September in Paris. You get rain and almost 30 degrees hot summer days. And of course you get Maison & Objet with Paris Design Week. I will do this report in two segments. First an overview – and during the weekend more focus on trends.
As you already know, Maison & Objet is one of the major scenes for new design. A fair where you buy stuff but also find inspiration. Today, and this year, this is the most important fair in Europe (and the world?). This is the biggest, the badest and the best. Simply that. Especially in year when we still feel the after effects of the pandemic.
This is the best fair for interior design in 2022. No doubt.
I was in Paris for five days looking at both the fair and the events in the city. I met tons of people. Buyers and exhibitors were extremely optimistic. I don’t think I saw a sour face anywhere. Exhibitors talked about how busy they were, basically not having time to plan for lunch.
And with 2 200 exhibitors. Also almost 60 000 visitors. I also heard that of the exhibitors – almost 600 were new.
I did hear some critical voices. Someone said the content was too low. Someone said that it was too much interior (Objet) and too little furniture (Maison).
But with these numbers, and the general attitude – this is the best fair in Europe 2022.
And of course I agree. Where were the French brands like Petite Friture, or Danish brands like Normann Copenhagen, or even Dutch brands like HK Living. Or German brands like Rosenthal. You get what I mean…
But, for the third time. Regardless of content or missing brands – this is the best of what we get 2022.
Old players like Jonathan Adler (above), Lobmeyer, Serax, Seletti etc was here.
And one of the new ones – Marble Balloon. Beautiful stools.
What did we talk about? Everyone was happy. Very little concern about coming recession and energy prices. Intelligent designer Ineke Hans said something interesting. “What with these large ceramics and glass installations? Noone will be able to afford this with the energy crisis coming”
The major installations by Maison & Objet delt with optimism after the pandemic. There was a strange virtual exhibition (or NFTs) and exhibitions on bright colours. But nothing on sustainability or the coming challanges (energy, recession….)
This is a purse, toiletry bag or whatever. Covers are food containers… Extremely strange at a time when food prices are going through the roof. Is food the new luxury?
One interesting conversation was of course that hospitality industry and hotels are getting more and more important. Retail is going slower again. Online did well during the pandemic, but has slowed down since then. But hospitality is getting more and more important. Everyone was talking about it, in one way or another.
Sustainability is ofcourse difficult to talk about at a massive fair like this. Awareness is here. Main focus is materials, but there are other levels to talk about.
I saw Danish brand The Organic Company again – and to my understanding – they are the only brand talking about repair. Making things last longer.
I think wool will be our next new sustainable material.
Here Swedish brand Aveva doing products in wool. And also cork. I really think wool could be hyped material, just as paper was a few years ago.
I have vintage as a whole trend theme for my trends later. There are many parallell pull factors out there. Kids are demanding vintage, for instance. And we see a lot of relaunches of 50s and 60s furniture so why not interior design? And yes, this is growing a lot. One of the tricky thing with vintage is that you need several copies to make a business. You can not just have one vase in a store. You need to have 20. And now newly produced vintage is out in the market. Just like furniture. Two top pictures from Bitossi Home and just above here, should we call them “vintage broker”. They collect Italian vintage and had a huge stand on the fair.
Paris is of course not only fair but also all these things happening in the city during Paris Design Week. Here Merci focusing on “the basics”.
Here interior designer Laura Gonzalez. Paris Design Week was just as good as the fair. Again, missing a few large players but still good.
I was really happy to see my fellow Swedes manage to do a really large and nice installation at Swedish Culture Institute. This for the fifth year. Getting better and better.
One of the things I really liked at the fair was how they included some of the activities on the fair ground. Between hall 6 and 7 there was a walkway where “absent friends” were presented. It was really a generous thing to do, and a great gesture. By doing this, it feels like more brands in the industry is represented. More inclusion in the future please.
Should I give Maison & Objet September 2022 edition a grade? It is the best we have in Europe. I miss many of my established brands but still 9 out of 10. Sounds higher than 4 out of 50 And this is really super. I look forward to come back.