Maison & Objet: Creativity in all its forms
On Friday September 9, visitors to Maison & Objet, the international trade show held in Paris for home decoration, design and art-of-living brands, could choose between watching a cookery showcase featuring emerging chefs under the aegis of Gault & Millau, enjoying an immersive multi-sensory experience - both visual and olfactory - proposed by set design studio Atelier Athem, and even making the acquaintance of Choupette, late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld's cat, now brand ambassador of Lucy Balu, a brand of designer cat accessories and equipment. A clever mix of genres, sometimes quirky but always creative, that gives a unique flavour to the Maison & Objet show.
Maison & Objet’s third post-Covid edition features 2,300 exhibitors from the worlds of object design, home decoration and also fashion, like apparel brand Faguo, brightly coloured raincoats brand Flotte, and footwear brand Angarde. “The fashion and accessories labels exhibiting at the Maison & Objet show are creative and original. Often they are still small businesses, a category that has been made more vulnerable than others by the economic crisis,” said Caroline Biros, marketing director of Maison & Objet, who is very familiar with the landscape, since she once owned a childrenswear brand herself, Cécotine.
Among children’s products exhibitors, the show features brands like Bonton, a new entry with its furniture and home decoration collections, established names like Nobodinoz, and even children's personal care brands, like Ouate and Poupon. “This is our first participation to the show and we are extremely happy, we have even enlarged our stand and met [buyers from] major accounts,” said Manon Lombardet, founder of Poupon, which in less than two years has won over 300 retailers in France and is now seeking to raise funds to bolster its expansion, especially abroad.
In a different market niche, La Coque Française, a brand of chains for mobile phones, is attracting visitors. “Ours is a viral product that’s popular. Phones have replaced handbags. They now hold everything inside them, from diary to payment cards and even health certificates,” said Laurent Amsallem, co-founder of La Coque Française, distributed via 700 retailers in France and also internationally.
International visitors are more than ever a feature at Maison & Objet. Of the 50,000 to 55,000 visitors expected until September 12 at the show's venue, the Villepinte exhibition centre, more than 40% are from outside of France, well up from 28% a year ago. Visitors from Europe, India, the USA, Korea and Japan have come to this huge event, although their colleagues from China and Eastern Europe are notably missing. A powerful boost for exhibitors, but also for other players.
“You know, Maison & Objet also involves an entire ecosystem outside the trade show itself. Each edition generates a revenue of €150 million, in Paris and its environs, for hotels, restaurants and taxis,” said Biros.
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