The French furniture industry provides around 130,000 jobs, including some 50,000 direct positions, across 12,000 businesses (mainly SMEs and mid-tier firms). Activity in this sector accounts for around eight billion euros in annual production.
EXPORTER IN THE WORLD
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The French Furniture Exporters Group (GEM) will coordinate the French presence at major international events such as Salone del Mobile in Milan (April), ICFF in New York (May), Index in Dubai (May), Decorex in London (September) and Furniture China in Shanghai (September).
Companies, including many SMEs, are able to use this dynamic to seek out new export markets and win business contracts, as illustrated by the success of a number of groups, designers and businesses who have achieved international recognition.
Ligne Roset, a legendary brand responsible for iconic and timeless prices such as the Togo chair designed in 1973 by Michel Ducaroy, have brought their style and elegance to numerous chic locations around the world, including establishments such as Kube Hotel in Saint-Tropez, the Hyatt Regency in Yekaterinburg, Russia, the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast, the Nevaï Hotel in Verbier, or the Sofitel Jardin des Roses in Rabat, Morocco. They have also decorated the interiors of celebrated venues such as the Institut Paul Bocuse (Lyon), La Compagnie des Comptoirs in Avignon or the Institute for Contemporary Publishing Archives at Ardennes Abbey in Saint-Germain- la-Blanche-Herbe.
Following on from its first symbolic and prestigious commissions—the Bistro chairs in Times Square, the 1900 chairs at the Coca-Cola Museum, or the Luxembourg collection for Place de la République, Les Jardins des Tuileries and Les Jardins du Luxembourg— Fermob expanded its presence into a range of international capitals and cities (Paris, New York, Munich, Mexico, etc.) In such public spaces, furniture is not just functional or decorative in purpose; it provides an opportunity to relax and promotes social bonding.
Sokoa, the leading French manufacturer of seating solutions, has taken an order for several thousand seats for a university in the Saudi capital. Active in this location since 2000, the Hendaye-based firm currently generates 15% of its turnover from the Persian Gulf.
Several collections by the company Alki, a furniture workshop in the French Basque Country, have been acquired by the prestigious Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.
Fabulous pieces by Remi James (five generations of joiners in Saint-Laurent), currently adorn a Russian owner’s Baden-Baden residence and the lounges of a private home in Sao Paulo.
Based in Bourg-en-Bresse in France since 1885, Moissonnier embodies a tradition of excellence in woodworking. In partnership with Blue Morning, an importer of prestigious European furniture brands into China, Moissonnier opened its second Chinese showroom in 2016 at the JSWB Shopping Mall, specialising in high-end furniture and based in the heart of the Changning district.
Leading French office furniture and fit-out company the Majencia group, which aims to reconcile living conditions, wellbeing and exceptional performance in the working environment, equipped the new NATO offices in Brussels in 2016.
The Gautier brand now provides furnishing solutions for every room in the home, with a highly contemporary spirit: comfortable furniture for everyday life, conceived by its five in-house designers. Its creations can be found in 65 countries. The brand is an ambassador of French savoir-faire, further enhanced by the excellence of its manufacturing. Found in every corner of the world, its interior furnishings combine style and informality, elegance and pure pleasure.
Sifas, a French brand established in Cannes in the 1950s, offers a range of indoor and outdoor furniture featuring sleek, contemporary designs. The company has opted to work with stable, rust-proof materials to ensure that its creations survive year after year, season after season. It also has a strong international presence, notably through the American showroom Artefacto, offering an exclusive collection of designer furniture. An opportunity for France to highlight the sensuality of the south!
This agency is home to 225 employees from 22 different nationalities, and operates in 27 countries. Based in Paris and Nice, its international development has been bolstered by the creation of two subsidiaries, Wilmotte UK Ltd in London and Wilmotte Italia Srl in Venice. It also has offices in Seoul. The construction of a mixed-use tower including offices, shops, an auditorium and a restaurant/bar in Dakar, Senegal, is scheduled for 2020.
The Parisian designer creates interior decoration for department stores such as Galeries Lafayette, Armani and Ferragamo, as well as furniture for restaurants and hotels all over the world, including Brasserie La Coupole du Printemps in Paris, Yoshi Restaurant at Monaco’s Hotel Metropole, the Four Seasons Restaurant in Cairo, Club Restaurant in Kazakhstan, and Sofitel Luxury Hotel in Rabat, among others.
The United States has become the number-one market for this SME which, in addition to its two branches in New York and Miami, has opened some ten partner stores in major cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas and Chicago.
The solid reputation of the agency “4 bi & associates” extends across Europe, at such establishments as the Dorchester Hotel (2014) and the Four Seasons Hotel in London (2015), and in Asia – Japan and China in particular – with two hotels in Chengdu (2013) and Alain Ducasse’s gourmet restaurant in Beijing (2016).
While each new project—the reconstruction and extension of the European Court of Justice (on which work began in Luxembourg in 2008), the conversion of the Louvre Post Office building (2018) or the 250-metre tall DC Towers in Vienna (2014)— represents a challenge, both in terms of scale and technicality, Dominique Perrault always rises to such challenges with a truly inventive vision.
The Alberto Pinto agency has been responsible for hotel projects including the Lanesborough and Dorchester in London, the Grand Park Hotel in Gstaad, the Rose-Pierre Villa at the Grand Hotel in Cap Ferrat, the Hostellerie de Plaisance in Saint-Emilion, La Residencia and Palm Beach on the Canary Islands.
Time after time, the design work of the Rochon agency has enabled many of the world’s top hotel brands to win prestigious awards. Such brands include Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts, Sofitel Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Peninsula Hotels, as well as many boutique hotels.
In June 2016, M Social hotel in Singapore opened its doors. Designed by Philippe Starck, M Social is an avant-garde laboratory for globally-focussed design. In late 2016, Philippe Starck and the Alajmo brothers, Rafaele and Massimiliano, unveiled their collaborative project, the AMO restaurant in Venice.
From the showroom at Collector Square, Zadig & Voltaire stores, the chef Guy Martin’s restaurant at Charles de Gaulle airport, Palazzo Morosini in Venice, to a chalet in Gstaad and private homes in Monaco, London and New York, every project undertaken by the Charles Zana studio is a unique, bespoke adventure, composed in a resolutely modern style while respecting the cultural and historical footprint of the location.
The talent and inspiration of French Design is embarking on a trip, with a focus on economic benefits for the sector, feeding into the overall dynamic.