Now into its fifth year, Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades is an ever-evolving homeware collection of collaborations with luminaries of the design world. In keeping with the brand’s origins as a trunk-maker, each limited-edition piece takes its cues from the spirit of travel – a brilliantly evocative brief that has over the years produced some extraordinary creations. One of the most outlandish is the Campana Brothers’ suspended Cocoon seat; an alien-like ovoid form wrapped in red leather with a £30,000-plus price tag, which has proved a bestseller.
Louis Vuitton’s fluid approach – designers are literally given carte blanche and often sent a pile of leather samples with which “to play” – means the brand is never entirely sure how many new pieces will be unveiled annually. But 2017 has turned out to be a bumper year with 10 new additions ranging from Marcel Wanders’ Paravent screen to the Campana Brothers’ cloud-shaped Bomboca sofa.
Swiss-based practice Atelier Oï returns with three new pieces; a rigorous steel-framed dining chair with a seat composed of eight leather belts and an interactive lantern-like lamp – sliding the metal ring threaded with leather strips plays with light and shadow.
But it’s the swinging sofa with a charming back story that’s most likely to capture the imagination. Inspired by a folding canvas boat that the team discovered at a flea market and use on their local lake, it’s beautifully executed and folds up, fan-like, into a nifty portable object.
Raw Edges’ origami-like My Shelf, which completes its existing Concertina set, also folds flat. Likewise the blue leather marquetry table – designed by confident colourist India Mahdavi – doubles up as a tray, the base closing like a book.
A newcomer to the Objets Nomades clan, the Paris-based Irano-Egyptian hopes the piece, inspired by oriental side tables and good luck charms, will have talismanic properties. “Everything is connected: the function embraces the idea of luck and protection, a sort of antidote to the evil eye.”
Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades is at Palazzo Bocconi, Corso Venezia 48, Milan until April 9
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