In transforming flat furniture into three-dimensional art forms, Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades is a collection that bridges their travel-inspired history with contemporary design.
Before venturing into the realm of fabrics, footwear and prêt-à-porter, Louis Vuitton had established a heritage of housing the articles of journeymen. At a time where horse-drawn carriages and trains were the main modes of transportation, the maison mastered the art of trunk-making to protect the items of travelers throughout their journey. The French luxury house had then produced the Bed Trunk in 1874, marking the beginning of their history of mending leather into furniture for its globetrotting clientele. Until now, this connection to travel had integrated itself deep into each of the maison’s codes.
Drawing breath from the life of a wayfarer, Louis Vuitton developed a collection of furniture fit for motion, whether in feel or function. Titled Objets Nomades, the release of the collection had become somewhat of a seasonal tradition. At the midpoint of each year, the house had unveiled a new catalogue of travel furniture since its inception in 2012, adding to their expanding array of creative utilities.
Objets Nomades continues to work with a growing roster of visionaries. To date, eleven designers were chosen to represent the collection throughout the past decade. The new collection debuted during Milan Design Week 2023, featuring a presentation of eleven items from their previous collaborators: Atelier Oï, Raw Edges, Atelier Biagetti, Marcel Wanders, Zanellato/Bortotto, Studio Louis Vuitton, and the Campana Brothers.
Now, two designers are handpicked to illustrate their artistic vision to the Objets Nomades. Among the diverse selection of artisans, returning contributor Raw Edges Design Studio and Louis Vuitton’s newest asian designer Frank Chou lend their languages of design to the yearly collaboration.
“What comes to mind when we think about people traveling with Louis Vuitton trunks at the end of the 19th century?” the pair ask themselves. In designing for the Objets Nomades, the creative duo of Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay of Raw Edges Design Studio fixated on the concept of shape and imagery with each of their entries. Since 2007, the pair have developed in the art of interior design, furniture, and functional installations. Given their extensive creative background, the design studio had been called to regularly collaborate for the Objets Nomades, with this year marking their fifth stint with the collection.
The imagery and illusion of shape are the backbone of the pair’s work. However, given Louis Vuitton’s transport-influenced history, Raw Edges was challenged to create items that were both aesthetically sound and easily transportable. “Usually the focus is on how to make collapsible objects very small and flat. In this project, we mostly focused on how to make them look large, surprising and with real presence when they are expanded,” says the pair when discussing their previous entry with the Concertina Collection.
Building upon their previous entries, Raw Edges sought to infuse their principles of artistry into a simple armchair for the 2023 collection. The duo’s Binda Armchair is a byproduct of both geometry and functional design. Sculpted with sharply honed lines, the chair’s steep curves mirror the appearance of a compressed tennis ball. Its seat is also enveloped in a soft velvet, accentuated by an exterior made completely out of supple leather detailing. For the Objets Nomades, the armchair is unveiled in five color combinations – cream and coral, orange and milk, deep blue and violet, burgundy and white, and in green and white.