Under the banner of New luxuries: between Uber luxe and Lux populis, the March 2022 Maison&Objet show will focus on this captivating and resolutely topical theme.
Such is the direction in which the brazenly buoyant luxury sector is heading, exploring new paths that draw on haute-couture artisan craftsmanship and high technology on the one hand, and pop culture and the values of inclusivity on the other. This new phenomenon has served as inspiration for the upcoming edition of Maison&Objet, underpinned by the desire to showcase the very best of design.
“When people come to Paris, it is to tap into an expertise and this one-of-a-kind lifestyle, which can be found nowhere else”, explains Philippe Brocart, the trade fair’s General Manager. Vincent Grégoire, trend hunter at international style and innovation consultancy NellyRodi, offers his own insight into this increasingly strong craving for luxury: “in uncertain times, people feel the need for something different, the need for emotions and experiences, the need to push fantasy to its limits.”
Time to decipher this two-pronged trend.
All that’s precious, prodigious, outstanding! Uber luxury marks a marriage between fine crafts and new technology, with the latter relentlessly enhancing the artistic dexterity of the hand, giving rise to a form of luxury that has one foot rooted in the past and the other firmly in the future, where beauty has no limits.
The result: Rolls-Royce’s Phantom Oribe, created in collaboration with Hermès and ordered by a Japanese billionaire; the vertiginous Dujiangyan Zhongshuge bookstore in the Chinese city of Chengdu, a veritable hall of mirrors designed by architectural firm X+Living and its brilliant founder Li Xiang; the success of designers whose limited edition furnishings border on art. In the increasingly visionary design world, designers are developing materials hand-in-hand with physicists, incorporating threads of silk, copper and LED into fabrics, whilst settees are morphing from simple seats into fully connected objects. What’s more, the waiting lists are growing ever-longer for these exclusive objects of desire.
The ultimate luxury? Heading straight for the stars by blasting off on one of Virgin Galactic’s commercial space flights, or spending a night in the first-ever space hotel dreamed-up by an American start-up. Watch this space, as the doors are set to open in 2027!
“Pop Culture and Pop’litical”. It is with these two words that Vincent Grégoire sums up this new luxury trend that draws inspiration from the world of street culture, driven by a generation raised on a diet of reality TV, Instagram, TikTok and gaming. It is a trend that, at times, sees luxury being imbued with a retro vibe: watchmaker Tag Heuer has, indeed, joined forces with Super Mario for a limited edition piece; Gucci has dreamed up a capsule collection featuring manga character Doraemon; Leblon Delienne has revamped Mickey Mouse; superstar Virgil Abloh has signed a limited edition graffiti-covered concrete furniture collection; and the “masterchefs” seen on TV are becoming the cooking world’s superstars, with the likes of Jean Imbert now joining the Plaza Athénée.
Then there’s Dom Pérignon, who has launched a collaboration with Lady Gaga; or Louis Vuitton Homme whose recently unveiled advert stars its latest ambassadors, Korean band BTS, superstars of the K-Pop scene. Not forgetting limited edition trainers that fly off the shelves at sky-high prices; or the success of street artists Banksy and JR whose popularity continues to grow, taking their art from the streets into collectors’ homes worldwide.
In short, it is luxury seen as a colourful, joyful, yet socially responsible celebration.
Echoing these emerging trends, at the March fair the premium selection will be concentrated in hall 7’s appropriately named “Signature” section, bringing together the industry’s most creative brands and designers. This zone, which will complement the ever lauded uniqueness of the Craft, métiers d’art sector in hall 5A, is set to host a number of exceptional events:
• Maison&Objet invites The Invisible Collection, the first online destination of exceptional designs created by the stars and young talents of contemporary interior decoration. In the beautiful set created by Emilie Bonaventure, The Invisible Collection presents its vision of responsible luxury and superior craftsmanship by showcasing the furniture and objects that will be tomorrow’s iconic designs.
• The international collective teamLab will be returning to Maison&Objet Paris to present “Autonomous Resonating Microcosms of Life – Solidified Light Color”, a new 100% immersive installation that fuses nature with the digital world.
