Long a bastion for pure, unfettered Italian-made design, Molteni & C. has dipped subtly and seamlessly into the world of decorative fabrics, a brand new category for the 80 year old company. Helping them move from their traditional minimal roots into something more decorative is the 31-year-old Milan-based fashion designer Marta Ferri.

'We needed a touch of womanliness in Brianza [the company's home province],' says Giulia Molteni, granddaughter of founder Angelo Molteni and the brand’s current head of marketing and communication. 'Not to mention new, fresh and young energy from someone outside the regular names everybody uses in design.'

An elegant and very stylish fixture in the city, who runs her own couture making atelier in the 5 Vie district, Ferri is indeed outside of traditional design circles.     

'Unless you count the nine homes I’ve moved into over the years and decorated myself,' the designer laughs, 'I don’t have a formal design background.'

But she does know her way around textiles, specifically vintage fabrics and rich upholsteries that she digs out of hidden warehouses or derelict archives and whips up into impact-making occasion dressing gowns for her well-heeled clientele.

The main task at Molteni was business as usual for Ferri who did a 'mega research' at a Como-based fabric archive and then recreated fresh designs. Her 'Materia' collection features three new patterns, each inspired by nature, including straw, tree root and leaf patterns printed on a range of velvets, cheniles, leather and linens. The textiles, which cover several of Molteni’s new pieces, designed by Patricia Urquiola, Rodolfo Dordoni and Vincent Van Duysen, will debut at Molteni’s booth at Salone del Mobile, which Ferri has styled, as well as in the city’s Ferragamo boutique.

Ferri has also designed 'Sky-Line', a print featuring New York city skyscrapers that debuts on a series of furniture that Molteni will sell online at Luisaviaroma from 12 April.