Brazilian Design Icon: Percival Lafer
Percival Lafer is a Brazilian design icon. Considered one of the best-kept secrets in Mid Century Modern, he is now being discovered by a new generation who have fallen in love with his exuberant use of exotic wood and plush leather.
Immediately after graduating from the Mackenzie Presbyterian University in Sao Paulo, Lafer’s father passed away suddenly and he and his brothers were tasked with taking over LAFER, the furniture business. Percival focussed on the design and production while his brothers took care of running the business and finances.He used his architectural training to focus on the intricate mechanisms, revealing the nuts and bolts. He used injected foam in his upholstery before it became the standard. He created low-profile hardwood structures with plush leather upholstery. “I’ve always been drawn to the motion features of furniture,” he’s said. “The engineering and design work that goes into its mechanisms is fascinating and fulfilling.” His designs reflect a love for his native Brazil. He used high quality leather overstuffed and draped over Pau Ferro or Rosewood chair frames.
In his five decades of designing, he has created not only furniture, but cars and telephone booths. His unabashed design style is instantly recognizable and once you have sat in his chairs or sofas, you will use them as a benchmark of comfort.
We love how climbing into his chairs feels like you are in a hammock in the rainforest. We jump at any opportunity to have his chairs in our own home and to restore them for purchase.