Design Miami and Art Basel 2016: Brand Spaces
Capitalising on the pulling power of the Art Basel and Design Miami shows for creative influencers of all varieties, a wealth of brands unfurled event-specific pop-up concepts. We select the highlights from the events (November 30 to December 4).
- Fendi’s VIP ‘Happy Room’ Showcases Material Innovation: Italian luxury fashion brand Fendi, a sponsor of Design Miami, collaborated with Italian architect Cristina Celestino on a “travelling VIP room” called The Happy Room. A mini-refuge from the crowd, simultaneously showcasing Fendi’s furs, the space resembled an elegant, intimate 1950s-style boudoir with plush, pastel-coloured, velvet-upholstered sofas and low-slung chairs. It also featured a privacy screen crafted from a new material called Etere (co-developed with Fendi), which combines shaved mink and clear resin; and low brass tables inspired by studded earrings.
- Airbnb: Food, Life, Conversation, Connection: Airbnb collaborated with Mexico City design studio Pedro&Juana on Sobremesa – a Design Miami gathering point inspired by shared living and, more specifically, the pleasure of lingering post-meal conversations. The homely kitchen/living room space (open to all) boasted a long red dining table and an abundance of houseplants, and was accompanied by a series of dining and music events.
- Dean & DeLuca, Stage Food: American gourmet deli Dean & DeLuca collaborated with German architect Ole Scheeren on Stage – a new small-format fast-food concept at Design Miami. A kitchen and serving space were reimagined as a “theatre in the round”, with chefs as ‘performers’.
- Audemars Piguet’s ‘Animated’ Pavilion: Luxury Swiss watch brand Audemars Piguet presented Chinese artist Sun Xun’s ‘Reconstruction of the Universe’ – a large-scale, bamboo-roofed beachfront pavilion for Art Basel, housing public talks with designers and artists. It played host to a 30ft screen running Xun’s 3D animated film Time Spy, plus other animated shorts, created using traditional Chinese graphic techniques and projected onto spherical screens.
- OMA’s Modern Souk: As part of the revived hospitality and cultural Faena District, masterminded by Dutch architects OMA, the Faena Bazaar was a nine-day pop-up hospitality and retail location – a precursor to a permanent concept bedding down in 2017. Highlights included a resort fashion pop-up by Danish designer Henrik Vibskov filled with oversized buoys, and a section featuring Latin-American designers.
- Off-White’s Cult Club Collab: Milan-based fashion brand Off-White’s American creative director Virgil Abloh and British architect Ben Kelly (designer of legendary UK nightclub Hacienda) co-authored mobile pop-up club The Set – melding both the club and Off-White’s signature industrial graphic references.
- Artists Interpret Fashion Product: Several brands launched artist product collaborations during the events. H&M partnered with US artist Alex Katz for its Fashion Loves Art collection of nine pieces inspired by Katz’s iconic paintings. Dior commissioned seven international artists to interpret its iconic ‘Lady’ bags (later shown as part of an in-store installation in its Miami flagship). And French label Maison Margiela’s MM6 pop-up celebrated the work of Californian artist Aaron de la Cruz with a limited run of bags. Each contained a small piece of an original painting – referencing his fascination with deconstruction and decomposition.
- Public School Gets Opinionated with WNL Radio Station: Attuned to the fractious current nature of political debate following the US elections, and inspired by its own ‘We Need Leaders’ mantra, cult New York clothing label Public School launched a micro, closed-booth radio station, WNL Radio, on the pool and patio area of The Confidante hotel. Show guests included Ronnie Fieg – founder of US streetwear brand Kith, and Umi Selah – founder of Florida-based anti-capitalism activist group Dream Defenders. See also Brands Take a Stand, part of our Currency of Dissent Macro Trend.
Look out for our Miami Art Trends 2016 and Design Miami reports, publishing on December 15.