After spotting excellent creators, the Centre du luxe et de la création (Luxury and Creation Centre) organized a prize-giving ceremony on the 19th of March, 2012, at the Grand Hôtel Intercontinental of Paris.
Daring, well-being, harmony, rarity: as many values which can be discovered in the creators’ works, whenever they work in a small workshop or for an important luxury firm. It is this kind of talent that the Centre de luxe et de la création (Paris) searched out with passion in several countries. For Jacques Carles, its president, « The only piece, the rare work… here lies the secret of those who cherish the dream and the amazement of the whole world ».
The initiative was praised by Eric Besson, a minister to the Minister for Economy, Finance and Industry, in charge of the digital Industry, Energy and Economy. He is delighted with the fact that the 11th Summit keeps on giving value to personalities coming from different backgrounds. « All jobs, all domains are thus represented: fashion, accessories, design, architecture, gastronomy, hotel business, (…)» he adds.
Among the 15 award winners, the brand Cadolle won the « well-being talent » prize for its work: lingerie and made-to-measure corsetry can be found at the 255, rue Saint-Honoré (Paris). It is a know-how which has been passed on from mother to daughter for five generations now. Poupie Cadolle explains it requires a three and a half year training to master such a technique. The story of Cadolle’s businesswomen is astonishing. Poupie’s mother was particularly on the lookout for innovation and new materials. Even during the war, she knew how to be creative to compensate for the lack of textile fabrics. The family’s curtains and net curtains were requisitioned to create dressing gowns and lingerie items. In 1949, Cadolle was awarded the international Oscar of « Neiman Marcus » fashion. The previous generation had created the « boyishform » for Coco Chanel and the « basque (guêpière) » for Paul Poiret. But mostly, the brand revolutionized women’s lives through the invention of bra in 1889. Nowadays underwiring and iron whalebones of the time –which had been abandoned — are interestingly enough brought back into fashion in a quite pleasant way. Understated, the brand won over cinema actresses though, from Brigitte Bardot to Jeanne Moreau, Sophie Marceau, Juliette Binoche and Emmanuelle Béart. Its corsets and underwears were worn in several films: « Viva Maria », « Histoire d’O », « 8 femmes », « Les femmes de l’ombre »…
The « harmony talent » prize was awarded to Shang Xia, established in China in partnership with Hermès. Its president Quiong Er Jiang « searched out the last remaining craftsmen who, for thousands of years, managed to preserve the art of gloss paint, porcelain and china, as well as that of jade, silk and weaving, thus designing a line of products which borders on perfection ». By the end of 2012, Shang Xia will settle down at the rue de Sèvres, in Paris.
Guillaume Tétu, co-founder of Hautlence, was awarded the « invention talent » prize. This young company is innovating in the world of the refined watch-making, with totally new watches. The HL 2.0 is endowed with the specificity of a « mechanical movement with a unidirectional and automatic winding system, a power reserve indicator with a power reserve of 45 hours and a double barrel ».
The « management talent » prize was bestowed on Olivier Courtin, director of the Clarins Fragrance Group. After 10 years of research on the cell renewal, the cosmetic company has created the MyBlend line. The brand offers not less than 400 different creams. These products are notably used in the luxury spa resort which Clarins lately launched in association with the Royal Monceau.
It is to the Chef Marc Meneau that the « Golden Talent » was awarded, a man who won his first Michelin star in 1972. Convinced of the importance of eating good products, he cultivates his own kitchen garden and farms a vineyard in Bourgogne. On the menu of his restaurant named « L’Espérance », we are given the choice between completely new meals and highly traditional ones: oysters in their seawater aspic, with camembert-creamed toasts; “cromesquis de foie gras”, which are small foie gras balls –crunchy on the outside and melting in the inside– that burst in your mouth; “poularde de Bresse” (fatted hen) baked in a big foil parcel…
Considering these French examples, it is no longer a surprise to see that the very notion of refinement is most of the time associated with France: in a recent poll made by the website « aufeminin.com », 91% of voters agreed to say so. The « hand-made », the « know how » are important values which the consumers do not want to see disappear, Marie-Laure Sauty de Chalon, president of aufeminin.com, also highlights. That is why it is in the best interest of brands to build and work with this « gold which lies in our hands ».
Nathalia Bienvenu-Kapferer, March 2012
Translation : Elizabeth Antoine
Photos credit : ParisLeLuxe