ON THE DRAWING BOARD
IN GOOD COMPANY: The Museum of Modern Art’s annex doesn’t move into Long Island City until next month, but furniture designer Tucker Robbins has already settled in there nicely in a 20,000-square-foot design studio, showroom and store, near P.S. 1 and the Noguchi Museum. He aims to up the exotic quotient in the neighborhood under the Queensboro Bridge with 10,000 objects culled from indigenous cultures in Cameroon, Guatemala, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
The new space will also show off Tucker’s collaborations with Philippe Starck, Juan Montoya and Albert Hadley, among others. Tucker, whose work has landed in the homes of Ian Schraeger, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Robert Redford and Ron Perelman, has also designed pieces for the Chambers, Hudson, W and Royalton hotels, Felissimo and Abercrombie & Fitch.
ON THE PHONE: In the increasingly pricey world of designer mobile phones, Motorola plans to introduce its latest model in France and the U.S. next month. It features a sleek, watch-like design with interchangeable bezels. The tiny new V70 cellular phone features an earpiece that swivels out from the center, rather than the standard flip style on many current phones.
Underlining its high degree of style, Motorola approached London-based accessories firm Tateossian to create the wardrobe of bezels. Options include semiprecious stones like mother-of-pearl, Swarovski crystals, leather, enamel and precious woods. The phone is slated to retail for about $625 and it’s sure to get lots of celebrity exposure. Phones were furnished to the Hollywood elite just before the Oscars and some were seen toying with the gadget on the red carpet.
FRENCH TOUCH: Paris is not only burning in terms of fashion. With lots of young talents emerging in graphics, furniture and other design realms, City Hall plans to establish a “maison” devoted to design. The campaign to create Paris’ first design center is being spearheaded by Christophe Girard, head of fashion strategy at LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and the deputy mayor of Paris responsible for culture. Girard said Thursday that he hopes to find a space in the emerging art district around Rue Louis Weiss. “I’m not looking to create a museum,” he said. “I’d like it to be a home for designers, for exhibitions, education and documentation.” Given its scale, Girard said he expects the project will take about two to three years to realize.