Petite Friture 23.06.16

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Amélie du Passage’s brand has generated a bit of a buzz with its diverse portfolio of daring, colourful products by young designers

Petite Friture’s Amélie du Passage is not your usual head of a design brand. ‘I grew up with more old-fashioned design, such as antiques,’ she admits. ‘I only got involved with contemporary pieces later on.’ Having graduated from a prestigious Parisian business school, du Passage started working at the French Ministry of Culture and later became the general secretary of the FIAC contemporary art fair held in the Grand Palais in Paris.

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Parrot table by India Mahdavi

‘The spark came when I was working for FIAC,’ she says. ‘I discovered there was much more than the creativity being represented either by the galleries or the fair.’ In 2009, she founded Petite Friture, a design ‘publishing house’ dedicated to commissioning up-and-coming designers. The name of the brand refers not only to convivial meals shared between friends, but also to the crackling sound of a bad phone connection – ‘friture’ in French – and is meant to signify buzz and excitement.

This excitement comes from working mainly with young talents, which enabled the brand to grow quickly and develop a diverse portfolio in a relatively short amount of time. ‘This is something that the fairs and press are interested in, because we always have something to say,’ she notes, and, unlike many relatively new brands, which tend to favour tasteful if somewhat constricting understatement, Petite Friture’s collections are a lot more diverse, colourful, daring and idiosyncratic.

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Amandine Chhor and Aïssa Logerot’s Trame chair

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Mediterranea lamp by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance

So far, Petite Friture has collaborated on a range of pieces, from lighting and furniture to home accessories. ‘We have had products for a few years that were used indoors, but which could also be moved outdoors,’ du Passage says. The brand’s upcoming summer campaign is intended to highlight these possibilities in a quirky manner: Iso nesting tables by Studio Pool are doused with ‘water’ (see opposite), while Amandine Chhor and Aïssa Logerot’s steel-wired Trame chair emerges from ‘the sea’.

Establishing a relationship with young designers is a key strength for Petite Friture, and the resulting professional symbiosis – the designers and the brand both cement each other’s reputation – means that successful collaborations rarely end after a single collection. For example, at this year’s furniture fair in Milan, the aforementioned Studio Pool presented the modular Grid sofa, alongside Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance’s folded, finely perforated Mediterranea light range. ‘We treat all our designers the same in all aspects of our working relationship, whether they are established on not,’ du Passage says. ‘This ensures we have a valuable interaction with them.’

 

Words

Peter Smisek

 

Above: Iso nesting tables

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I grew up with more old-fashioned design, such as antiques

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Studio Pool’s Grid daybed

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