*Written by: Ira Vaso
There is a whiff of change at the venerable Maison & Objet’s tradeshow in Paris. Having just celebrated its 20-year anniversary in the city, the biannual design fair remains a treasure trove for design professionals seeking to keep up with the latest design trends and technical innovations, but it’s also seeking to reposition itself at the higher end of the market, to answer the increasing demand for customized solutions.
Already in September, to improve this experience, and with 900 new exhibitors, the Parisian fair introduced a new layout to its fall edition, relocating about 2,000 of the 3,000 brands showing. While Hall 7 had traditionally focused on the high end luxury products and Hall 8 on creative design brands, the new layout blended the most creative products with luxury brands in Hall 7, transforming it into a high end concept store for buyers, while Hall 8 ‘M&O PROJECTS’ was dedicated to project-based offerings i.e. customized interior design and architectural solutions.
Further changes are afoot for Maison & Objet Paris in January with Hall 8 becoming a Hall of Fame hosting 50 top design brands, including Bentley Home, Fendi Casa, Giaofranco Ferre, Meissen Couture, Meridiani, Missoni Home, Ralph Lauren and Sicis.
“We made this decision because we know that high end concept stores don’t really have boundaries themselves between luxury and innovative. They just want the best products,” explains Philippe Brocart, managing director of Maison & Objet.
“Meanwhile, in the home décor market, while the purchasing power used to be just in the hands of classic distribution i.e. retail distributors and concept stores, we’ve seen a change happening in the last five years from retail to projects.
Today, the property development market is the one driving the market that is particularly true in Asia. The person putting an order for 100 chairs is no longer in retail, but a hotel or in F&B. So the project section is about design solutions and products, it’s all about customization. This is the opportunity to see the latest in materials and technology offered by companies that can customize to your needs,” Brocart explains.
In January the renovated Ritz Paris is expected to unveil a new home collection designed in collaboration with Club House Italia, while Wonderglass will offer a limited lighting collection in collaboration with renowned designers such as Zaha Hadid, Nao Tamura, Jaime Hayon, Nendo, and Marcel Wanders.
The next Maison & Object Paris will take place January 22-26, 2016.