Fortuny Book

The history of Fortuny is rich with romance, intrigue, pigment and pattern. Mariano Fortuny, originally from Spain, first created fabrics for the fashion industry, with the help of his Parisian model and muse Henriette Negrin who later became his wife. New York interior designer Elsie McNeill Lee saw Fortuny’s fabrics hanging in the Carnavalet Museum in Paris and fell in love with them. She traveled to Venice to meet with the artist and convinced him she should be the exclusive American distributor of his fabrics.  Nearly twenty years later, Fortuny died. Upon Henriette’s request, Elsie took over the factory on Giudecca and the company. She later married Italian Count Alvise Gozzi and comes to be known as “La Contessa”. On behalf of the Interior Design Industry, let’s all raise a glass and toast La Contessa.

Fortuny Orange Fabrics, fabric, fortuny,

Design Tip:

Fortuny fabrics can most definitely be used with reverse side up- although not intentionally designed for such, this opens up the possibilities of color to new heights. I have used the fabrics in reverse and all I have to say is- wow. Knock yourself out, try it sometime!

fortuny reverse

An example of Fortuny front and reverse. I would use that red in a heartbeat!

Fortuny Sofa

Traditional Fortuny upholstery…

Fortuny Chair, Chair by Fortuny

Contemporary Fortuny upholstery. This is actually a Fortuny Chair…

I Have had a perennial crush on Fortuny fabrics. The look of Fortuny is versatile, working beautifully in both traditional and contemporary design schemes. While an icon of high-end traditional design, its long-standing patterns and newer collections have a fresh contemporary vibe that can bring any room to life. Expensive and worth every penny.  Fortuny is the class act that is recognizable from across a room.

fortuny pillow, pillow with decorative trim

There are two showrooms owned and run by Fortuny– one at the original and historic factory on the Giudecca in Venice and the other in the heart of the New York City in the D & D Bulding. Fortuny is also officially represented in showrooms throughout the world. Dallas and Houston sell Fortuny in the Elloiuse Abbott Showroom.

Fortuny Fetish- There’s an App for that:

Fortuny App

If you are loving the idea of Fortuny but don’t have a showroom near you, I came across Linda McCormic on twitter (and this readers, is why I loooooove twitter, connect with me if we haven’t already connected) who sells custom Fortuny pillows and Fortuny lampshades out of her charming store Studio Veneto in La Jolla, check her site out!

And be inspired by this gorgeous book:


  1. Thanks for the mini history lesson and a reminder those great Fortuny fabrics are still around. Love the patterns.

  2. The article on Fortuny is wonderful……..thank you, Linda

  3. Oh wao!! Loved that story! ANd I love that he was from Spain! They really are such rich and luxurious fabrics!

  4. Love, love, love Fortuny. Seeing/fondling the fabrics in Venice would be a dream!

    I’ve been using the app for a couple of years and its as luxe as their fabrics. Thanks for sharing!



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