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Book it now: Focus/21 at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour

16 September 2021• Written by Parisa Hashempour for Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour

When it comes to design, the world of superyachts has long been known to push boundaries. For those eyeing up the next boundary to cross, enter Focus/21, a six-day event taking place in London from September 19-24. Here, attendees can pick the brains of designers for expert guidance and bespoke options on any upcoming yacht projects.

Focus/21 will see Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, abuzz with the brightest minds, materials, patterns, colours, and workmanship in the creative industry. It will showcase artistic innovations in not just materials and high-performance products, but also world-renowned artistry, interior styling and craftsmanship. The event, which begins on Sunday September 19th with a virtual launch followed by in-person visits from Monday 20th to Friday 24th, is being described by organisers as a must-see for industry heavyweights, yacht lovers and owners alike.

The Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG), has teamed with S. Harris to create a debut collection of artisanal textiles.
All images courtesy of Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.

Yacht design inspiration from around the world

Used for sourcing both materials and products, “Nothing beats experiencing key details like scale, craftsmanship and artisan finishes in person,” say organisers of Focus/21.

“Each day will bring a different design agenda, but there are some things that hold everything together: creative confidence, optimism for the future, and the strong sense of community that we all continue to cherish,” says managing director, Claire German. 

With 120 showrooms and over 600 international brands, organisers are calling Focus/21 “the undisputed design destination of choice.”

Whether hoping to view the latest collections up close, attend a talk or a workshop, or reconnect with industry contacts, Focus/21 promises to deliver the physical experience many of us have long been looking forward to.

Design duo Emily Todhunter and Kate Earle will share insider insights into their award-winning work.

Bump heads with industry A-listers

Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with top designers at the show’s Conversations in Design series. Stand-out moments of this talk programme include:

Modern English

Design duo Emily Todhunter and Kate Earle share insider insights into their award-winning work, opening the door to favourite projects in a talk moderated by Nicholas Coleridge, chairman of the V&A. They unpack the secret to relaxed, discreet interiors that “whisper rather than shout.”

Signature Spaces

Guests can join award-winning design duo Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen of Nicholas Haslam Ltd at a talk in which they discuss their projects and products. Hatta Byng, editor of House & Garden, will interview them on projects including Grand Hotel Villa Igiea in Sicily, a landmark hotel that they recently worked on for Rocco Forte Hotels.

French designer and tastemaker Cordelia de Castellane will share personal inspirations and chic style tips.

Life in a French Country House: Entertaining for all seasons

The art of living and entertaining comes instinctively to renowned French designer and tastemaker Cordelia de Castellane, artistic director of Dior Home and Baby Dior. Opening the door to her idyllic country home, an hour’s drive from Paris, she shares personal inspirations and chic style tips with Elle Decoration editor Ben Spriggs.

Conscious Creativity

Three industry insiders – Ali Milam, managing director of Porta Romana, Nicolò Favaretto Rubelli, CEO of Rubelli and Simone Suss of Studio Suss – discuss how their businesses are bringing environmentally and socially sustainable solutions to every stage of design, from production and beyond. Visitors can discover how to incorporate sustainability into the future of their yacht design projects in this talk chaired by Roddy Clarke.

Unmissable new showcases

Focus/21 is also home to new companies include Eccotrading Design London, Australia’s ABI Interiors — which sells tapware for the kitchen and bathroom — and luxury furniture, upholstery, lighting and accessories makers Visionnaire from Italy.

Andrew Martin will host a new curated showroom featuring furniture, art and sculpture. Plus, pop-up, House Guests, will offer even more for visitors to see from their location at the Design Avenue.

Zinc Textile’s latest collection sees the brand collaborate with Martin Hulbert Design to create a range of interior textiles and cushions.

Design collection highlights

Iris Apfel's Maximal Couture collection for Fabricut, inspired by Iris’s personal textile archives and fashion pieces, is set to be a key conversation-starter at the upcoming event. As is Arte’s Extinct Animals showcase, the third Arte x Moooi collaboration.

Porada has teamed up with Staffan Tollgard and Filippo Castellani. Plus, Maison Leleu, a renowned design house operating since 1910, will launch Rétrospective alongside Lelièvre Paris.

Zinc Textile’s latest collection sees the brand collaborate with acclaimed interior design practice Martin Hulbert Design, who is known for Coworth Park, to create a range of interior textiles and cushions.

Studio Franchi will launch Mineral, in partnership with Croft, a limited-edition hardware collection. The Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG), has teamed with S. Harris to create a debut collection of artisanal textiles, wallcoverings and trimmings centred around history and heritage.

Studio Franchi will launch Mineral, in partnership with Croft, a limited-edition hardware collection.

Access All Areas

Guests to this year’s Focus/21 event also have the opportunity to delve into the stories behind the latest collections at an Access All Areas event in the showrooms.

At a world-first presentation, they have the chance to see the unveiling of the new Papier Français wall coverings that are based on the archives of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in the Dedar showroom.

Studio Winch has collaborated with GP & J Baker on a curated space. Visitors to this Access All Areas zone will find out how the scheme took shape in a Q&A with Studio Winch partner Selina McCabe and Ann Grafton, managing and creative director of GP&J Baker.

The event will also showcase an Arte x Moooi collaboration.

At Rubelli, dresses created by Alberta Ferretti will be showcased — designs that celebrate the founding of Venice 1,600 years ago.

Plus, the Rockin’ Robin collection blends Firmdale Hotel’s Kit Kemp’s unique style with Porta Romana’s skilled craftsmanship. Visitors to this space can learn how to enhance their lighting aboard any upcoming yachting projects.

For more details and to book tickets, visit Focus/21 here.