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Full Circle | French-Made Fabrics With Roots in St. Louis Design History


A collection of fabrics represented by the prestigious design house Brunschwig & Fils has roots right here in St. Louis. Several years ago, St. Louisan Becky Smith set out to create a unique chair with a very specific fabric in mind. After a fruitless search, her determination paired with a family history steeped in design, seemingly guided her on a journey that took her from the sunny shores of Florida to a fabric mill in Southern France.

In 1912 Becky’s great-great-grandmother opened a design firm and tea room, The Warfield Shops, which was located in the building now occupied by Left Bank Books in the Central West End. The design business remained in the family for generations and among the long list of notable St. Louis clients were the Desloge, Busch, Orthwein, Shoenberg and Weil families. Fast-forward almost 100 years and her heritage would soon prove more useful than one could imagine.

Armed with her vision for the ideal fabric (picture the jet-set 60’s) Becky headed for Key West where she eventually met and partnered with three artists.  Martha dePoo, Suzie Zuzek dePoo and Leigh Martin Hooten, whose resumes were impressive to say the least, having designed fabrics for Lilly Pulitzer from the 1960’s through the 1980’s. The search then began for a mill of to produce their designs. Becky’s own family history led her to the South of France, to a mill used generations earlier by her great-great-grandmother– and Thatcher’s Fine Timeless Fabrics was born.

Les Joyaux des Princesses

Les Trois Princesses de la Mer

Images 1-3: Le Jardin des Princesses    Image 4: Le Melange des Princesses

Represented by Brunschwig & Fils, Thatcher’s first collection,” Les Princesses” (above) is available through KDR Designer Showrooms. Stop by the showroom Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Saturday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. or contact Karen Thiele, showroom director at 314.993.5020, ext. 3500, or by e-mail at karent@kdrshowrooms.com.