Since 2015, renowned Amsterdam-based design firm Marcel Wanders Studio has brought its bold ideas of travel to Louis Vuitton’s Objet Nomades collection. Crystal Lee takes a closer look at its mesmerising creations for the maison.
In the 1860s, not too long after Monsieur Louis Vuitton established his eponymous label, he invented a trunk that housed a collapsible bed and a pillow to offer respite to weary explorers on their voyages. Patented by his son Georges in 1885, it was reinforced with a zinc coating for protection against pests and humidity.
The modern-day rendition of this famous historical trunk-bed is a modular lounger designed by Marcel Wanders Studio. Introduced in 2015, the Chaise Longue is the Dutch design company’s first Objet Nomades for Louis Vuitton, and consists of four interlocking modules that can be configured into three different seats: a chaise lounge as per its name, an armchair or a pouffe. Each piece, made in the spirit of travel, has a high-tech carbon fibre structure for lightness and strength. Described by its designer Marcel Wanders as “an unfolding and portable oasis for relaxation”, the modules are upholstered in rich, soft leather on the outside and suede on the inside. Leather belts hold them together, both packed or laid out.
A year later, Marcel Wanders Studio and Louis Vuitton debuted the Lune Chair. An elegant rocker with a cushioned leather seat perched on a beautifully curved wooden frame, it expresses the maison’s heritage of quality and exploration with a light yet sturdy construction. Elements like brass corners and a malletage quilting pattern pay homage to its travel trunks.
In 2017, Marcel Wanders Studio took on the historic Monogram motif and the canework that once adorned Louis Vuitton’s trunks. The result was an elaborate room divider called Diamond Screen that can stand on a metal frame or hang from the ceiling. As each geometrical leathercraft motif is held to its neighbours with brass clasps similar to those found on Louis Vuitton bags, the versatile see-through partition can be sized to fit any space.
Continuing the Diamond concept, Marcel Wanders Studio created a pair of mirrors in 2018, followed by a vase, sofa and armchair in 2019. In the Diamond Mirror, 24 triangular pieces with Nomade leather trim surround a central octagon, creating a captivating visual effect that is akin to looking into the facets of a diamond. Retaining the supple leather latticework of the screen, the Diamond Vase, Sofa and Armchair, which appear to float within their intricate cages, make striking additions to a room.
The latest Objet Nomades piece by the studio is the Petal Chair – designed in celebration of the Monogram Flower, a symbol of Louis Vuitton. The seat, made up of petal-shaped cushions covered in calf leather and supported by legs resembling stems, recalls a flower in bloom. Within this ethereal setting, the petals embrace the body as it becomes one with nature, just as Marcel Wanders Studios became one with the maison through Objet Nomades.
This story first appeared in the Dec 2022 issue of Prestige Singapore.