Paris Design Week is an annual event that showcases the latest industry trends and innovations. It also offers brands the perfect chance to open their pop-up store: with more than 100,000 visitors in 2018, the pedestrian traffic it generates is both high-quality and dense. Its director, Franck Millot, is on hand to give us the rundown on the year’s hottest design event.
What is Paris Design Week?
In just 8 years, Paris Design Week has become the not-to-be-missed event of the design world. Over the course of a few days, people can discover the diversity of this unique art form simply by following different itineraries around central Paris designed specifically for pedestrians. The city becomes a kind of living body that reveals itself in new and unexpected ways. “It’s all in the same spirit as its partner event MAISON&OBJET, which extends out into the city streets for both industry professionals and the public alike, since it is free and open to everyone,” explains Franck Millot. Plus, with 300 participants and 100 000 visitors in 2017, the event is a way to make design accessible to all.
For 8 days, showrooms, retailers, galleries, studios, restaurants and hotels, not to mention museums and other institutions, celebrate a multi-faceted approach to design with exhibitions, installations and pop-up stores, conference-debates and new product launches.
“Museum or store, Ikea or high-end design, there is something for everyone during Paris Design Week, because an unlimited number of companies are taking part. We are aiming for more than 200. We even have a co-working space (Kwerk on the Boulevard Haussmann) that will participate this year. These interdisciplinary perspectives attract a wider and larger public, but the artistic content will stay coherent. Design is first and foremost a state of mind,” adds Franck Millot.
To be even more expansive and connect to disciplines where design clearly thrives, this year Paris Design Week will join forces with the Biennale des Antiquaires and the design event AD Interiors.
Where exactly will visitors gather for Paris Design Week?
For its transformation, Paris will be divided into 7 thematic itineraries dedicated to design métiers such as fashion, food, art or craftsmanship. Each itinerary invites visitors to look at design from a certain vantage point. The event will focus on the 4 most creative design districts in Paris, where 200 key industry venues will open their doors for the occasion:
- Barbès and Stalingrad
- Opéra, Etoile, Concorde
- Le Marais, Les Halles and Bastille
What are this year’s highlights?
Since Paris Design Week emphasizes the value of French design above all, it is an international event that draws press from around the world. This year its news will be linked to Japan, with the Guimet Museum’s carte blanche invitation to designer José Levy or the studios along Rue des Blancs Manteaux showing the works of Japanese artisans. In honor of Japanese design, the week will finish off on September 13 and 14 with a dream-like digital light show at the Eiffel Tower, by famous lighting designers Motoko Ishii and Akari-Lisa Ishii. Lebanon will also be honored with a selection of young designers exhibited at the Gallerie Bensimon.
“Our goal is to reveal the creative energy of Paris by putting the work of crafts people, artists and designers in the limelight, but we also welcome the participation of big brands or independents,” explains Franck Millot. Porcelanosa will celebrate its 30th year on the Rue du Bac, while luxury bathroom designer THG will present a collection of exclusive bathroom fittings on the Boulevard Haussmann. “For 8 years we’ve been welcoming event regulars and key players, but every year we invite newcomers to become part of our specific, high-quality content curation for the public to discover.” In fact, venues and brands who want to participate in the event can submit their application at the site of Paris Design Week, right up until the end of July.
Meanwhile…at Le Off
Running alongside the main event, Le Off young talent exhibition will take place from September 5 to 9 at the venue Ground Control in La Halle Charolais. The goal: reveal the new talents of tomorrow. Dedicated to designers with less than 7 years of professional experience, this event aims to introduce their work to the public and to encourage future partnerships by allowing the designers to meet with editors and collaborators.
What are the benefits?
In 2017, the incredible media and institutional participation connected to the event allowed Paris Design Week to generate €4 000 000 in advertising value and 90 200 followers on social media networks. In terms of press, there were 737 publications in 406 international and French media outlets.