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Episode 6 #GuestTalents: ZANELLATO/BORTOTTO

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We like to describe ourselves as storytellers and try to tell stories through our projects. 


Who are Giorgia Zanellato et Daniele Bortotto ? What did they design for Pierre Frey ? 

The duo collaborates with Italian and international companies as product designers, creators of limited series for galleries and artistic directors of interior design projects. 
For this first collaboration with Pierre Frey, they take their inspiration from Natalie Barney Clifford, an American woman of letters, who held a literary and artistic salon dedicated to women in the Paris of the Belle Epoque and the interwar period, to imagine the Natalie sofa, as it might be presented in a cultural salon today. 

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Designers' words 

 What was your inspiration to create the Natalie sofa? 

We were certainly influenced by Pierre Frey's large catalog of fabrics and the variety of materials, colors and weaving details that characterize them. The history and spirit of la Maison inspired us to create a series of contemporary sofa designs while keeping a line inspired by the cultural heritage of the brand. In the end, a single design was chosen, which can be made into a simple sofa or transformed into a sofa bed. 

 What is the origin of the name Natalie to name the sofa? 

We named the product Natalie after Natalie Clifford Barney and her cultural salon in Paris in the early 1900s. We are both fascinated by the atmosphere and history of the Parisian cultural salons, the people who frequented them, the vast amount of objects, furniture and fabrics that decorated them. 

 What is your favorite material and furniture to work with? 

We don't have a particular preference, but we are passionate about fabrics and their ability to enhance and make unique the shapes of a product. Even more so, in the case of Maison Pierre Frey, fabric becomes a canvas capable of telling infinite stories. We have a great appreciation for the world of upholstery which has made it very enjoyable for us to create products for la Maison. 

 Since fabric plays an important role in your creation, why did you choose SWANN wool from the Natecru eco-responsible collection? 

We were seduced by the Natecru collection as soon as we received the first samples in the studio. It was an obvious choice to upholster our sofa with a fabric from this collection. We find it very interesting how Pierre Frey has combined through this collection, an ecological approach with a very refined weaving and texture work and a soft and sensual touch. The SWANN woollen fabric with its discreet embossed diamond pattern that we have chosen has a handcrafted and authentic look that we really appreciate. It gives our Natalie sofa a contemporary yet warm effect.

 What characterizes your work as a designer? How would you define yourself? 

Our work is a constant search for the relationship between the places we experience and the passage of time. We conduct this research by often studying the craft techniques associated with these places and interpreting them in a contemporary way. We like to describe ourselves as storytellers and try to tell stories through our projects. 

Discover the Natalie furniture line

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