The prerequisites for the creation of an interior collection at the house of Louis Vuitton have existed almost from its very foundation, when in 1875, at the special order of Matilda Kshesinskaya, the brand's masters developed a wardrobe chest for numerous pointe shoes and dance tutus of the famous ballerina. This was followed by a chest-bed for the explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza and a chest-library for Ernest Hemingway. Thus, Louis Vuitton was able to prove that even a utilitarian thing can be easily turned into a luxury item without sacrificing functionality, and you need to travel not only comfortably, but also with taste.
Six years ago, the company decided to rethink its historical heritage, inviting nine eminent artists and designers to cooperate at once: among them the Campana brothers, Patricia Urquiola, Martin Bas, Nendo bureau. Louis Vuitton invited them to create stylish travel attributes using genuine leather and wood. The main principle is that the item should be folded, easy to transport and, of course, reflect the aesthetic principles of the famous brand. The production shops and laboratories of the house were given to the designers. So in 2012, the Objets Nomades collection was born, consisting of 16 pieces of furniture and accessories: it includes folding hammocks, stools, tables, storage systems and lamps.
Bell Lamp, Barber & Osgerby © Photo, style: Marina Bessonova / Producer: Ruslan Leonov
In some of the items, it was easy to trace references to iconic objects of Louis Vuitton. Designed by the Campana brothers, the Cocoon pendant chair echoes the wavy curves of the handle of the iconic Keepall bag. The chair's frame was 3D printed using stereolithography technology and then covered with the finest red calfskin. The shape of another iconic model, the Noe bag, forms the basis of the Bell travel lamp from Barber & Osgerby. The Bell plafond is made by Italian craftsmen by hand from Venetian glass and is complemented by technological innovations that allow the lamp to be charged by sunlight.
Spiral lamp, Atelier Oï © Photo, style: Marina Bessonova / Producer: Ruslan Leonov
Almost all items in the collection when folded looked like compact elegant trunks, leather briefcases and suitcases, if necessary, fold out into stools, tables and even beds.
New artifacts are added to the Objets Nomades line every year. The pool of designers invited to work on it is also growing. In 2017, the Campana brothers, Patricia Urquiola, Damien Langlois-Mörinne, Martin Bass, Guenael Nicolas, Nendo, Atelier Oï, Raw Edges, Barber & Osgerby were joined by Andre Fu, India Madavi, Marcel Wanders and Tokokujin Y. And the lineup of the collection was complemented by leather screens, mobile bookshelves, flowerpots, valet, sun loungers, swings, rocking chairs and a transforming sofa. Moreover, each piece was a unique and one-of-a-kind piece of the highest craftsmanship, handcrafted with a very thoughtful design.
Almost a year and a half, from the first sketches to the finished prototype, it took Madhavi India to work on the Talisman small folding table. “Leather is a tricky material that can look too brutal and flat, especially if used on a large scale,” admits the designer. “I decided that I would work with it like with wood, choosing the technique of marquetry inlay for this.”
Each Objets Nomades is a blend of the artist's creative individual vision, innovative technology, craft techniques and the traditional style of the Louis Vuitton house. The frame of the Beach Chair by the Dutchman Martin Bass was made from the designer's favorite material - polymer clay, and the textile weave - from Louis Vuitton's signature ultra-soft leather: nomade. The processing of this leather has remained unchanged since 1860 and includes the use of vegetable tannins, which include the bark of mimosa, oak, quebracho and chestnut. By the way, Bass made the black version of the Beach Chair with his own hands.
Atelier Oï stool © Photo, style: Marina Bessonova / Producer: Ruslan Leonov
The natural continuation of Objets Nomades is the new Les Petits Nomades collection, presented by Louis Vuitton this year. This time the authors were asked to work with "small forms". The result is a very elegant, sophisticated and in its own way poetic series of small decorative items for the home. Inspired by bromeliads, the Campana brothers created a vase shaped like a flower from this genus of South American tropical plants. The construction consists of 176 metal "petals", covered with leather in two different shades. Natural motives can be traced in the works of the designers of the Swiss studio Atelier Oï. Experimenting with leather using the origami technique, they created trays and decorative flowers whose buds, woven from multi-colored leather bands, echo the Louis Vuitton monograms. Another creation of the studio - decorative pillows with a complex volumetric leather pattern - a nice addition to the hammock she had invented earlier for the Objets Nomades collection.
Decor Origami Flowers, Atelier Oï © Photo, style: Marina Bessonova / Producer: Ruslan Leonov
Another floral homage is the Diamond mirror by Marcel Wanders. The octagonal core is surrounded by 25 triangular mirrored "petals", each of which is covered with leather along the contour. Unusual geometry creates a bizarre play of light, reflected in mirrored planes located at slightly offset angles. The model is attached to a silver stem with a marble base. In this context, the work of Patricia Urquiola looks very interesting, who, in contrast to her colleagues, preferred simple lines and contrasting color combinations. Her leather Overlay baskets are reminiscent of minimalist sculptures sewn from fabric scraps.
All items of the Objets Nomades and Les Petits Nomades collections are produced in a single copy or in a very limited edition and are made exclusively by special order. Which, of course, turns them into real objects of desire.>