Fun shapes

With Airloop, a table and a chair for Fermob, Frédéric Sofia has added two innovative go-to products to a collection brought to market by a company steeped in a long-standing tradition.
by Judith Jenner | 3/22/2021

Even when he first visited Fermob’s production facilities in Lyon in 1998, designer Frédéric Sofia was fascinated by the artistic approach to steel taken by the long-standing company. His new “Airloop” collection is destined to put precisely that artistry to the acid test. The basic idea behind “Bridge” chair is two overlapping steel wires, one forming the backrest and the other, the armrests. Hand-forged rings hold the two together. The sheet-steel seat is held in place by four more iron wires. These merge elegantly with the backrest and armrests to form the legs. In this way, the chair succeeds in looking light and airy, even though it does take up a not inconsiderable space. Sofia’s design for a matching bistro table is similarly filigree. 60 cm in diameter, its tabletop rests on three wires bent into a U-shape. Rings connect these with three legs bent in the opposite direction. The collection delights in “fun shape”, that much is plain to see.

Their delicate dimensions mean that the furniture items in the “Airloop” range are suitable for small balconies, as well as providing little splashes of bright color in gardens and on patios. With elegant design and robust material, they also impress in the outdoor areas of hotels and gastronomy. However, although the “Airloop” pieces look so light and playful, they certainly put great demands on Fermob’s production facilities. The company in fact developed a new machine specially designed for manufacturing these tables and chairs. Innovative paint-spraying equipment has made it possible to offer this line in a myriad of different color tones. Fermob has opted for opal green as its “2021 color” – a shade bursting with retro charm and set to put customers in the mood for summer. The collection is thus the logical next step in Fermob’s 100-year history, which began many years ago with a folding iron bistro chair.