GQ Japan

09th March 2017

The Gifu Collection at Maison Objet

Translation through Google Translate

"In 2009, Gifu Prefecture began a project to promote tourism, food and goods from the prefecture overseas. Hida beef and sake are renowned and Hida beef exports were about 300 kilos in 2008, but in 2015 it increased substantially to about 24 tons, which is 80 times. The number of tourists also increased 134 thousand people in 2011 to more than seven times as much as 770 thousand in 2016, making it the 14th place nationwide.

For sightseeing spots such as Shirakawago and Hida Takayama, it is said that foreign tourists are increasing every season, and for an inland prefecture, which has neither airport nor harbor, is doing gbrilliantly. However, the transmission of goods was behind compared to food and sightseeing. So, it was the eldest son of Mr. Terence Conran, the founder of The Conran Shop, who designed the arrow of Shirahi, designer Sebastian Conran. We promoted the development of a new product that can be applied to the world in cooperation with Mr. Masahiro and we aimed to exhibit at "Maison et Objet", which is said to be the "Parisole" of the interior industry as a place of exhibition.

In August 2015, Mr. Conran visited the workshop of companies in the prefecture which specialized in traditional manufacturing at the invitation of Gifu prefecture, and inspected the techniques of craftsmen. Mr. Conran who was impressed with the wonderfulness of their creation decided to collaborate with Gifu Prefecture to develop products.

"Gifu is a treasure trove of inspiration, there are a lot of skilled craftworkers with traditional skills. We want to add the essence of Western while keeping in mind that each artisan's skill is not used to break the craftsmanship of craftsmen "Conran looks back. Since it was able to reach the announcement of "Sebastian Conran × Gifu collection" in just over a year, it is surprised by the feeling of speed which can not be considered as a municipality for a moment.

Maison et Objet is held in Paris in January. The venue is large as this event can not be turned around in a day. 2871 stands (82 brands exhibited from Japan) are exhibited in 8 large halls divided according to the theme, which is big enough not to compare with the fashion exhibition. It goes without saying that products need to stand out to catch the visitors attention at the huge exhibition. However, due to the brand power of Sebastian Conran and the boom of Japanese manufacturing, many people came to the booth "Sebastian Conran × Gifu Collection" as if it were sweetfish of Nagara River.

Participating participants were Asano Shoten, Ieda Paper Craft, Ohashi Quantity, Ozeki, Oda Pottery, Kai Industries, Kaneko Otorimon Pottery, Shizu Knife Manufacturing Division, Izumi Kiln, and Hida Sangyo. The chairs and tables of Hida Sangyo are characterized by a design inspired by the grid of Takayama's housing. The beauty of modeling, when seen from the side, was not easy to create, many people were interested. The lanterns of Asano ambitious pieces that challenged the fusion of old and new by combining the traditional Bon Festival lantern technique and contemporary LED. Ieida Paperwork exhibited notes of Mino Japanese paper written as "Otaku" "cute" "delicious".

This exhibition was a prototype to the last, I had one disappointment while visiting the stand, that the price did not come out at the time of the exhibition and I could not buy it on the spot. If overcoming the challenges around that and connecting next time, is not the day when the name of "Gifu" becomes a brand in the interior world as well? I thought of such things in extremely cold Paris."

GQ Japan