The initiative – and the challenge – of Sahrai has been to sum up its path of evolution, across 200 years, various generations and two continents, inside a space of 500 sqm in the center of Milan. Inside an airy, white setting at 38 Via Manzoni, near the offices of the brand, Sahrai opens a new temporary store. The display concept “Heritage Forever” becomes emblematic for an understanding of the nature of the project: not a shop, but an exhibition gallery of history and tradition, displaying not just products but true works of art of great artisanal value, made with passion and dedication. For the first time, Sahrai offers a view of its archives, including traditional Persian creations, as well as unique pieces gathered over time, arriving from China, the Caucasus, Europe and India.
“For months now, we have been living in a completely different world. This has offered us the possibility of slowing down, of again acting as the owners of our time, to finally look back and rethink what we have been doing until the present, getting in touch with our roots – says Rana Sahrai. – We have decided to open our archives for the first time, sharing with the world the most thrilling moments of the history of our family, which has lived for art, with passion, for over 200 years.”
Until 31 March the temporary store will be transformed into a microcosm of the destinations and times to which the creations of Sahrai bear witness: starting from legendary places and faraway eras, atmospheres of the 1001 Nights, conveyed by touching the skillfully woven threads of precious antique artifacts. The setting will host cycles of different displays, giving rise to new narratives through the products and their history: the focus will shift from China, to India and to Europe.
The debut presents two emblematic collections from the Sahrai archive. The Heritage Antique Collection brings together true, very precious works of art; its most representative item comes from Northwest Persia and dates back to the 1870s. It measures 438 by 308 cm, a factor that increases its rarity and sets it apart from the standards of that region and time period. Another distinctive factor is the absence of medallions or cantonals, in favor of an all-over pattern surrounded by a large border full of details.
The second collection presented is Parsa, a summary of the most recent production of Sahrai, a true manifesto of the focus on innovation and research that has always set the brand apart, where the Somayeh carpet is perhaps the most fascinating, representative item: 800 x 500 cm, entirely in silk, a tapestry of bright pastel hues to enhance a traditional floral theme.
Bernardini Milano will make the visit even more fascinating with its collection of vintage items, along with a selection of pieces of the Elie Saab Maison collection, partner of Sahrai in the development of its Rug collection.