You may not have met Maxime Dautresme, but you’ve probably encountered his work. A true global citizen, Dautresme’s nomadic childhood took him to Brazil, Korea, Japan, France and the US. His career as a designer then led him New York, Miami and Shanghai before he settled in Hong Kong and founded his agency, A Work of Substance, in 2011.
Dautresme has worked on many of the city’s most iconic interiors, including restaurants such as Fukuro and Bibo, and has executed branding campaigns for Cartier, Timothy Oulton and Hong Kong heritage project The Mills.
Though each and every destination has influenced Dautresme, Hong Kong – his home for most of the past decade – has had a particularly strong influence on his work, appealing to his love of uncovering a place’s underlying history. Through the design of iconic projects such as The Fleming Hotel in Wan Chai, Dautresme seeks to revive the city’s distinct culture, creating works that fuse nostalgia with a vision for tomorrow, simultaneously paying homage to the past and using it as a springboard to create a relevant future. Where some would have seen the Star Ferry as a relic of Hong Kong’s past, a tourist trap no longer significant in the lives of today’s Hongkongers, Dautresme saw it as iconic and the starting point for the design of a hotel that has been lauded for its ability to capture the spirit of Hong Kong without reducing it to a caricature.
After all, the Platinum lifestyle isn’t just about traveling and seeing the world. As Dautresme knows, you can see the world perfectly from a base like Hong Kong, an ever-changing melting pot of influences that provides an endless source of inspiration.