Family Affair

Ferber Furs' Asian-inspired store outfitted with sumptuous surfaces
Posted May 21, 2007

The Ferber family fur business began in Paris in the late 1800s. Its luxury pelts graced couture showrooms throughout the city and quickly became a well-known name among the Parisian design houses of Chanel, Lanvin and Worth.

The company has been around long enough to know when it’s time to upgrade. It has spanned five generations, survived a move to Philadelphia and was one of the first to experiment with new techniques like the let-out (cutting the pelt and resewing it to make it longer and flowing) and to feature ready-to-wear collections. So with the help of Philadelphia-based architecture and design firm spg3, Jacques Ferber Furs’ Wilmington, Del., space (one of three locations) doubled in size to 2000 square feet and received a clean, contemporary look.

The owners requested a simple, serene design inspired by Asian style. The focal point of the space is a brandy-colored, high-gloss “pillowed wood” wall bearing the Jacques Ferber name behind the cashwrap.

Fixtures dividing the floor plan into individual merchandise groupings add strong geometric lines. Low, horizontal tables contrast with vertical armoire-like fixtures with large mirrors on the back panels. Other upright elements such as cherry wood divider walls mimic the geometric patterns with overlapping rectangular, translucent framed-glass panels akin to Japanese shoji screens.


Oatmeal-colored, tufted suede panels and L-shaped hanging fixtures alternate along the wall and provide juxtaposition to the pillowed focal point.

Client: Jacques Ferber Furs, Wilmington, Del.

Design/Architect: spg3, Philadelphia

David Kepron, principal

Dana Reeves, interior designer

General Contractor: EJ Desetta, Greenville, Del.

Fixtures: , Long Island, N.Y.

Lighting: Lighting Management Inc., Harriman, N.Y.

Wallcoverings/Materials: Architectural Systems Inc., New York

Photography: Matt Wargo, Philadelphia