Hubert Burda Media

Furs of Steel

When Fendi and design maestro Maria Pergay join hands, both fashion and art aficionados wait for the most coveted limited edition pieces.

Stainless steel in the hands of Maria Pergay is like clay to a potter. Introduce Fendi’s signature fur and she successfully combines the warmth and cold of the two materials to create Metamorphosis, an art collection presented at Design Miami last month.
Stepping into the Pergay-Fendi world is almost dream-like, with each piece bathed in light reflected by metallic curtain stripes. Walk through the collection and experience a harmonious juxtaposition of the natural world exemplified through her use of fur, against the hard, industrial feel of stainless steel as seen in Pouf Goeland and Chaise Lion, which features straw and fox fur marquetry, stainless steel and gold-plated bronze.
The Torchères Flammes features graphic flames with LED lighting, wrought iron, stainless steel and copper mesh, while the Cabinet Pétales seems to emerge from a precious wood and metal cage resembling the corolla of a flower. Finally, the Table Marronnier from the Paris boutique and two Cabinets Arlequin pieces play with colour and material through the use of amaranth and ebony wood, stainless steel, eggshell and galuchat.
“Working with steel does not allow for even the smallest mistake; it’s not like working with watercolours, for example, where initial errors can be fixed. However, a successful work of art does not necessarily need to be perfect. On the contrary, a slight imperfection can make it more human and therefore more accessible. What truly matters is creating objects that never leave you indifferent,” explains Pergay.
The mastermind behind the collaboration is Silvia Venturini Fendi, a third-generation Fendi and an avid collector and admirer of Pergay’s works: “Maria is an absolute visionary, whose ideas are always ahead of times. Like Fendi, her work with experimentation and materials knows no boundaries; she has a special strength which never ceases to renew itself.”
Pergay began her career as a designer in the late 1950s, working initially with silver and later opening a gallery in 1960. Her first collection of stainless steel furniture was exhibited in 1968, including the chair Anneaux and the bed Tapis Volant that are now known as legends in the design world and now coveted by collectors.
The exhibition at Design Miami is the third time Pergay and Fendi have worked together. The first was at the opening of the fashion house’s Avenue Montaigne boutique last July, where Pergay created three special pieces; while the second saw the creation of exquisite pieces displayed during the 2013 edition of AD Intérieurs, an exhibition where 15 architects and interior designers transformed Enclos des Bernardins, a 17th-century Parisian mansion, with their artworks in September.
Metamorphosis is the latest project developed by Fendi for Design Miami since its first in 2008, a relationship which reflects how the luxury house supports creativity, producing a symbiosis of design and fashion.
Taking things to the next level, Metamorphosis is the first project that has gone beyond an experimental level and will be produced in limited edition for Fendi Casa Icons, the first of a series of furniture and design collections where the creativity of great names in contemporary design is honoured — an exceptional one-of-a-kind collection that encapsulates the beautiful craftsmanship, savoir faire and real passion and devotion to artisanship of Fendi.