One of the highlights of the Salone del Mobile 2011 was the debut appearance of Hermès, who unveiled their new line of contemporary furniture in a striking cardboard pavilion conceived by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines.

Enzo Mari, considered one of the most influential Italian designers, created the Hermès Métiers collection, which comprises of a modernist-inspired chair in Canaletto walnut and bull calf, a matching leather desk, a low table with leather drawer, and a striking oval table with Breccia marble and calf skin covered legs.

Another respected Italian designer, Antonio Citterio, conceived the Matières collection of pieces inspired by both ancient folding stools and the Hermès Pippa collection of furniture designed in 1987 by Rena Dumas Architecture Intérieure (RDAI).

The artistic director at RDAI, the Parisian interior design firm that has creates all Hermès boutiques around the world, is Denis Montel, contributed to Hermès’ Milan debut with the Sellier chair co-designed with Éric Benqué. Entirely covered in leather, it is already considered by Hermès as a signature house classic.

As well as the new contemporary furniture, Hermès also presented at Milan the re-editions of pieces designed by Jean-Michel Frank that were launched at the brand’s 17 Rue de Sevres flagship in October 2010.

The temporary pavilion constructed by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines at La Pelota, Milan, to showcase the Hermès furniture was as striking as the elegant pieces it surrounded. Made with paper woven through cardboard tubes, the structure proves that the spirit of Hermès is found not only in fine leathers, polished ebony or rare marbles, but is achievable on a more modest scale.

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