This week marked the MAISON&OBJET 20th anniversary and with M&O being arguably one of the world’s best interior design trade fairs, it was cause to celebrate indeed. The event (affectionately known simply as Maison) and the products and talents it showcases are continually at the forefront of commercial design and mark the beginning of a new year of trends, directions and attitudes in the industry. It’s here that, for five days in an exhibition hall on the outskirts of the City of Lights, the world’s trade professionals and journalists (which number upwards of 85,000 visitors) gather for an event full of the the most stylish, iconic and pioneering design minds.
Brands have been born there (the event’s promotional Born and Raised with MAISON&OBJET adverts are proof of that), blossomed there and hit iconic status there. It’s a community of design talents which aren’t just the captain of the ship but the sails, the ropes and the winds as well.
“Over the years, the show has grown bigger, attracting more and more people, especially from beyond European borders,” Philippe Chomat, Maison’s Communications Director, reveals, “Despite its increasing success and its internationalisation, the model has stayed essentially the same. MAISON&OBJET’s ambition remains to present the broadest possible offer of the home décor and design markets.”
These days, the industry would seem positively incomplete without diaries indicating a trip to Paris every January but there was a time when this one-stop-shop didn’t exist. “Before MAISON&OBJET, there was Paas, Moving, Tex’styles, Mic, Arts cuisine, Parallel and scènes d’intérieur,” Phillippe says of the fair’s predecessors, “These fairs, faced with changing distribution models and the need to extend their international reach, came together in September 1994 to be held simultaneously at the Parc des Expositions at Porte de Versailles.” This consolidation was the first step to creating the world-renowned event – “A few months later, a decisive step was taken. In January 1995, they joined forces under the banner of a single fair: MAISON&OBJET.”