July 1, 2008
Fresh design talent takes over the City of Light.
There’s a new energy in Paris when it comes to design. The crossover influences of high fashion, graphics, and music have produced a generation of designers whose work exhibits a highly polished idiosyncrasy. You have classic French luxury brands like Baccarat and Veuve Clicquot collaborating with the likes of Arik Levy and Christophe Pillet to create refreshing updates on such bourgeois standbys as chandeliers and champagne buckets. Meanwhile, non-French companies such as Poltrona Frau and Bernhardt Design are becoming Francophiles, tapping the country’s talents for everyday items like chairs and sofas. Visit Paris in early September or late January to catch Maison & Objet, a semiannual home-furnishings trade fair—the next one is September 5–9—where many of the best new French products debut. Designers like Antoine + Manuel and Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance may not be household names just yet, but we think that they and some of their contemporaries featured here may give Philippe “Design Is Dead” Starck a run for his money.