Material gains
VOGUE India|September 2021
Drawing from his freethinking practice, Bijoy Jain, the first Indian architect to design for Hermès, unveils a set of furniture pieces.
Megha Mahindru

In 2019, at the peak of the design frenzy in Milan called Salone del Mobile, I snatched a few minutes with the dynamic Charlotte Macaux Perelman and Alexis Fabry, the deputy artistic directors of Hermès Maison, who shared, “Next time we meet, we’ll have something you’ll love.” None of us could have predicted that our next meeting would be in 2021, over Zoom, but the duo is thrilled to announce their upcoming collaboration, a first for Hermès and for India. This month, part of the French fashion maison’s new home collection are two mammoth furniture pieces by Mumbai-based architect Bijoy Jain that explore his obsession with humble materials and vernacular techniques. “We wanted to work with Bijoy [Jain] because we like the way he works—he takes his inspiration and works with local material to create contemporary architecture and objects,” shares Macaux Perelman, to which Fabry adds, “That sort of equilibrium between vernacular and contemporary—he is a perfect mix of those two.”

Nominated for the 2017 Pritzker Prize, Jain founded Studio Mumbai in 2005, which has won honours such as the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture from L’Institut Francais d’Architecture and the Grande Médaille d’Or from the Académie d’Architecture, Paris. But it wasn’t just his impressive oeuvre or outstanding résumé that drew Hermès to the philosophic-minded architect. “The fact that Bijoy works directly with the know-how people [craftspeople], it’s a lot like what we do at Hermès with our savoir faire,” says Macaux Perelman.

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