MILAN — For its 30th birthday, Maison & Objet exhibitors came together to address the needs of a new world and challenges of professionals in the home decor, design and lifestyle industry. Buyers who attended the five-day trade fair, which closed in Paris on Monday, said groundbreaking sustainable solutions were paramount as was the growing trend of spending more time outdoors.
Italy’s Cassina chose the occasion to present its own 2024 Mediterranean-themed outdoor collection, which incorporated design classics and innovations by acclaimed designers like Antonio Citterio, Rodolfo Dordoni, Piero Lissoni and Patricia Urquiola. Citterio was also in Paris to unfurl his 2024 designs for Italian luxury brand Maxalto. With Citterio, Cassina introduced Esosoft Outdoor furnishings which supported a shell made of hand-woven fiber that ensures greater durability and resistance to abrasions, heat and UV rays, and is easier to clean.
More from WWD
London-based online shopping destination Abask’s buying director Bryony Sheridan said that outdoor was also highlighted among the selection of home decor and accessories.
“We are also seeing a shift towards the celebration of outdoor activities and pursuits, such as yachting and outdoor entertaining, and within this lies innovation in leathers and treatments for waterproofing with a nod towards sustainability and always ensuring the aesthetic remains top priority,” Sheridan said, noting that materials like glass were featured prominently, “especially across a variety of techniques and colors which were more focused towards the luxury market presented as investment pieces and future heirlooms.” Among the highlights for Sheridan were Artel, the Czech-based producer of contemporary Bohemian glass, and French firm Cristallerie de Montbronn, which is well known for bringing its historic hand-drawn designs to life through exquisite artisan craftsmanship.
For Maison & Objet’s birthday, Baccarat enhanced festivities with “Alchemy, the immersive experience,” an unprecedented visual journey through its ateliers. The French luxury maison is also celebrating its 260th anniversary in 2024.
Sustainability also blended in with the overall Tech Eden theme and push to drive styles and designs that blend harmoniously with nature. Buyers were impressed with the amount of pioneering innovations at the fair and new products that actually provide solutions, they said.
Emmanuel Plat, MoMA Design Store’s director of merchandising, retail, commented on the selection of exploring manufacturing using oyster, scallop and mussels shells.
“The applications so far are limited to materials such as tiles for flooring or wall coverings, but designers are definitely embracing these biomaterials for other applications,” he said. MoMA’s team, he added, met with a Japanese company that presented prototypes of helmets made from scallop shell waste. “These developments are not only responding to a growing demand for sustainable materials but also comprise fascinating properties and aesthetics,” Plat said.
Maison & Objet’s managing director Mélanie Leroy echoed this and highlighted the visionary design that emanated from the Future on Stage program, a mentorship initiative that highlights creations from emerging companies. Ostrea Design, she pointed out, developed a special surface material made of crushed oyster shells. Natural and glamorous at the same time, Ostrea Design is part of a growing trend to create a holistic home environment based on eco-values and principles.
Ippolita Rostagno, cofounder and creative director of Artemest, commented on a revival of pastel shades and natural tones. “They were everywhere, along with earthy tones derived from nature and a lot of ivories and cream tones accented with gold metallics.” These warm tones were combined with brass, she said, which once again emerged as one of the strongest metal trends for interiors enhancing a warmer palette.
In the same vein, Belgian design label Serax put forward the designs of Marie Michielssen and her new lighting and mood lamps made of paper-mâché and clay. Michielssen, who prides herself on working with materials that have soul, has been with Serax for more than 20 years and designs two collections per year for Serax, all of which are intended for everyday life.
Maison & Objet closed with a 9 percent increase in the total number of exhibitors, up to 2,516 compared to its January 2023 edition. About 60 percent of these exhibitors were from abroad. The number of visitors rose by 5 percent to 70,668 individuals who hailed from a total of 147 countries.
Best of WWD