• For the very first time, on The French Furniture Export Group initiative (Ameublement Français), the best French furniture and living space brands will be grouped together to showcase the unique “French touch”.
• A brand-new “What’s New? Luxury” zone will feature the most exciting new premium furnishings and objects on display at this season’s fair, spotted by the young French creative agency and online media Goodmoods.
• To mark the sixtieth anniversary of its iconic 4L, Renault will unveil its latest addition, “la suite N°4”, designed by Mathieu Lehanneur, veritable visionary and Maison&Objet’s Designer of the Year in January 2010.
• “Maison&Objet In the City”: an itinerary throughout the best Parisian showrooms, showcasing haute décoration furniture by renown designers and exceptional know-how, in conjunction with the trade fair.
• At last, scenic, interior and product designers who embody Maison&Objet’s different stylistic worlds will be given free rein to dream up for lunch, coffee and relaxation zones, guaranteeing yet more memorable and inspirational moments at the event.
Rising Talent Awards
In March 2022, the sun rises again on the Rising Talent Awards and its rays light up the rising stars of Japan. After long months of health restrictions, exchanges resume and the world finally reconnects. Praised and encouraged by Maison&Objet, Japanese design has always found a place of choice in the programs of the Parisian show. Already highlighted in September 2011, young Japanese design will again be in the spotlight from March 24th to 28th, 2022, as part of the Rising Talent Awards; an opportunity to discover the ambitious creations and boundless imagination of six young talents – Yuri Himuro, Haruka Misawa, Satomi Minoshima, Yuma Kano, Baku Sakashita and Kodai Iwamoto – who were selected by a prestigious jury chaired by architect Kengo Kuma, surrounded by experts: Noriko Kawakami, Ryuko Kida, Jo Nagasaka, Kinya Tagawa, Masaki Yokokawa and Ikko Yokoyama.
A new feature to note in the March 2022 device; SAFI, organizer of the Maison&Objet show and Ateliers d’Art de France, have worked together to create a new category: Rising Talent Awards Craft, to meet the new expectations of buyers and their appetite for the attractive values of crafts. Unique pieces or small series, singular, shaped in the intimacy of the designer’s workshop, with a concern for quality and durability.
“Our crafts are at the heart of the market issues. This evolution of the Rising Talent Awards is a reflection of this,” says Aude Tahon, President of Ateliers d’Art de France. For the designation of the Rising Talent Awards Craft, Aude has partnered with the Office of Design, Fashion and Crafts of the City of Paris, to reward the ceramist Toru Kurokawa whose works, exhibited in Hall 5A on the Craft space, address the themes of the universe and physics, and are among the collections of museums worldwide.
Franklin Azzi, Designer of the Year
At each edition, Maison&Objet names a Designer of the Year, celebrating the work of the most outstanding talents in the international design and decoration scene. Having been unable to present his installation after receiving the accolade in September 2020, Franklin Azzi will now take centre stage at the March 2022 edition with RETRO FUTUR, an immersive exploration of his creative process.
Working out of his Parisian agency, which was created in 2006, Azzi develops a cross-disciplinary approach that draws on a potpourri of perspectives and disciplines. By relentlessly sparking a dialogue between architecture, interior design, design and modern art, and with the backing of his dedicated endowment fund, he hones a talent for design and creation that embraces all scales and spaces.
From the kind of urban microarchitecture embodied by the Eiffel Kiosque and its prefabricated structure, to towers in Dubai and Paris, and not forgetting the refurbishment of existing structures such as the Alstom warehouses in Nantes, his work is underpinned by a quest for sustainability tailored to meet users’ needs. Turning his back on formal style, Azzi develops architecture that is both minimalist in its aesthetic and maximalist in its multi-faceted functionality and environmental quality, resolutely advocating a return to ‘common sense’. He walks firmly in the footsteps of philosopher and urban planner Paul Virilio, the exploratory thinker and creator of whom he was once a student.