Inspired by Le Corbusier's color collections, Kris Van Assche applied Berluti’s extensive patina process to vintage pieces debuted at Miami's Art Basel.
Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret made his name collaborating with his cousin and mentor Charles Edouard Jeanneret, who is better known by the world as Le Corbusier. Together, they designed buildings and furniture. Pierre Jeanneret also designed pieces on his own, creating a minimalist aesthetic that still looks relevant today. Berluti creative director Kris Van Assche has always loved and collected Pierre’s furniture, so he thought, why not combine the Berluti sensibility with the architect’s design pieces? “I knew that the Berluti patina know-how would give back all their splendor to those iconic pieces, aged through time,” said Van Assche. “It is an opportunity for this Berluti craft to be rediscovered in a new context.”
Van Assche and Berluti partnered with Paris-based Laffanour Galerie Downtown, which is owned by Van Assche’s friend François Laffanour, for the second time after presenting his first Berluti capsule collection at Place de la Concorde inside a 1958 prefab structure by Jean Prouvé that was restored by the gallery. For their latest collaborative project, Van Assche added the Berluti patina to vintage Jeanneret pieces, debuting them during Art Basel in Miami Beach at a party that included guests like Ricky Martin, Eddie Peng, and Johannes Heubl.
Van Assche took inspiration for the Berluti and Pierre Jeanneret collaboration from Le Corbusier’s two color collections, as well as through a trip to Chandigarh, the Indian city for which Pierre Jeanneret, Maxwell Fry, and Jane Drew created civic architecture in the 1950s, including several large-scale residential structures meant to house the city’s masses. Jeanneret eventually became the city’s chief architect. “The two color collections Le Corbusier created in 1931 and 1959 were a basis on which we started creating the color palette for this project,” said Van Assche. “But I also got very inspired by a recent trip to Chandigarh in April 2019 and by the rich colors I found in the light, architecture, landscape, and foliage of the city.”
Van Assche applied Berluti’s extensive patina process, upholstering the Pierre Jeanneret furniture with it. “Patina is the result of many techniques for coloring and bleaching leather, through the application of essential oils, pigments and dyes. It is made possible thanks to Venezia leather, which is a full-grain, uncoated leather so supple and fine that it permits all kinds of creativity,” he said. The result was 17 of Pierre Jeanneret’s minimal, modernist designs fused with rich jewel-toned Berluti Venezia leathers stunningly enhanced through Berluti’s patina process.