The design fair Maison & Objet opened their doors for a new season. I will be reporting on this in several segments. Here is first an introduction and overview. In posts later this week I will send a million pictures of colours, style and patterns. So here is the fair overview.
Paris in Spring is always lovely. The weather was a amazing and the hallways of the fair were packed. Optimism is back.
There were of course lots of talks and gossip about Maison & Objet now in March. Some brands said they would rather focus on the coming September edition and skip this March version. One of the main reasons would be that most orders are already placed, and this fair would be too close to September.
This is my absolute first picture of the fair. Super scary. Right? I arrived with an early flight from Stockholm on Thursday morning when the fair opened. And I was met by this. Scaaaaaaary. Doomsday look…
But it was really busy. This must have been the 20-30 first minutes of the fair. From here on the halls were packed. A bit to everyone’s surprise. Of course few Americans and no Asians, but otherwise full. I talked to exhibitors who had not left the stand during the first two days.
And of course everyone was reasoning about why this was (fear of strike in Paris, nice weather, etc, etc). But it was packed.
I talked to the organisers and they said that off the record, the fair was booked to about 60-65 %. A lot (!!) of the larger international brands were missing. HK Living, Rosenthal, &Klevering, Pols Potten… Some like Serax and Asiatides had activities in the city. But the city did not really have the same level of coordination with exhibitions like September 2021.
I talked to both buyers and exhibitors and they were all quite pleased. And everyone is super charged for September. If this was good – expectations for September is craaaaaazy.
One group that possibly was missing was press. I met my German, Italian and South African friends and colleagues, but I missed a lot of others. Where are the Danes, the British??
As you do on a fair like this, you walk the isles, look and talk. And on Sunday (day four) I met this British designer who made fancy travel packs with chargers, power banks etc. Fun and nice. And I asked for press pictures and he said I was the first press he had met at this fair.
Maison & Objet have a number of exhibitions at the fair. They should be inspiring and educational. In general you can talk about two kinds of exhibitions by the fair. One section of them are educational or inspiring like having a guest of honour do an exhibition. Or pushing new talents from a country. This year focus on Japan.
The other section is mainly a tool for buyers to understand where the market is moving.
So two themes for buyers. One was about inspiration from nature and craft. Not so super exciting.
The other was about “Care” and I loved the idea. At an uncertain time we need to take care of eachother and our stuff around us.
Not really well curated with installatios like this. Clear class?? Does that make you feel like you are taken care of?
Or this installation with plain candles. And don’t get me wrong. I love candels. I absolutely think we need candles in our care rituals. But it’s not reflected here. It could have been a Jewish sabbath or a Scandinavian “hygge” or something.
On the plus side is that ALL these products are from the fair. Nothing from other brands in for instance the city. So in that way it is a fantastic tool to get an overview.
A different kind of exhibition. Separate from the two exhibitions above you had an inspiring exhibition with focus on hotels. Super lovely. But here objects mixed between things on the fair and from the fair.
Not to forget to mention – Maison & Objet has a well curated crafts section. Always difficult to scout trends from my perspective but I always find nice talents. Here the new products by Polyhedre. Aren’t they amazing?
The fair themselves had not organised an official stand for Ukraine, but there was a booth. Fantastic craft. And super emotional. People were crying…
So, on a lighter mood. Trends. Everyone is talking about colours and patterns. Plain wood is gone. Marble is gone. Beige is totally gone. We still see white as in boucle (or teddybear textiles) but no beige. Here are my main trends. I will talk more about this during the week.
The dominant colour of the fair is yellow. Not a lemon yellow, but more on the mustardy side. For my report tomorrow I need to find a new cool name for this hue.
Not a forrest inspirerd green. More like kid’s crayon green.
Tricky topic. What is really funny? But I think brands want to move to a lighthearted space. Design to make us smile? All department stores addressed this in the city.
Pattern – splashes
So there is a big talk about patterns being back. But what do they really mean? I don’t think anyone knows yet. But I started to see a lot of black and white. Not as in graphical patterns or dog tooth. More brushes of paint. Splashes.
More and more textiles. Legs of chairs and stools are covered. Velvet is totally gone. There is of course a retro feeling and I will talk more about that later.
I will do a separate report on sustainability. And my only conclusion from this fair is that it is gone. Completely. I have perhaps five or ten examples of brands doing sustainability. And no one introduced anything new. Perhaps slightly on the material side from one brand but other than that. Nothing. Saw some examples in the city. But very little.
So – more on the trends coming later this week.
As a summary – this fair and design week was busy, lots of people, happy people longing to talk and interact. It was fun and colourful. It was naturally smaller compared to other years but still good. Everyone (!!) is aiming for September. I give this a strong 4 out of 5 Trendstefan. 🙂