Li Edelkoort

WATCH THIS SPACE: Having first opened a private art salon in Paris more than three decades ago, Trend Union founder Li Edelkoort will soon take her career full circle by unveiling a public design gallery in her company’s headquarters.

Set to open its doors Jan. 18 at 30 Boulevard Saint-Jacques, the space will showcase design and arts and crafts — “what deserves to be shown collected and cherished at this moment in time,” according to the trend forecaster. To that end, a Heartwear pop-up shop will be among the planned events.

Created in 1993 by Edelkoort and some of her fashion designer friends, Heartwear is a nonprofit that collaborates with artisans by helping them scale up their creations without compromising their design integrity, culture or environment that they live and work in. With the assistance of department stores and magazines, Heartwear develops high-level goods with broader distribution. The nonprofit’s aim is to create a lasting connection with a collective or region. Khadi cotton from India and indigo-colored textiles from Benin are two of the projects that have been executed. To try to help the specific regions become self sustainable, profits are reinvested in those where the artists are based.

Trend Union will also host seasonal presentations there and public debates about the “anti-fashion movement” that Edelkoort has written and spoken about at length will also be held from time to time. The latter is meant to trace the progress of innovative fashion systems for the future and product promotions for brands or organizations aligned with Trend Union’s ethos. Sustainability-enhancing groups like Feel The Yarn qualify. This group of Italian spinners supports new knitwear designers and provides the best ones with free supplies of fancy yarns and showcases the winners’ work on the Feel The Yarn site.

With the assistance of Edelkoort’s two business partners, Philip Fimmano and François Epin, there will be four to five shows in 2018 in the soon-to-open gallery. Vintage work will be paired with that of up-and-coming designers. In a press release regarding the new undertaking, Edelkoort said her own design collection will be “dissected and shown at intervals.” There will also be a small shop with limited-edition books, objects and prints. Describing this venture as “more of a hobby than a full-time profession,” Edelkoort plans to use the gallery as a source of culture that unites people and sparks inspiration. To that end, discussions and readings will be streamed at times.

Edelkoort’s professional connection to Paris extends beyond her own business ventures. Two years ago she was named dean of Hybrid Design Studies at Parsons School of Design, a post divided between Paris and New York.

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