ALL ABOUT BRUNSCHWIG
From grand rooms in the White House and the Palace of Versailles to romantic country retreats in cottages and seaside homes, Brunschwig & Fils fabrics, wallcoverings and furnishings have appeared for more than a century in the world’s most beautiful and iconic interiors. Brunschwig & Fils is the canon of high quality decorative textiles in the home furnishings industry, and today its many other products include wallpaper, trimmings, upholstered furniture, tables and lighting.
The history of the company dates back to 1891, when it was founded by Achille Brunschwig. In 1925 Roger Brunschwig, son of Achille, opened a New York office at 383 Madison Avenue. Good design has been at the firm’s heart and soul from the beginning, and each generation acknowledges that French style – in décor, fashion, design, color and the art of living – has been paramount for centuries. To translate this spirit for today’s taste, in America and around the world, is the ongoing mission of Brunschwig & Fils.
A legacy of design, a history of service, exceptional quality, attention to detail and superb craftsmanship are the hallmarks of products from Brunschwig & Fils, designer and manufacturer of contemporary and historically-inspired decorative fabrics, wallcoverings, trimmings and upholstered furniture and furnishings.
Achille Brunschwig established Brunschwig & Fils in 1900 as a tapestry-weaving mill in Aubusson and Bohain, France. Early in the twentieth century, the firm expanded its collection to include printed and woven silks and cottons from the finest European mills. Brunschwig soon enjoyed an international reputation for quality. By 1925, under the direction of Captain Roger E. Brunschwig, the founder’s son, the company opened showrooms in New York and other American cities.
In 1941, Captain Brunschwig joined General de Gaulle’s Free French Forces in London, leaving Zelina, his American wife, to direct the business. Mrs. Brunschwig – affectionately called Mrs. B – who had been a successful interior designer, joined the firm as a stylist, and found herself without French imports and, being forced to be innovative, she substituted parachute cloth for silk, unbleached muslin for linen, and found American mills to weave and print her designs, all to great acclaim.
Following the war, Roger Brunschwig, now a Colonel, returned to head the firm, which was again able to import fabrics from France and England to complement its American collection. Under Mrs. B’s leadership as design director, the company broadened its product base to include wallpapers and trimmings, many of which coordinated with existing printed cotton and linen designs. Mrs. B. also continued to enrich the company’s archives of antique textiles, wallpapers and trims – originally established by Achille Brunschwig – as well as collaborating with museums and historic restorations to create further documentary fabrics.
Many of the designs in today’s collections date back to the early 1940s, while still others are more than 200 years old. Hand-woven Louis XV ecru silk brocade is woven in the same Lyon atelier that produced fabrics for the restoration of the Chateau de Versailles. Brocades, lampas and velvets created for Louis XIV are woven today on the very same looms as the originals in the 18th century.
Previous collections have originated from such diverse sources as the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Historic Deerfield in Massachusetts and The Henry Francis Du Pont Winterthur Museum in Delaware.
In 1986, the company launched its first collection of upholstered furniture featuring timeless designs of exceptional quality that are suited to both residential and contract use. Included in the collection are sofas and récamiers; armchairs; slipper, dining and occasional chairs; banquettes; ottomans, benches and footstools. All of the frames can be customized in endless variations for diverse traditional and contemporary settings.
Today Brunschwig & Fils is solely owned by Kravet Inc., the global leader and largest distributor of decorative textiles and furnishings to the design industry. Kravet will continue to develop the brand and maintain the highest level of quality products and customer service for this prestigious brand.