Red From Scalamandré: Why The Iconic Brand Went Direct-To-Consumer
Interior design styles and brands come and go over the years but few have had quite the staying power of Scalamandré. Founded by Franco Scalamandré, an Italian immigrant, and his wife, artist Flora Baranzelli in 1929, the original mill in New York is known for producing silk fabrics, printed wallcoverings, and handcrafted trimming.
Even those unfamiliar with the name Scalamandré will likely have been exposed to the brand’s iconic Zebra print at some point in their lives. Originally designed for Gino of Capri restaurant in the 1970s, it continues to be a bestseller today.
While Scalamandré has been a favorite of interior designers and traditionalists alike, it has mostly been accessible to the trade throughout its history. In 2019, the brand first became available direct to consumers by partnering with The Inside. Acquired by Havenly in 2022, the direct-to-consumer company offers a selection of Scalamandré on large pieces such as sofas, chairs, and beds as well as accessories such as pillows and wallcoverings through a listening agreement. While Scalamandré has collaborated with other brands including Williams Sonoma, The Inside has by far been the brand’s largest partnership.
In 2020, Scalamandré launched their own direct-to-consumer brand, Red From Scalamandré. Nearly three years later, Red is going full-force and likely to continue to thrive as consumers gravitate toward timeless and grand millennial interior design staples.
Launching Red made Scalamandré accessible to all consumers and not just those using interior designers. “Scalamandré is dedicated to serving the interior design community. That said, the proverbial ‘elephant’ in our industry is how trade-focused companies will address a future forever changed by online shopping and social media. Red from Scalamandré allows us to create a retail presence beyond the showroom walls, and curate an experience for a new generation,” says Sumitra Mattai, Vice President Of Design.
Redesigning The Prints
The addition of Red from Scalamandré allows for market expansion while maintaining the core business. However, some changes were made to the original prints to facilitate the made-to-order process. Each design was digitized because all of the original archives were hand screen printed. Pattern scales were updated, as were the colorways. “To create the pattern assortment for the furniture collaboration, we dug through our archives to find a variety of prints that hadn’t been seen in many years. The final group represents a wide swath of company history, with patterns ranging from the 1940s through the 1990s,” says Mattai.
The designs, colorways, and frames are exclusive to Red. All of the recolored archival designs offered except for the Zebra print are only available through Red and not sold by the yard in showrooms. However, interior designers are offered a ten percent trade discount.
Each item for this collection is manufactured by the female-led Cloth & Company, which is also the manufacturer for The Inside. “Meganne Wecker and the team at Cloth & Company have pioneered the art of made-to-order furniture, from in-house digital printing to upholstery. Similarly founded on a love of textile design, the Chicago-based company utilizes 3D rendering technology to turn inspiration into fully realized collections in an impressive two-to-four-week lead,” explains Mattai.
Cloth & Company uses a sustainable, eco-friendly manufacturing process, which isn’t just important to consumers but also to Scalamandré. This includes using a 100 percent clean water run-off process, and digitally printing only the fabric needed for production, which minimizes waste and carbon footprint. Best of all, lead times are very short—just three weeks.
The manufacturer is equally enthused to produce products for such a legendary name. “As one of the country’s most celebrated textile brands, The House of Scalamandré’s iconic designs has proven they can stand the test of time. Scalamandré’s archives are rich in history and tell stories of decades in design,” says Meganne Wecker, Founder of Cloth & Company and President CCO Skyline Furniture. “While our brands share a deep history, we also share a vision for the future. Together our collection masters the delicate balancing act of meeting the demand for innovation while upholding tradition. We have taken some of Scalamandré’s best sellers from the archives and used our digital printing technology to offer this thoughtful, high-quality collection at an accessible price point.”
Red from Scalamandré offers a variety of products in fourteen different silhouettes including accent and dining chairs, beds, headboards, settees, room dividers, ottomans, and pillows. There are currently fourteen signature Scalamandré prints that were taken from the company’s archives along with solid fabrics available. These include the iconic Zebra, Leaping Cheetah, Tropical Flora, and Countryside Toile. Prices for Red range from $280 to $2260. There are additional launches planned for 2023 and beyond.
Mattai tells me that Red is truly a new era. “Scalamandre’s maximalist aesthetic, attention to detail, and timeless quality are part of what makes the brand iconic. With thoughtful editing and new re-colorations, we are constantly refreshing and expanding our oeuvre of motifs, engaging both lifelong clients and new and aspiring designers. Our ability to adapt to the needs of our clients and the changing marketplace is what will keep our company thriving.”