After an early career in arts and culture in France, Amélie du Passage founded French furniture and lighting company Petite Friture in 2009. She will be part of a panel discussion during next week’s Clerkenwell Design Week. The panel will discuss ‘Nurturing Talent’ and Amélie will be joined by designer Sylvain Willenz, Isabel Farchy of Creative Mentor Network, and Annie Warburton, creative director of the Crafts Council. (Wednesday 23 May, 5pm at Fora, 71 Central Street, London EC1V 8AB)
When was the company founded? The company was founded in July 2009 and the first collection launched in January 2010.
How many staff? There are 30 people inside the company but if you include people that help us to develop the company on a daily basis then it is around 150 in total – our “family” you might say.
Where is it based? Central Paris, near le Marais, where the creative energy is!
What is your latest significant achievement/project of note? Petite Friture is known today for its flavour for fantasy, imagination, and creating the unexpected. We like to design experiences and narratives that make people smile. For this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week, we will take over the restaurant and entrance of co-working space Fora, creating an imaginative atmosphere with our iconic lighting, striking graphics, and colourful furniture pieces.
What is your best selling product (and how much of it do you sell)? Historically our best-selling product has been the Vertigo lamp by Constance Guisset, a pendant that has become somewhat iconic. However, with the outdoor Week-end collection by Studio BrichetZiegler, we feel that we could have a new best seller.
I’ve just discovered… I’ve just discovered the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, alongside the very new Musée Yves Saint Laurent by Studio KO.
They are both architectural beauties that demonstrate two very different styles yet they sit in harmony together. I have no words for the colours of both the house and the garden of Majorelle, I would stare at them for hours. My Eden.
Who inspires me… My inspiration does not come from one person, and I am not a “fan” of anybody in particular. But there are many people that I am inspired by and this is renewed regularly since I am always busy researching.
I’m inspired by two kinds of people. The first are those who stand up and do what they need to make the world better. This covers many fields and they don’t necessarily have to be famous. During my last trip to Morocco, I gardened for several hours with a man whose ambition was just to prove that right there, although the soil was naturally poor, planting vegetables in a responsible way for the environment was possible, and even worked out quite well. With patience he was able to convince others around him to do the same. The second are creatives working in design, food, art, music, and architecture. I’ll do what French people call ‘un inventaire à la Prévert’ [a motley list]: Oskar Schlemmer, Riccardo Bofill, Sol Lewitt, Keith Jarett, Inaki Aizpitarte, Gio Ponti, Camille Henrot, Gunta Stölzl, Rod Stewart, Le Corbusier, Etel Adnan, Jacques Brel, Michel Bras, Christine and the Queens…
My highlight of the last 12 months… Lisa Laubreaux. She is a talented French illustrator based in Marseille who has made a series of drawings that use our products to create a narrative, allowing people to experience our brand in a playful way. You can discover her fabulous work on our website.
My next design trip is to… Copenhagen. Of course we all know many things in design are happening there, but I want to dig a bit further because I have a limited vision of this culture. What I know best is the Danish design that can be found abroad, but it is only a small glimpse of this culture.