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Category Archives: Conran & Company
Pinterest has been adding a healthy dose of pretty to our office lives for a while now. We love its clean, simple interface and great use of portmanteau.
So far we’ve been quiet observers, but today we’d like to introduce Conran on Pinterest. We have experts in branding, products, interactive and digital, architecture, interior and retail, and our boards are curated by all of them.
Conran Studio are hunting out their favourite brands, and Conran & Company their favourite products. Conran Singh and Conran & Partners are picking the best from the worlds of digital design and architecture.
At the moment, Vicki Conran is at Chelsea Flower Show (read more about her Artisan Retreat here), and she is kindly sending through her Chelsea highlights.
More to come soon – including a board of Terence’s personal picks…
Shad Thames was a ghost street last week, as the more fortunate Conranners downed tools and jetted off to Lombardy for the 2012 Salone Internazionale del Mobile (aka the Milan Furniture Fair, or simply Milan Design Week).
To make sure they didn’t have too much fun, we set them some homework: to report back on their ‘top threes’ from Milan.
So, here goes: an esoteric tour of the best of Milan, in two installments, brought to you by Conran’s design and retail experts. First up, Conran & Company gave us their favourites.
Jill Webb, Brand Development Director, Conran & Company
Top three new designers/brands to watch
1. La Chance
Jean-Baptiste Souletie and Louise Breguet, the designers behind the startup, say that La Chance “epitomises their vision of French design”. The people they’ve worked with, though, are defiantly global: 11 designers representing 7 countries.
The collection, Jekyll and Hyde, present two executions of each piece: an understated ‘Jekyll’ version in oiled wood, neutral tones and softly-brushed metal, and a Technicolor Hyde alternative.
French or not, it’s a playful and eye-catching collection – fortunately backed up by great design. Check out the Borghese sofa by Noé Duchaufour Lawrance, for example.
The sober Dr. Jekyll…
…and the eye-catching Mr. Hyde.
Next up was Objekten, also over at MOST (definitely the place to be). “Powered by influential new media entrepreneurs and innovative designers” they may claim to be, but their designs were much better than their copy.
3. Y’a Pas Le Feu Au Lac
Y’a Pas Le Feu Au Lac – a French expression meaning ‘no need to rush’ – was born of a collaboration between Grégory and Marie Bodel and design house FX Balléry in 2011.
Their new collection consists of a range of small, simple, functional wooden objects. Each piece feels like it has been plucked straight out of a dolls house – and they are all uncommonly beautiful.
Alice Walsh, Designer, Conran & Company
Top three new product ranges
1. CAST 001 by Sally Makereth
Like most of Milan’s highlights, Sally Makareth’s CAST 001 collection was found at Tom Dixon’s MOST.
Sally is an award-winning British architect, and CAST 001 consists of a range very sculptural outdoor furniture.
The pieces are made of reconstructed stone with patinated metallic finishes, lending them an unusual, semi-reflective quality.
2. Tom Dixon’s lamps
As Steve Carrell puts it, ‘I love lamp’. Tom Dixon was master curator in Milan, and his own designs didn’t disappoint, either.
His Etch Web lampshade is a wonderful, geometrical thing made from digitally-etched, copper-anodised aluminium. It comprises 60 irregular pentagons which throw savage, spiky shadows in every direction.
3. 1616 by Stefan Scholten and Carole Baijings
Stefan Scholten and Carole Baijings teamed up to create my Milan highlight: 1616, a colourful range of tableware for Japanese brand Arita.
Clean, simple shapes let colour do the talking: great swathes of pastel and dashes of bright yellow and orange.
The Conran Shop‘s beady-eyed buyers will be unpicking the big trends and the best stands in Part 2, later today.
Thank goodness for London’s late night openings. If it wasn’t for them we’re sure half the working population would be forever devoid of culture and community, starved of inspiration as the weekends become saturated, sacrificed to the gods of laundry, grocery shopping and petty squabbling over DIY.
Great news for the team from Conran that kept missing the now annual graphic arts and illustration fair, Pick Me Up, at Somerset House when we managed to get down there for the late night opening (until 10pm!) yesterday night.
Inspiration and creativity with the added bonus of a beer at the end of a sunny but busy Thursday in the spectacular courtyard surroundings of Somerset House, the new installation of ceramic flowers Out of Sync by by Fernando Casasempere spread out before us.
A particular favourite of the team was this wonderful, almost life size Bear by Sarah Maycock., generous sweepings of washed colour and beautiful economy of line.
