Talking Shop

Material World

Clive Daniel Home presents an immersive space for Italian-made Fortuny fabrics.

BY October 1, 2021
The first public retailer for the century-old brand, which has previously been sold only to the trade, debuted earlier this year at Clive Daniel’s headquarters. (Courtesy Clive Daniel Home/Erik Kellar)

Owner and CEO Daniel Lubner has always likened his Naples-based home design firm and showroom, Clive Daniel Home, to a very stylish three-legged stool. There’s the interior design firm—“our core competency,” he explains. Then there’s the 85,000-square-foot showroom, which local designers and retail customers have come to rely on for customizable furnishings, plus artwork and accessories fit for their first, second and third homes. “The last leg is our hospitality division,” he says. “We work on a number of hotels, restaurants and clubhouses.”

(Courtesy Clive Daniel Home/Erik Kellar)
(Courtesy Clive Daniel Home/Erik Kellar)

And so it was until March, when Lubner added another leg by carving out a 500-square-foot space devoted solely to Fortuny’s fabrics, lighting, pillows and upholstered pieces. The famed Italian brand was founded by fashion designer and Renaissance man Mariano Fortuny in the early 1900s, when he created a method for treating cotton that remains top secret. Even as technology has advanced, the solid and printed silks, wool and velvets are still handmade on the Venetian island of Giudecca almost 100 years later. And while there are plenty of outlets for ordering the brand’s products, experiencing them in-person used to require travel. “Before now, you had two options. You could go to Venice or visit the showroom in New York. We are the first [public] retailer in the United States—probably the world—to have our own Fortuny Gallery,” Lubner notes.

The Italian import arrived rather unexpectedly. Lubner says he was always a fan of the brand—“it’s the pinnacle of the textile world”—and he was well-versed on the history of the company, but he never thought he’d be making room for hundreds of fabrics at Clive Daniel Home. That all changed when Fortuny’s current co-owner, Maury Riad, visited Southwest Florida. “I don’t know that he was looking to expand their footprint, but when we met, we realized our brands were meant to be together,” Lubner says. “Within 30 days, we had a concept and 120 days to execute it. Now we’ve got an amazing space dedicated to the finest fabrics in the world.”

Customers can purchase small luxuries, like umbrellas and notebooks with the patented Fortuny fabrics, or customize drapery, bedding and furnishings choosing from hundreds of designs. (Courtesy Clive Daniel Home/Erik Kellar)
(Courtesy Clive Daniel Home/Erik Kellar)

The Fortuny Gallery is composed of two separate spaces: One area speaks to what Lubner calls the “bespoke” nature of the founder, with hundreds of swatches to browse, along with small objects that shoppers can pick up like pillows, umbrellas and notebooks covered in the Fortuny fabrics. The adjacent room, called The Grand Salon, is a glamorous spot where customers can sit a spell on Fortuny-covered furnishings and sip a cocktail while surrounded by the rich colors and patterns of the famed textiles.

Because these fabrics feel as good as they look, Lubner encourages textile enthusiasts and neophytes to visit and experience it all firsthand. “It’s truly the finest lighting I have ever seen, and then you have these incredible textiles that really represent the freshness that is still somehow present in this 100-plus-year-old legacy brand.”

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