Matthieu, Vincent and Pierre Frey

Pierre Frey has always been one of my favorite design houses. From studying their textiles in design school to working with their products on current design projects, the quality, history and originality the company represents is incomparable.

The company was founded in 1935 by Pierre Frey in the heart of Paris and is still headquartered there. Since 1972, Pierre’s son, Patrick, has run the company and still remains active in the day to day activity as the President and Creative Director. Patrick’s sons, Pierre, Vincent, and Matthieu assist running the business side of the fabric house. Pierre serves as the brand ambassador and travels the world presenting the launches of new fabric, home and accessory collections.

Patrick Frey
President & Creative Director

Patrick instilled in all of his sons a love and appreciation for design. Many of their family trips have led to the creation of new fabrics that are added to the collection.

L’Entree avec Steve Nobel

In 2003, Pierre Frey created the archives which now include over 30,000 documents dating from the 16th century to the present day. The designs, fabrics, carpet samples, and garments can be searched by period, color, motif and technique. Pierre Frey gave us a wonderful tour of the showroom, offices and archives.  The Pierre Frey archivist walked us through the history of textiles drawer by drawer….

This piece was likely used as a vestment for clergy and dates from the 17th century. I was surprised to hear that it would have been used for this considering the brilliant coloration until I saw Jacques -Louis David’s Coronation of Napolean (1807) at the Louvre a few days later….voila!

These vibrantly colored fragments provide inspiration for the new Pierre Frey fabric creations. Patrick Frey visits the archives (located on the bottom floor of their offices) very frequently. The archivist told us that he looks to the historical documents for motifs that can be reinterpreted through changing the scale or coloration. By looking to the past, he can then recreate something completely modern for the contemporary market.

These more classical fabrics are circa 18th century.

In 1991, Pierre Frey acquired Braquenie, a French fabric house that was established in 1824. The house is best known for their Indian fabrics, cottons, toiles de Jouy, and carpets.



After our visit to the archives, we had a behind-the scenes look at the design studio of the fabric house as well as the personal offices of the Freys. I am fascinated by the creative process and watching the step by step of how the textiles come to life was mesmerizing!

These images above of Patrick’s office reflect not only his personal style, but also the philosophy of the company. A gorgeous antique desk blends beautifully with mid century modern furniture and contemporary touches.

Patrick also let us glimpse at a couple of designs in process that will be added to upcoming collections.

In addition to Braquenie, Boussac, and  Fadini-Borghi, Pierre Frey has also recently acquired Maison Le Manach  It was one of the last French houses able to produce French silks and velvets on handlooms. This addition to the Frey empire reflects their dedication to preserving the tradition, legacy and innovation of French design.

If you are interested in any additional information on any of the fabrics seen here, please do not hesitate to contact us at the design studio.


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