk, we wonder how could we have loved another. The range is so intoxicatingly extensive because the French fabric house not only introduces new textiles regularly under the Pierre Frey name, it also offers collections for its three secondary brands acquired as the company grew.
Braquenié is the oldest component and honors true French classicism with historic cottons and toiles. It started in 1824, more than a century before Pierre Frey, and adorned the interiors of iconic buildings and plush residences. Joining Pierre Frey in 1991, it is most revered for its legendary patterns and the colors that suit them.
Fadini Borghi is the Italian counterpart to Braquenié and is inspired by fabrics brought to Europe from the Orient during the Renaissance. Its focus is luxurious silk in many sultry forms, including velvet, taffeta, and damask. Started in 1947, Fadini Borghi was bought by Pierre Frey in 2004.
The third and most contemporary of the acquired brands is Boussac. Named after Marcel Boussac, a legendary French designer who started his own brand in 1933, which, sacre bleu!, focused on a younger audience. It was bought by Pierre Frey in 2004, and since then has continued the tradition of using plain fabrics and geometrical designs to appeal to many different groups.
These fabrics surely radiate history, and the same can be said for Frey and his company, which follows an inspiring pattern often traditional for family businesses. Frey established the company in 1935 and his son Patrick has been running operations since 1969. As of 2011, Frey’s grandsons, brothers Pierre, Vincent, and Matthieu have joined, becoming the third generation in the fabric house’s family lineage.
Pierre Frey is available at The Martin Group Inc. in the Boston Design Center.
An insider's look at must-have products, fresh trends, and inspired spaces from the team at Design New England magazine.
Gail Ravgiala is editor of Design New England and a fan of both the region's historic architecture and its growing inventory of modern houses and public buildings.
Courtney Kasianowicz is associate editor of Design New England who scouts the area for new design, charming products, and local artisans both innovative and daring.
Danielle Ossher expands our market watch, scoping out trends, products, and all things new and exciting from NYC and beyond.
Jill Connors, Design New England's editor-at-large, is an antiques maven and design scout and will post about trends and discoveries in the field.
Bruce Irving, Design New England's contributing editor for architecture & building, is a renovation specialist who will share his insights on design and construction.
Estelle Bond Guralnick, Design New England's style & interiors editor, will post about interior design and interior designers and her favorite finds.