The Early Days
SFERRA began as a maker of fine Italian lace. At the turn of the 20th century, founder Gennaro Sferra set off for the U.S. with trunks full of Venetian lace cuffs and collars. They were an instant hit among high society on the East Coast. As a result, Gennaro expanded SFERRA in 1905, opening a factory in San Severo, Venice, right by the Rialto Bridge. The original building, left, still stands.
A Family Affair
SFERRA became a fixture in the U.S., known for its fine linens, laces, and embroidery. In 1912, Gennaro moved the business and his family to the States and eventually opened a showroom on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to display the brand’s goods (left). In the 1940s, Gennaro’s sons Enrico and Albert took over, building on their father’s collections and continuing to make trips between SFERRA’s factories in Italy and the States.
Foray into Bedding
A pivotal change came in 1977, when Paul Hooker bought the company from Albert Sferra. Under Paul, SFERRA launched its first bedding designs. Today the sheets of the colorful San Severo by SFERRA collection are still woven in Italy. “The impetus behind the collection was to echo the classic Italian quality and design we’re known for at a better price point,” explains SFERRA’s president, Steve Schneider.
Around the world, SFERRA is now a go-to for bedding ranging from crisp linens and plush duvets to embroidered sheets and pillowcases. The San Severo by SFERRA line is especially notable for its ever-changing palette of bright, seasonal colors. “Everything from runway looks to vintage art found at the Paris flea markets are inspirations,” says Steve.