Trend File: How To Create The Most Outstanding Retail Interiors By Malherbe Paris ⇒ Malherbe Paris is one of the most famous interior design agencies in France specialized in retail design. Their unique and modern approach to how a retail business should look like is what defines the best of Malherbe Paris’ work. To create the most outstanding retail interiors you need 3 very important things, today CovetED will show you what they are.
Malherbe Paris is one of the most prominent interior design agencies in France. Specializing in retail and hospitality design, the firm, headed by Hubert de Malherbe, is very well known thanks to the outstanding retail interiors they create. It’s not a random fact that Hubert de Malherbe has been working for 17 years with Dior. Their unique and modern approach to how a retail business should look like while maintaining the French heritage as a core pillar is probably what defines the best Malherbe Paris’ work. To create the most outstanding retail interiors you need 3 very important things: you have to perfectly portray the brand’s culture, have a deep knowledge on what the brand’s target seek and how to provide the experience the client seeks without even realizing it.
‘’Since the beginning, we have been a hyper-creative studio who expresses a French culture of fantasy, elegance, never forgetting modernity. ‘’
Dior has always been seen as the ultimate impersonation of the French femininity and style. And to transport that vision onto retail design proves to be a huge challenge. But not for Malherbe Paris. Hubert spent 17 years working with extraordinary people at Dior, and the studio has picked up the work 12 years ago. Consulting for such creative minds is demanding, he says, but utterly rewarding. And to accompany a brand like Dior through the delicate process of reinvention, as he states, it’s a unique experience. He permanently has 15-20 people working for Dior in his studio, but his mind is never off topic. Hubert rightfully claims that he, apart from the brand’s CEO, is the one who has lasted the longest working in the brand, which is the result of his unparalleled commitment. He stated that it is good to feel such pressure from a major brand like Dior, as it helps with the creative process and the energy that is so crucial to his long, last-standing work.
The retail business has traveled to a place where it became the wonderland for effortlessness, in Hubert’s opinion. The Internet has taken over the remarkable tradition of going to a store and look for what we want. Instead, with a few gentle taps on our smartphones, we get everything we need. No, no effort, and, furthermore, no experience. That’s the way Hubert sees it, the technological revamp of a transaction. Moreover, Hubert distinguishably notes that, nowadays, people are attracted to places where they can live the moment. Get experience. Acquire memories. He remarks that a restaurant that indeed works well is the one that provides you with a complete experience, from the simplest form of how a menu is presented to you to its interior design. For him, that is the experience, and that’s what people look for.
Nowadays, it is rather impossible to properly design without mentioning the ever-present elephant in the room: the role of traditional craftsmanship. Over the years, Malherbe Paris has worked with a variety of gifted artists and craftsmen, whose efforts helped elevate the good name of Malherbe to the spotlights where it shines today. Craftsmanship has a very important role to play in retail design, thus to have unique, high-quality designs that can stand the traumas of time and misuse means to have a timeless and tireless design.
“We have a lot of partners who are glass blowers, cabinetmakers, rug makers… a wide variety of artists. In fact, it’s in our best interest to work with these artists, with people who aren’t famous at all but are beginning to get recognition for their work.”
Hubert names the Studio’s strong Asian presence in virtue of the exponential growth of the Far-Eastern culture. With offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong, Asia is quickly becoming a core market for the French Studio, as the righteous Asian community evermore seek the essence of Design Française. The demands of the Asian retail market are not the same as the Western ones. Asian people are probably the most demanding clientele in terms of experience. In a culture impregnated with technological development, to have a good experience is crucial. The major retail players are investing heavily in renowned interior designers so they can provide them with the experience their clients seek. And that’s where Malherbe Paris has been thriving.
For Hubert, inspirations come from people. The people we love, the people who aren’t afraid to stand up to what they believe it’s right, the people whose work touches us in ways that normally we wouldn’t even notice. The people who peacefully revolutionize, the way technology brought us closer and has dramatically eased up our lives. Hubert invites the uber-talented people of his office to be a part of this revolution, an open-minded, dynamic and creative uprising. In his accomplished opinion, we own nothing but our forefathers’ heritage. Now add that same heritage to a sophisticated equation of a new design and you get true creation, as so remarks Hubert. Alluring people with the design is a strong force that drives him. It’s not truly important if they are the owners of a business society, a restaurant, a hotel or even an entertainment hub. What does matter is the feeling that they get when the project is finished. The experience they get when going to a retail business.
‘’I think nowadays the heritage is very important, it’s what the people seek, the French heritage design.’’
In retail design, there is an element that is often left to oblivion, states Malherbe. And that element is love. Hubert expertly claims that love is a powerful force that drives people, as love is strongly connected to desire and the desire of creating long-lasting memories. The desire to own objects that make you feel something, the desire to go to places where you’ll reminisce blissful times. For Hubert, people are driven by love, and the retail business, like hospitality, it takes full advantage of it. Furthermore, he theorizes that a good retail service provides you with not only your mundane and pragmatic needs but also with an unforgettable experience.
‘’Love is what drives us, and it’s a positive thing. And love is something connected with desire, and memories. Objects that bring you memories, places that bring you memories. People are driven by love and hospitality takes advantage.’’
As for challenges in his prestigious line of work, Hubert emboldens Europe’s chronic pessimism and design delay in comparison with other places and individuals. Hubert states that, when he started working, Asia had an unfortunate complex of inferiority to the Western World’s creativity and modernity. A complex of inferiority that has come to slowly dissipate courtesy of completely different hands. The emergent South-Eastern Asian countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines are following their more developed brothers’ footsteps and becoming major harboring hubs of sophisticated design. And for Hubert, Europe, and the USA are becoming a sort of plan b regions.
‘’I think Europe’s very delayed in terms of design. When I started working, Asia had a complex of inferiority regarding the creativity and the modernity in the Western world. Nowadays that’s over.’’
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