SKIN CONCEPT, Naoki Kawano for Pierre Frey


Imbued with a profound appreciation for creativity, Maison Pierre Frey embraces art as a cornerstone value, fostering genuine partnerships with a diverse array of artists. Patrick Frey's enduring fascination lies in the harmonious convergence of art and creativity, recognizing the transformative power of shared ideas and inspiration.


Enter Naoki Kawano, whose visionary concept serves as an exquisite framework for unveiling Pierre Frey's latest furniture pieces. Rooted in the Maison's essence and its innate ability to interpret motifs and artistic expressions, the installation seamlessly merges tactile experiences, embodying the spirit of Maison Pierre Frey's artistic journey.


Naoki Kawano's SKIN installation at Milan Design Week 2024 promises to be a sensory exploration of texture, perception, and the transformative potential of textiles.

Aluminium as a metaphor for our skin

The artist has chosen to work on the metaphor of the skin that covers us. A boundary that separates the inner self from the outside world, the skin is also charged with symbolic meanings evoking both protection and sensitivity. By comparing skin to the textiles and wallpapers that cover our lives, Naoki Kawano emphasises the extent to which the choice of materials and textures influences our emotional perception of the objects that surround us. 


To illustrate his concept, Naoki Kawano works with aluminium foil, which he crumples, flattens, cuts, paints and assembles to create colourful and sensitive works. Each piece is unique and combined with the others, resembles a continent on an imaginary planet. 




Covered in wallpaper, decorated with remarkable embroidery in multiple stitches and printed carpets, Naoki Kawano's work in aluminium foil is reinterpreted by the Pierre Frey studio to extend the experience and explore all the textures of his creations.


In response to the concept proposed by the artist, Pierre Frey's design studio has chosen to celebrate him by reinterpreting his concept in an embroidered version. This hand-embroidered, artisanal look features a rich motif composed of a variety of stitches that completely cover the fabric like a second skin.


The main challenge in designing this printed carpet was to retranscribe the materiality of Naoki's work: the folds, the paper, the superimpositions and the nuances of colour. The studio therefore decided to use digital printing to celebrate the artist's work and the richness of the textures and colours, but also to guarantee high quality thanks to the use of a highly resistant polyamide pile, specially designed for intensive traffic.


The design of the wallpaper was guided by the emotion evoked by the artist's work. No fewer than five production phases were required to recreate the poetry of the original work and the crumpled appearance of the aluminium foil backing. Combining volumes and contrasts, this wallpaper is a truly original creation.


Naoki Kawano's installation at the Milan Furniture Fair transforms his project into a gigantic artistic showcase set up in the centre of the garden of Pierre Frey's showroom in Milan.

At the centre of the installation, a composition presents two major new pieces designed by Guillaume Delvigne, a chair and a sofa, which expand the LITHO line.


SKIN is a great example of sharing and combining ideas and experience. This installation embodies the spirit of the Maison Pierre Frey and its innate ability to interpret motifs and artistic expressions in a constant quest for surprise and emotion, combining craftsmanship and artistic aesthetics.