Pop colours and a slice of Italian history

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There aren’t too many brands that can claim to have a history that goes back to 1264. Fabriano is one of them, the paper company, named for the central Italian town where it started claims to have had everyone from Michelangelo onwards draw on its many products.The brand owned by the Fedrigoni Group, a family owned paper company that manufactures materials used for everything from currency notes to stamp paper and stationery, has launched in India with a flagship store at High Street Phoenix in Lower Parel. The day before the opening, Aneta Dziewulska a fasting talking, passionate Italian who is also manager for the London store down for the launch, takes us through the range of offerings.Emphasising both the fact that the paper is acid free, and that some aspects of the production are still taken care of by hand in Italy, Dziewulska guides us through the children’s section, where the coloured books, foldable drawing pads exemplify the thought shown to products across their spectrum.

Seemingly lightweight metal pens have been weighted to give the user a sense of grip and heft. Children’s colouring pads can be folded up to pack for dinner of other on the go moment, while painting pads for budding artists are made to allow watercolours to bleed easier and mix well with acrylics.Claudio Dall’Era, the Chief Operating Officer of Fabriano Boutique, says “I’ve been scouting this country for the past three years to find somebody to meet my requirements. My requirements are loyalty and also serious business people.”

He draws parallels between India’s love and respect for quality and craftsmanship and their understanding of culture, the company has partnered with former cricketer Dilip Doshi, also behind other brands like Greggio Silver and Lamy pens.

Doshi, who used to live in London says that he has been familiar with the brand from his time there. “I have been using Fabriano articles for quite a long time. Recently after their store [launch] in London, which displays the world of Fabriano, we felt it was the right time to work together,” says the former cricketer-turned luxury entrepreneur.

Getting back to the products at hand, paper lovers will find multiple books, and folders to shop from. Says Dall’Era, “The main difference is that we began adding fabric to the pulp to get a different quality of paper, a long lasting paper.” It’s this distinctiveness has made the brand a sought after name by institutions like the Metropolitan Musuem of Art in New York, for which the paper mill produces a special collection of paper products using their own design. The same goes for the legendary London department store, Liberty of London.

To appeal to a different sensibility, the store has introduced a cruelty-free line which features wood, cork and apple skin in place of leather. As more consumers become conscious of the environment, Dall’Era sees this part of the business growing, and already has plans to introduce new products and colours for the discerning environmentally conscious paper lover.

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