Fortuny, maker of some of the most coveted fabrics in the world, is deepening its Texas ties with a new partnership at David Sutherland Showroom that’s already sparking exciting changes for the storied 100-year-old company. “Sutherland will bring Fortuny back to its original glory,” says Maury Riad, whose late father, Maged Riad, purchased the company in 1988 from Countess Elsie Lee Gozzi, who took over the company after Mariano Fortuny’s death in 1949.
Texas is the third largest market for Fortuny, just behind Los Angeles and New York. Its popularity here is partly the result of the decades-long friendship between Countess Gozzi and the late Ellouise Abbott, who introduced the fabric brand to Texas in 1951 at her Houston showroom. The love affair with Fortuny continues at Sutherland, which plans to help the company thrive amid a proliferation of new fabric lines and celebrity licenses.
“The market is flooded, but Fortuny remains a pillar of authenticity,” says Riad, who owns Fortuny with his brother, Mickey Riad. “It’s still handmade and hand-painted in the same factory in Venice using the same techniques that were used in 1907.
The Dallas showroom has a dedicated Fortuny boutique offering the full line, including about 400 textiles, along with furniture and lighting. Houston has a smaller collection with plans to expand. The brand’s signature hand-painted, twisted silk lamps will be available later this year at both showrooms.
Riad and Sutherland are already dreaming up innovative projects, including a collection of outdoor fabrics. “Imagine one of Sutherland’s outdoor sofas upholstered in our fabrics,” Riad hints.