Imagine this: you returned from Art Basel Miami Beach last year with one of Louis Vuitton’s coveted foldable travel chairs, designed by Marcel Wanders. You set it up during your travels — perhaps to Art Basel in Switzerland — only to realize that something was missing. That something may just be this year’s latest additions to the house’s Objets Nomades travel home collection.
Tokujin Yoshioka designed the Blossom stool, offered in gold metal and leather/wood, and the Campana Brothers added a hanging fur cocoon, priced at a cool $116,000, to the offerings. The brand is unveiling the new pieces under the central Design Miami tent for the first time, as well as in an exhibit at its Design District store.
“To be present at this fair is a must as it is one of the most recognized in the design world,” said Louis Vuitton chairman and chief executive officer Michael Burke. “To be present there is the occasion to demonstrate our exceptional savoir-faire through exceptional pieces. Each piece is unique. We take everyday objects, things that are a part of daily life like a stool, and we elevate them into something sublime.”
Here, Japanese artist Yoshioka talks about his first time designing for the brand ahead of the exhibit’s public unveiling on Wednesday.
WWD: How did you get involved as a designer for the Objets Nomades collection?
Tokujin Yoshioka: In 2003, I was luckily approached by Louis Vuitton. My impression of Louis Vuitton is the quality and art of craftsmanship and manufacturing cultivated in the brand’s long history. I thought I would like to reinterpret the philosophy of Louis Vuitton to create a work which travels through the time of history and future with my expression and techniques, and express the new journey through time.
WWD: What did you find interesting or challenging about designing a piece of furniture for the collection?
T.Y.: I wanted to design something symbolic, focusing on fine details. I found it exciting to develop my design by harnessing elements of the brand such as high quality and utilizing the techniques which Louis Vuitton has cultivated throughout their long history.
WWD: What was your inspiration for the Blossom Stool?
T.Y.: I was inspired by petals. The stool represents the quarto foil — the monogram of petals that symbolizes Louis Vuitton and stems from natural structure. This is an object that delivers an iconic and symbolic strong message created with the techniques of wood and leather craftwork — Louis Vuitton’s craftsmanship cultivated in the long history — and constructed with the structure of four petals. The Blossom Stool is also an art object that travels beyond time.
WWD: Why did you choose to work with these materials?
T.Y.: To present this collection in Miami I created a stool made from metal resulting in an object that delivers an iconic and strong symbolic message. I chose to create a sculpturelike stool as something symbolic and special.
WWD: During the design process for your objet, which did you consider first: form or function?
T.Y.: Neither shape nor function. I always try to invent something beyond forms. I wanted to create something iconic which strongly symbolizes the philosophy of Louis Vuitton, and I created an object that is universal and timeless.
Design Miami/ Public Showtimes:
November 30/ 12-8 p.m.
December 1/ 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
December 2/ 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
December 3/ 12-8 p.m.
December 4/ 12-6 p.m.
Meridian Avenue and 19th Street, Miami Beach, Fla., 33139
Louis Vuitton Miami Design District:
November 30th through January 2017
140 NE 39th Street, Miami, Fla., 33137