At an evening ceremony at the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris last week, French secondary packaging supplier Gainerie 91 awarded the top prizes for its annual student design contest. The five winning projects, of which four were dedicated to Hermès’ brand universe, addressed this year’s theme, Les Bibelots de Luxe, or “an original and refined gift” with gusto.
First prize this year went to Arthur Viviant, a first-year student at the École et Lycée des Métiers d'Art et du Design Auguste Renoir. His project, Petit Cheval, is a reinvention of the classic board game Petits Chevaux. Inspired by Hermès’ Petit H collection based on upcycled materials, the game board is a square piece of leather meant to be rolled up and stored in a cylindrical box. The white porcelain game pieces are shaped like a horse’s head with the mane made of leather. “I wanted to rethink the concept of the gift that is generally seen as a static, decorative object in order to connect it with a specific function. Transformed into playful, portable objects, gifts become useful things we can take with us everywhere,” explained the designer. (See the upcoming issue of Formes de Luxe for a closer look at Petit Cheval.)
Hughes Moreau, also from the Ecole & Lycée des Métiers d'Art et du Design Auguste Renoir won second place with Egeria, a project based on the maison Boucheron. Catering to the high jewelry brand’s mascot, Wladimir the cat, Moreau created a porcelain dish sheathed in leather at the base. In the shape of Boucheron’s logo – a bird’s eye view of the Place Vendôme – the dish is engraved with the brand name on the facing.
Third prize went to Lucie Gonon (Intuit Lab) for Horizon Hermès, a pair of opera glasses inspired by Hermès’ equestrian heritage. From a design standpoint, the glasses replicate the striped jumping bars in the brand’s events, which also feature on Hermès' lipstick range. Made of cardboard with touches of leather, the glasses are meant to be engraved with the client’s name.
Benoît Vannier from EDAA Reims was awarded a special Innovation Prize for La Maîtrise du Temps, his variable flow hourglass. Designed with a screw-top mechanism that controls the amount of sand that passes through the hourglass, it is sheathed in leather, while the mechanics are in brushed nickle-plated brass.
Marine Jégo and Paul Chollet were awarded The People’s Choice award for Doro, a cutlery set that rolls up into a leather case for easy transport. Designed for Hermès, the case is meant to be made with offcuts from the brand’s workshops.
This year’s jury, from left to right with Arnaud Haeflin, President, Gainerie 91 (center): Leonardo Malizia (Gemmes-Tech Group); Alissa Demorest (Formes de Luxe, Luxe Packaging Insight); Sophie Merut (Fred); Delphine Eschasseriaux (Gainerie 91); Guillaume Henrio (Van Cleef & Arpels); Guillaume Lehoux (Noir Vif); Coraly Caponi (Gainerie 91); Thierry Lambert (Gainerie 91); André Fontes (Noir Vif)