Maison&Objet, the unmissable event in Paris, from 18 to 22 January 2019, presents the trend ‘Excuse my French’, new Chinese talents and Sebastian Herkner Designer of the Year

Maison&Objet, M&O for the habitués, is the biannual event that you should not miss to be updated on the trends – some obvious and others emerging – that will inevitably influence world’s design and decoration. Color and materials palettes, renovated traditions and unexpected innovations are waiting for us also for the edition that will take place in January 2019. Art de vivre and all the facets of the world of the home, along with the French savoir faire in acting as a catalyst for all that is new (and chic). Of course, numbers count: 3,000 brands and 90,000 visitors (half of them international). These are the figures of a growing success since 1995. In 2016, the digital platform MOM (Maison&Objet and More) was added, which facilitates visitors during the days of the event and allows them to keep in touch and updated on the exhibitors throughout the year.


At the Trend Forum (hall 7) a selection of products will embody the essence of the new French scene: in a setting inspired by the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, a small truck of disruptive objects will deliberately contrast with the surrounding classicality – this is the ‘je ne sais pas quoi’ of French style.

As it happens for each edition of M&O, trend forecasting agency NellyRodi has encapsulated in the ‘Excuse my French’ theme the certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that identifies the leading French ésprit for 2019. Vincent Grégoire, a NellyRodi trend forecaster for 25 years, explains: “There’s a renewed curiosity about the French abroad, a sort of fascination at the moment.” For him, the movement is linked to globalization: “In a world where things are becoming standardized, people are looking for something different.”

One of the factors for this resurgence is represented by many small companies, the so-called Petites Maisons, that reinterpret traditional savoir -faire with innovative and exclusive products. There is also a Nouvelle Vague of multicultural creatives who shake up traditional French chic by injecting international inspirations in a new mood of fusion and mix ‘n’ match. Other creative professionals, on the other hand, tend to ‘Classic with a Twist’, enlivening the tradition with typical boldness and eccentricity. French hi-tech industry plays an important role: Paris is home to the world’s largest start -up campus, Station F, and in France are some companies that are bringing revolutionary innovations in the domestic context.



In partnership with DesignChain, Maison&Objet presents the works by emerging Chinese talents. The design industry’s rapid development reflects Chinese society’s growth and progress of the latest decade: a new Chinese aesthetic is born, characterized by increasingly higher quality standards, where innovation and superior craftsmanship coexist. Despite being open to international aesthetics and lifestyles, Chinese people are increasingly ready to look for their cultural identity through design. Also Chinese design lovers are growing and, while there is no shortage of creativity, China’s design support networks are still a work in progress: this is the challenge.

Among the members of the jury of Rising Talents (along with Hu, Tom Dixon, LIU Xu, QU GuangCi, Xing Tong-He) was Italian designer Luca Nichetto, who said: “Currently, the Chinese middle class is very much interpreting design as art, but as it shifts to more design as function it will be exciting to see how it will impact both Chinese design and what we from the West will learn from it.” The young designers selected for this edition are Frank Chou, Chen Furong, Mario Tsai, Hongjie Yang, Ximi Li and Bentu.


The Designer of the Year of the January 2019 edition is Sebastian Herkner, from Germany, with a studio in Offenbach am Main, who has been collaborating with a number of high-end brands (Moroso, Dedon, Thonet and Lintello, to name just a few) and over the last decade has been receiving about thirty awards and recognitions for his innovative design that taps into tradition. Sebastian Herkner is only 37 but his name is linked to iconic design pieces such as the Bell table by ClassiCon. And he is particularly attached to Maison&Objet, Paris and France in general since he draws inspiration from them for the taste for color, freedom of combination and artisanal elegance that he combines with his typically German engineering attitude. [Lucia Bocchi]

Sebastian Herkner

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