THE BIRTH OF A BRAND
A durable and singular approach
When he appears for the first time on the French design scene, it is as Creator of the year at Maison et Objet fair. We are in 1999. Christophe Delcourt is in his thirties and showcases his first creations (objects and lighting) with the particularity of being at the same time their designer, their manufacturer and their editor. The whole at a time when the bare notion « Maison d’édition » is, if not inexistent, still confidential. This singular approach though is not moved by any kind of mundane quest for independence, but only by the will to give a precise and perfectly mastered frame to what will quickly become a true signature. As a result, a collection of lighting and contemporary furniture pieces, drawn as close as possible to the materials (wood, bronze, metal, ceramics, leather, etc.) and according to traditional craftsmanship.
An ever evolving catalog
Since the end of the nineties, the « Maison d’édition »’s catalog never ceased to sharpen, elaborate and enrich itself, always reaffirming with the same conviction the choice of high quality manufacturing. Tables, coffee tables, sofas, chairs, armchairs… Each piece also presents the particularity of being available with bespoke features (timber, finishes, size, ceramic or leather hue…), affirming the « Maison d’édition » as a first choice partner for all decoration professionals, as well as for a selective private clientele. A way listening and tireless attention for details which has allowed the « Maison d’édition » created by Christophe Delcourt to build long lasting relationships with some of the greatest interior decorators, not only in France but worldwide.
Designer by vocation, editor by conviction
Now established as a leading actor in French design, as a designer as well as an editor, Christophe Delcourt does however not settle for giving life only to his own drawings. To the contrary, he opens very quickly the pages of his catalog and the doors of his partner workshops to other designers who share both his artistic vision and his requirements in terms of manufacturing and excellency. Throughout the years, those have included designers such as Laurent Nicolas, Vincent Dupont-Rougier, François Champsaur, Tristan Auer, Jean-Pierre Tortil and, more recently, Charles Kalpakian, Samuel Accoceberry and the Forest & Giaconia duo. Today, in order to give all the room it deserves to this plurality of writings and sensibilities, the « Maison d’édition » created by Christophe Delcourt is being rebaptised Delcourt Collection. Far from being a cosmetic vanity, this discreet mutation truly officializes a slow evolution and a shift from a designer/editor work to the emergence of a full member brand, with its values, its codes, but also its art of living.
THE SENSITIVE ONE TO THE WORK
What story to tell ? How to build and seduce at the same time ? Be part of a time and yet last ? When he gives birth to his « Maison d’édition », in the mid-nineties, Christophe Delcourt likely doesn’t ask himself all those tantalizing questions, but he masters their stakes, conscious that everything lies into the interstice, into this tiny space where function, drawing, knowhow and artistic direction meet.
The first pieces do not quite yet sense they will be followed by a large brotherhood. They are what Christophe calls « premiere pieces ». Daily pieces which do not pretend to any decorative effect or anything else than a form of simplicity and honesty.
« From the beginning, I envisioned the « Maison d’édition » as a space for research and experimentation, Christophe Delcourt explains. Of course, there was a creative red thread, but it had least to do with the writing than with the way materials answered one another, echoed one another. The pieces nurtured one another, but almost in an unconscious way. Through my drawings and those of designers I have quickly worked with, I was certainly not looking to proclame a style, but much more to tell a story. And when one gets involved in such a narrative exercise, one doesn’t always know where it is going to lead us. One just has an opening scene, a main character and a context. But everything remains yet to be done. This is exactly how the collection was born, and then was built. There is in the process something somewhat accidental, random. It is a little like when one starts furnishing a room. Traditionally, one choses the first utility item : the table. It is what will then induce other choices, by its shape, its material… But also though what it evokes in a more indirect manner : a memory, an emotion. The other furniture pieces then come to underline, to accompany, to complete what finally composes itself as a skit, a picture. »
It is without a doubt this narrative demand that allowed Christophe Delcourt to cultivate his difference without ever derogating to the early common thread. The « Maison d’édition »’s catalog hence built itself on a series of quests, encounters, and biases. And on a demand for shape and materials harmony that certainly does not encompass the idea of an « ensemble », this enemy of emotion… But much more through a research for the statement piece, the one which will naturally find its place in a defined space. « Architecture of course has an incidence on the furniture piece to which we are going to give life to. Enriching a catalog, means thinking of the piece which will sometimes be in the middle or in the angle of a room, in a living-room, an entrance, a bedroom or an office. It is about considering typologies as well as topologies. Furnishing an architecture rather than simply decorating it. »
This authentic approach of interior designer also goes through the permanent quest for what finally is a series of unique pieces. For editing does not in any case forbid the exceptional piece. And every single one of the catalog’s references perfectly undertakes this ambiguity, targeting foremost complicity and a form of seduction, much more than the technical process. « Of course, comfort remains the first stake, but I am also very attached to the idea according to which a piece of furniture- in particular a seat – must confer elegance to its user, make him look beautiful under all circumstances. It may be, to me, what gets the closest to what one usually calls “French elegance” : a way one carries oneself, an attitude”. And an elegance which also authorizes itself and mostly leaves space to the unexpected… Embodied, since the « Maison d’édition »’s creation, by different invited designers whom each, in their own way, have crafted a collection both eclectic and of an infinite cohesion.