The Pandemic Introduced a Renewed Curiosity in True Craftsmanship, Says French Furnishings Maker


A big quantity of heritage-style Parisian furnishings—together with that made for 2006 interval movie “Marie Antoinette”—comes from a handful of firms, 4 companies specifically, which specialise in chair-making, cupboards, gold leaf surfacing and ceramics. 

They’re all represented beneath the umbrella model Emblem Paris, which is preserving French craftsmanship from the 18th century and past. On the helm of Emblem is its founder Martin Pietri, who began the corporate in 2015.

He began out by buying the chair-making agency Maison Taillardat, and ceramics and enamel firm Manufacture des Émaux de Longwy. A number of years later, he added two extra firms to his portfolio, the Artwork Deco cupboard makers Maison Craman-Lagarde and the gold leaf-surfacing firm Vernaz & Filles. 

Emblem Paris just lately opened its first showroom in Manhattan’s SoHo neighhorbood Mr. Pietri spoke to Mansion World about Versailles magnificence, his favourite Parisian district and preserving the artwork of French craftsmanship.

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Mansion World: Why did you resolve on New York Metropolis as the primary place exterior of France to carry Emblem Paris?

Martin Pietri: We want very particular components for this market. It’s a luxurious marketplace for high-end consumers. We additionally want cultured consumers who perceive the historical past of these things, they’re really for individuals who love historical past and French tradition, and the way the artisan is handed down by generations.

MG: You’ve at all times had this ardour for conventional French design, what attracts you to it?

MP: My household, on my mom’s facet, was a well-known cabinet-making dynasty. I discovered this whereas researching my household tree a variety of years in the past; I discovered that I’m a direct descendant of the Jacob-Desmalter household of grasp cupboard makers from the 18th century. They labored with Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI within the 18th century. So it’s in my blood, and it’s a approach for me to reconnect and proceed on with my household’s legacy and historical past. 

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MG: It’s all genuine, how necessary is it to maintain the custom going?

MP: We manufacture all of our personal furnishings. We attempt to hold it as near the unique approach it was made again within the 18th century. It’s conventional. We use the identical type of wooden, gold leaf, varnish and detailing, as a lot as we are able to. It’s as genuine as we are able to make it. It’s not faux furnishings.

MG: The place are the studios the place these items are being made?

MP: They’re not in Paris, we’ve got 4 workshops throughout France: One is within the Loire Valley within the coronary heart of France, one other is in a city simply south of Toulouse. The gilding is completed in Fontainebleau and the ceramics are made proper by the Luxembourg border.

MG: Is French craftsmanship alive and effectively, or disappearing?

MP: French craftsmanship is alive and effectively, you simply need to know the place to get essentially the most genuine objects. Actually, for my part, it retains getting higher and higher. Because the pandemic hit, individuals have been specializing in shopping for residence furnishings, however they need extra than simply one other piece of their lounge. They need to know the place these items are coming from and the way they have been made, the historical past of the design, and extra. It’s not solely French craftsmanship, however each nation. Prospects are ready for this type of depth that makes it greater than your common armchair.

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MG: What items have you ever delivered to New York Metropolis in your new boutique?

MP: It’s a best-of our workshops. Now we have small furnishings items, ceramics, lamps and gold-leaf mirrors which can be each elegant and stylish. In New York, it’s an intimate showroom, however we’re bringing key items. It looks like strolling into a jewellery field. 

MG: What period influences these designs essentially the most?

MP: One of the best time was maybe the 18th century and even the nineteenth century. The time of Versailles when Marie Antoinette was alive however is met with a up to date contact. Our finishes are fairly up to date, so it’s really a mixture and match of the previous, the 18th century and the brand new, our lives in 2021. In different phrases: It isn’t a museum. There’s a distinction between that. These are items to stay with, for precise on a regular basis residing, not simply to take a look at.


MG: How can Individuals incorporate items of excessive French design inside their very own houses?

MP: This period is kind of distinctive, however it may be an excessive amount of if there may be an excessive amount of of it. For anybody, I’d say combine this classical French model with fashionable items. An upscale French chair can sit in a lounge beside a minimal, fashionable sofa, for instance. To mild up a room, I additionally suggest a brightly-colored Murat chaise from Maison Taillardat, that are upholstered in vibrant Pierre Frey, Métaphore, and Dedar materials.

MG: What’s your definition of luxurious?

MP: Time, to have the time [laughs]. 

MG: In Paris, what’s your favourite neighborhood?

MP: The 7th arrondissement within the Left Financial institution of Paris. I’m undoubtedly a Left Financial institution man. I began to work once I was a small boy and keep in mind first seeing this neighborhood. I fell in love with each the 6th arrondissement, identified in the present day as Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and the 7th arrondissement, which is residence to the Eiffel Tower. It has a particular vitality to it. The items within the Emblem Group mirror the stability between historical past and fashionable life, which can also be mirrored in Left Financial institution residing in Paris.

MG: What movies have your furnishings been featured in?

MP: We made furnishings for “Marie Antoinette” directed by Sofia Coppola; we additionally made furnishings for the Jackie Kennedy biopic “Jackie.” We made the big oval eating desk within the White Home for the movie.

This interview was edited for size and readability.

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