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.