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We remember design dame Maria Pergay, who died on 31 October 2023 aged 93.

Designer Maria Pergay died on 31 October 2023, aged 93. She spent most of her life in France, where she began her design career in the 1950s: at a time when design strived to be functional, Pergay defied the customs of her time by creating objects and furniture whose silhouettes were experimental, and sophisticated. 

Remembering Maria Pergay

'Pergay [was] a force of nature, with a strength of character she attributes to the trials of her childhood,' Wallpaper* Paris editor Amy Serafin wrote in a profile for the magazine in 2012. 'She was born in 1930 in Moldavia, where her father was an engineer officer in the military, as well as a Russian spy. In 1937, his cover was blown and he escaped back to Russia, where he ended up in a labour camp, while Maria and her mother fled to Paris. After the war, she threw herself into her passions, studying costume and set design and taking sculpture classes with artist Ossip Zadkine. She married business student Marc Pergay and raised four children before divorcing 20 years later.'

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