An ambitious new design company, La Chance, launched to great acclaim at the Salone del Mobile, Milan this April, with Jekyll and Hyde, a furniture and lighting collection created by several of the hottest young designers around the world.
By debuting in Milan at MOST - the high-profile platform for creative innovation instigated by Tom Dixon - La Chance hit the ground running.
It's the brainchild of Jean-Baptiste Souletie, 28 and Louise Breguet, 27. Souletie was previously in finance, and Breguet is an architect. When they met they discovered they were both inspired the spirit of the Art Deco movement, where objects were valued for their decorative attributes. "We like things to be warm, colourful, and good quality," she adds. "And in terms of style, you can see all the workings of the furniture, even the upholstered pieces, as we have nothing to hide."
The French duo has taken a commercial approach to their business, thoroughly researching their market, and sourcing manufacturers around Europe. This commercial approach is reflected in the collection's theme: dual identity. "We see two potential audiences for luxury furniture," says Souletie, "there are the design enthusiasts, who want uncompromising pieces in bold colours. Then there are people who love contemporary design but prefer more muted tones."
To accommodate these two audiences, each piece comes in two versions: Jekyll and Hyde. The Jekyll version features prime colours and shiny finishes, while Hyde is in monotone or natural materials, like brushed metal and oiled wood. La Chance is combining a market approach with a design statement; "we're saying to consumers: choose your personality," says Souletie.
This stunning collection is created by some fresh talent, alongside some better-known names who are yet to establish themselves on the international stage:
1 Pierre Favresse (FR) was appointed artistic director of Habitat in December 2011. His dining table, Magnum, has sturdy elements - chunky legs and a weighty top - joined by a delicate-looking metal grid structure.
2 Bashko Trybek (PL) was selected as one of Elle Deco's Young Designer Talent 2011. His Climb shelving system, with its exposed wire elements, epitomizes La Chance's interest in revealing an object's workings.
3 Suzanne de Graef (NL), based in Eindhoven, has designed Rhythm of light, a pendant light influenced by the classical lighting found at The Château of Versailles.
4 Luca Nichetto (IT) has collaborated with Foscarini, Established & Sons, Moroso and others. His Float coffee table comprises a large aluminum cone seemingly floating over a circular mirror.
5 Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance (FR) designed London's Sketch club, and has since won a Red Dot award for his Corvo chair for Bernhardt Design. His Borghese sofa is a light, sculptural piece, its shape paying homage to the pine trees in Rome's Villa Borghese.
6 Charles Kalpakian (FR/Lebanese), who is based in Paris, has created an angular credenza or storage unit, which plays with 3D and colour.
7 Note Design Studio (SE) is a collective of creatives in Stockholm. They've designed two pieces for La Chance: Bolt, a stool of four pieces of ash wood looped by a metal ring; and Tembo, a high stool of cork, wood and metal.
8 Francois Dumas (FR) worked at the Bouroullec brothers' studio in Paris, and has since set up Krux, an art and design collective in Amsterdam. This tufted wool carpet, Anenome, is based on one of his own paintings. His second piece is Sealed, an elegant chair of bent wood.
9 Dan Yeffet and Lucie Koldova (IL/CZ), worked with Arik Levy until 2010. They were originally commissioned by La Chance to design two pieces: a mirror and a screen. They combined the two to create Private in metal and felt.
10 Pool Design (FR) took part in the Nouvelle Vague exhibition in Milan in 2010. Their table lamp, Pool, is a deceptively simple piece in aluminum or Corian.
11 Jonah Takagi (US), was born in Tokyo, and has collaborated with Matter and Kvadrat, among others. His Tip-Top table lamp has an aluminum base and comes with a shade of either grey gall or transparent glass.
All photography by Stanislas Wolff