Others were David Sparshott’s illustrations, particularly the bicycles and these teapots executed simply using graphite and coloured pencil. It was great to see screen-printing in action at Print Club London with a wide variety of prints on sale.
We also loved the satisfyingly intricate letters from Yuko Michishita
It’s on until 1st April, leave the laundry on hold and get down there while you can.
It’s Friday, the sun is shining and we are full of the joys of spring – as is our current window display!
The products gracing the glass shelves this month are from our M&S collaboration and are all new in for SS12.
Among those gorgeous bunches of daffs are some of our bestselling cloches, cushions and our fabulous new bedlinen – nine fresh new designs for Spring.
All are available online at Marks & Spencer.
If you are in the area feel free to pop along to our office at 22 Shad Thames and have a look.
Terence’s exhibition is still on around the corner at the Design Museum so come and have a browse afterwards!
Conran exclusive design only at M&S is starting off 2012 all bright and beautiful – our new spring collection is now available online and instore.
We’ve got more design-led upholstery, cabinet pieces and accessories but are adding to last autumn’s preview range with hundreds of new products including beautiful graphic bedlinen and a tabletop range with our trademark twist on the traditional.
Chosen pieces featured in the press are the Graphic Button cushion and the Crewel Stitch cushion of block lines, both perfect finishing touches for the living and bedroom. Particular favourites amongst the team are the beautiful Chambray and Jacquard bedlinens and of course the Amis sofa – which like all of the upholstery is made right here in the UK.
Just to prove how much we want you to see and own some of these fabulous new products the lovely people at M&S are offering a fantastic 20% off for Conran fans until 17th February 2012.
Leaflets will be available to pick up instore, and can be used in stores stocking the Conran range*, or alternatively enter the code CONRAN20 at the online checkout.
Find out more about the Conran team’s favourite products over the next few days.
*Aberdeen, Union Square. Manchester, Barton Square. Cheltenham, Kingsditch. Cardiff Capital. Lisburn, Sprucefield. Tunbridge Wells, Fountains Park. Glasgow, Argyle Street. Stratford City. Dartford, Bluewater. London, Marble Arch. Camberley. Pudsey. Newcastle, Metro Centre. Merton. Warrington, Gemini Retail Park. Southampton, Hedge End. Edinburgh, Gyle. Thurrock, Lakeside. Dudley, Merry Hill. Chester. Shoreham. Bromley. Cheshunt. Bristol, Cribbs Causeway. Kingston. Sheffield, Meadowhall. St Albans, London Colney. Nottingham. York, Coppergate. Leicester, Fosse Park. Peterborough. Norwich. Manchester. Bournemouth, Castlepoint. Dublin, Liffey Valley. Wilmslow, Handforth Dean. Dublin, Mary St. Harrogate. Southport. Westfield, White City. Glasgow, Braehead. Cardiff, Culverhouse Cross. Dublin, Dundrum. Bath. Croydon. Liverpool. Newcastle. Southampton, West Quay. Plymouth. London, Kensington. Belfast. Glasgow, Pollock. Middlesbrough.
The brand new HOME show, which ran last week at Earl’s Court, offered an inspiring selection of stylish, high quality interior accessories, lighting and occasional furniture, from hundreds of the best design companies in the UK and Europe.
Joining a panel of judges whose job it was to select the best of the show’s stands was our own Jill Webb from Conran & Company who was accompanied by other design commentators including London Design Guide editor Max Fraser.
The winner in the best stand category was Reiko Kanieko – known for her delicate ceramics and pleasing aesthetic style.
Hers was a tiny stand and the judges felt quite strongly it would have been easy to award the prize to a big stand but that the restrictions of smaller scale made the job a lot more difficult. The stand complemented the product beautifully, with narrow shelving in quality wood and simple, paired back but elegant design.
Best British product went to a new entry from former trade-only toaster makers Rowlett Rutland (best tag line ever “Because toast deserves respect” – so true) also proudly, and wonderfully, made in the UK. Being ‘good enough for industry’ definitely makes these toasters a firm favourite among us consumers we are sure and the fact they are made in the UK make them a firm Terence favourite too.
The best new product was Black & Blum’s ‘eau good’ water bottle: not just a clever name but also a stylish looking water bottle that makes tap water taste great.
Dan Black and Martin Blum wanted to create a bottle that was ergonomically- (and aesthetically) designed and would filter tap water as you drink.
The ingenious and careful design is based on an ancient Japanese filtering system using carbon filters. Read more about it here on Treehugger.
All in all a great show – and not forgetting we were there in our own Conran capacity too, showing some brand new designs from Content by Conran and Conran Bath & Body.