A contemporary furniture brand steeped in more than a century of French tradition has debuted its luxueux pieces in Estero. Ligne Roset recently celebrated its grand opening in Miromar Design Center with a visit from Antoine Roset, heir to the Lignet Roset company headquartered in Briord, France. We are a niche industry,” Roset said of the family company’s evolution over five generations. “We grew around what we knew. We didn’t try to expand just to expand, and bring in cheap things…Focus on what you’re good at and what people want, which is contemporary.”

Ligne Roset began crafting wooden umbrellas, walking sticks and chair frames in 1860. By 1950, the company focused exclusively on furniture, creating beds, tables and chairs for institutions such as schools and hospitals. The company opened its first retail store in 1973. It collaborated with acclaimed European designers, including Michel Ducaroy, whose Togo sofa — with its ergonomic design and plush cushions — has become synonymous with Ligne Roset’s modernist style.

Today, there are more than 200 Ligne Roset stores and about 1,000 distributors worldwide. The sophisticated brand realized that, unlike in Miami and on the east coast of Florida, contemporary design was not well represented in Southwest Florida, despite its growing population and large number of European vacationers. “There is a market, and they are looking for someone,” Roset said. Because of its upscale design center, which draws interior designers as well as the public to 45 home furniture and accessories stores, Estero seemed like an ideal location for a Ligne Roset retail shop.

“It’s a nice design building and there is no contemporary in the area,” said Veronica Bay, co-owner of the Ligne Roset store. At the grand opening celebration, well-heeled guests studied Ligne Roset’s clean-lined sofas, sleek tables and sculptural chairs. “I’m in heaven,” Fort Myers architect Joyce Owens said as she meandered through the shop. “It’s pure modernism. Being a modern architect, it’s nice to see this kind of purity come to Southwest Florida. It’s not for everyone, but it is high quality.”