Polène’s Parisian Flagship Synergizes Place and Product, and Other News

Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.

Polène Paris by Valeriane Lazard. Photography by Daantje Bona

The Design Dispatch offers expertly written and essential news from the design world crafted by our dedicated team. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the day in design delivered to your inbox before you’ve had your coffee. Subscribe now

Have a news story our readers need to see? Submit it here

At Polene’s Parisian Flagship, a Synergy Between Place and Product   

Timeless, monochromatic, sculptural—Polene’s new flagship in Paris matches its elegant line of handbags and accessories. Crafted by artisans in Spain and inspired by a trio of turn-of-the-century couturiers—Madeleine Vionnet, Mariano Fortuny, and Madam Grès—the French leather goods brand was founded in 2016 by two brothers and a sister, earning praise for its pared-back aesthetic and clean silhouettes in the years since. 

Located across from the National Institute of Art History, interior designer Valeriane Lazard infused the corner space with a sense of serenity thanks to sinuous forms and lime finishes. Having trained under minimalism evangelists such as John Pawson, Studio KO, and Vincent Van Duysen Architects, Lazard has mastered the art of less-is-more. She proves that once again here, particularly in the back of the boutique where a beige alcove lined in rounded leather displays merchandise in subtle hues dubbed Cognac, Burgundy, and land of Siena on curving travertine shelves. Theatrical lighting casts dramatic shadowplay, setting a worthy stage for Polene’s collections. 

Faina Antwerp. Photography by Piet-Albert Goethals

Yakusha Design expands its furniture line, Faina, with a pristine showroom in Antwerp.

Located inside an historic 500-year-old building in Antwerp is the newest outpost for design brand Faina, the furniture line for Ukraine-based studio Yakusha Design. The interior, which features primarily earthy shades, pays tribute to the natural world through mossy green walls and jet-black paint that nods to chernozem soil. “I wanted to convey this feeling of grounding serenity in the interior,” founder Victoria Yakusha says. “Nothing is more powerful than the energy of earth.” The brand’s array of finely crafted furnishings take center stage, from the angular Toptun armchairs to the gently curving Plyn sofa whose stacked cushions evoke “stones that have been naturally polished by wild waters.” 

The Cooper Union is currently looking for a new dean after Nader Tehrani’s resignation.

Nader Tehrani entered the Cooper Union during a fraught period, when the New York art and architecture school was facing board of trustee resignations and student protests after deciding to start charging undergraduate tuition for the first time since its founding. After more than a decade at the helm that saw the university return to full-tuition scholarships for all undergraduates, the NADAAA founder is stepping down to refocus on his practice. “I remain deeply committed to teaching and the building of institutions,” Tehrani wrote on NADAAA’s website. “At the same time, this transition allows me to genuinely immerse myself back into practice over the coming decade; NADAAA has served as a critical mechanism for me to balance out what I do between academic speculation and the practicalities of everyday practice, and this is a time to re-channel those efforts.” 

Nino Cerruti, the Italian fashion designer who helped modernize menswear, dies at 91.

Nino Cerruti got his start when he inherited his family’s textile mills in Biella, Italy, and quickly reimagined the business into a fashion company. The entrepreneur, who recently passed away at age 91, went on to revolutionize men’s ready-to-wear with unstructured tailoring and a style that felt both elegant and relaxed. His range shined in film, with his label Cerruti 1881 supplying clothes for feature films such as Pretty Woman, Basic Instinct, and Bonnie and Clyde. When he retired, in 2000, he told the Observer that “the environment was very different [40 years ago]. When I started working, it was still a traditional culture with less individuality, more social correctness. This has quickly moved on into a society in which there’s more freedom, more originality, and more incorrectness.” 

House of Music Budapest by Sou Fujimoto Architects. Photography by Palkó György

Architect Sou Fujimoto’s tree-punctuated House of Music completes in Budapest. 

Part of the Liget Budapest Project, an ambitious plan that will usher several museums into the Hungarian capital’s sprawling City Park, the House of Music celebrates the history of the arform with an eye-catching home designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. Crowned by an undulating roof punctuated with openings for trees and lightwells that flood natural sunshine into the building. Inside: two concert halls, a glass-walled auditorium, and basement galleries where a permanent exhibition, “Sound Dimensions – Musical Journeys in Space and Time,” will explore the heritage of European music. Joining the new cultural institution will be the SANAA–designed National Gallery of Hungary and Museum of Ethnography, whose skateboard-ramp shape was conceived by Hungarian firm Napur Architect. 

Kering is exiting specialist Swiss watchmakers Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin. 

Yesterday, the French luxury goods group announced the sale of Girard-Perregaux and Ulysses Nardin after failing to gain traction in the specialist watchmaking category compared to its rivals LVMH and Richemont. “Kering is probably making the most of a recovering watch market to exit a category where it was suffering, given its smaller relative position to bigger competitors in this space,” Bernstein analyst Luca Solca told WWD. “The move is positive, in my view, as it plugs losses on this front and concentrates senior management on more important matters.” 

Central Park will soon become a central hub for research about climate change.

Although it won’t have a physical campus like the planned Governors Island Center for Climate Solutions nearby, Central Park, already equipped with a profusion of precipitation sensors, will become a central hub for climate change research. The Central Park Conservancy, the Yale School of the Environment, and the Natural Areas Conservancy will join forces to collect data on climate changes and trial adaptation techniques. “With about 55 [percent] of the world’s population now living in urban areas, urbanization plays an increasingly important role in how we manage and mitigate the impact of global climate change,” says Karen Seto, Frederick C. Hixon Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science at the Yale School of the Environment, in the university’s announcement. “This collaboration aims to use mapping and other tools to develop urban interventions to protect their urban parkland and use them to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”

Today’s attractive distractions:

A design museum unearths a treasure trove of 1980s Slovak video games.

This satirical tool creates your very own eminently hirable internet deepfake.  

A network of fake art collectors used Instagram to champion a fictional artist.

Pete Davidson and Colin Jost recently bought a defunct Staten Island Ferry.

All Stories