La Maison Pierre Frey Acquires Bernard Thorp, Adding Custom Screen Printing to Its Skillset | Architectural Summary


Since 1935, La Maison Pierre Frey has made it a point of honor to celebrate artisanal interior design and the specialist knowledge and craftsmanship that make it possible.

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This largely explains why the family business French textile brand known for their ability to give customers exactly what they want stepped in to acquire Bernard Thorpe, London’s experts in bespoke screen-printed wallpaper and fabrics. The terms of the contract are not disclosed.

Although the acquiring brand is known for its deep French roots and sense of stewardship of the country’s interior design heritage, the arrival of Bernard Thorp will allow the company to tap into English aesthetic sensibilities, as well than in his commendable work ethic and design wisdom.

For 51 years, Bernard Thorp himself and a small team of three printers have painstakingly screen-printed wallcoverings and fabrics ranging from cotton to suede from the brand’s studio in Norfolk, England. Customers can choose from 470 patterns and 300 colors to create their custom work, giving the ability to create unique designs available in sizes as small as five meters of material. As part of the acquisition, Bernard Thorp’s team (composed of two customer service and sales representatives and three printers) will remain.

Bernard Thorp has been screen-printing fabrics and wallpapers for over five decades.

Photograph courtesy Pierre Frey

Customers can choose from 300 colors to create their custom designs.

Photograph courtesy Pierre Frey

As a company that believes in the value of custom weavings, the ability for Pierre Frey to add bespoke screen-printed wallpaper to its portfolio while preserving the legacy of Bernard Thorp made perfect sense. “The printing process they use is remarkable and unique, yet this gem was in danger of disappearing for good,” founder Pierre Frey tells PRO. “We feel so lucky and proud to have saved a craft that was on the verge of being lost, and to continue our mission to offer unique products that cannot be found anywhere else on the market.”

Bernard Thorp’s studio in Norfolk, England is home to 470 silkscreen designs.

Photograph courtesy Pierre Frey

The arrival of Bernard Thorp in the fold is only the latest manifestation of Pierre Frey’s desire to expand its offer by acquisition. Since the 1990s, the company has completed its offer of classic and contemporary fabrics by absorbing historic textile brands such as Braquenié, Boussac, Fadini-Borghi and Le Manach. More recently, the House acquired the Irish woolen textile brand Sequana, joining a collection launched last season centered on traditional patterns.

At a time when supply chain issues have made the process of fulfilling custom orders more difficult for some, the hope is that injecting Bernard Thorp’s customization capabilities into Pierre’s product offering Frey can continue to prove that there is real and lasting value in well-honed craftsmanship that draws on centuries-old traditions. Expect to enjoy Bernard Thorp’s bespoke services in Pierre Frey’s US showrooms by early 2023.


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