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Inside Design Miami’s First Los Angeles Edition and Global Rebranding

Not even a year after cutting the ribbon on Design Miami.Paris, organizers are about to unveil their first Los Angeles edition in the former Georgian Revival home of designer Max Azria in Holmby Hills.

Inside Design Miami’s First Los Angeles Edition and Global Rebranding

The Holmby Hills estate originally designed by architect Paul R. Williams, the former home of Max Azria will host the first Design Miami Los Angeles edition.

MILAN — A testament to the fact that Los Angeles‘ design scene has reached its pinnacle, Design Miami will open its inaugural Los Angeles edition on Thursday. Artist Peter Shire, a design scene fixture and native of Echo Park, will be its poster boy amid a major global rebranding for the fair.

Known for the humor and wild spirit he’s been injecting into his designs since the ’70s, Shire is also a pillar of the Los Angeles art community, a figure who organizers say bridges the gap between various artistic disciplines and has designed everything from toys to public sculptures.

Inside Design Miami’s First Los Angeles Edition and Global Rebranding

Peter and Donna Shire

The fair will welcome more than 15 international collectible design gallery exhibitors and its Design at Large programming and will unfold at a private Holmby Hills estate originally designed by African American revival architect Paul Revere Williams, who helped define Southern Californian style and is famous for designing the iconic font of the Beverly Hills Hotel, its Polo Lounge and luxurious homes for celebrities like Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball. The sprawling home is also the former home of the late designer Max Azria. 

Inside Design Miami’s First Los Angeles Edition and Global Rebranding

“Vulumetric Console,” 2023 by Voukenas Petrides from Gallery Fumi at Design Miami. Los Angeles

Shire, the former Memphis design movement cofounding member, is an emblem of the Los Angeles creative scene and his ethos supports Design Miami’s new creative expression across all its international programming, said Design Miami’s chief executive officer Jen Roberts.

“He not only bridges the gap between various artistic disciplines, but also challenges our perceptions of how we interact with design in everyday life. This perfectly captures the essence of Design Miami — encouraging a reflection on the multitude of ways in which we interact with and live with design,” Roberts reflected.

In October, Design Miami revealed that it had been acquired by online marketplace Basic.Space.

The rebrand was pioneered by Design Miami’s 2024 global creative director, South Africa-born, Los Angeles-based photographer and film director Henrik Purienne, often referred to as Purienne. In 2020 he released “Jeux de Peau” a collection of photos of models and his friends as well as the interior of is own home, furniture and design objects made in collaboration with Saint Laurent.

Design Miami said that Purienne’s rebrand for Design Miami.LA explores the concept of “Living With Design,” imbuing minimalist graphics with candid photography that documents creatives engaging with the design objects in their own living spaces. “This is a deliberate move to delve deeper into the essence of design,” Purienne explained on the website, adding that his aim is to capture moments that delve into the interactions between people and design and highlight design’s emotional and experimental aspects.

Standout collections that will be on show include New York- and Los Angeles-based Friedman Benda gallery’s group exhibition that brings L.A.-based design practices to the fore. Highlighted works will include names like interiors-to-fashion designer Faye Toogood, and Samuel Ross, who most recently captured the public’s attention at Design Miami/ Paris with his bright yellow Caucus park bench and also in April collaborated with U.S.-based kitchen and bath firm Kohler.

Inside Design Miami’s First Los Angeles Edition and Global Rebranding

“Foreign body of chalk and iron,” 2021 by Samuel Ross

Elsewhere, this year’s Design at Large program will showcase designs from English ceramics firm 1882 Ltd., which will present a piece created in collaboration with Oscar-winning set designer and artistic director Shona Heath. Titled “Lilyfoot,” it’s a limited-edition sculptural light crafted in stoneware, wood and opalescent glass.

Inside Design Miami’s First Los Angeles Edition and Global Rebranding

“Lilyfoot,” 2024, by Shona Heath and 1882 Ltd., from 1882 Ltd. at Design Miami.LA

Like the Paris edition, which took place in the historic surroundings of L’Hôtel de Maisons, previously home to Karl Lagerfeld, the Los Angeles version will also celebrate one of the city’s most famous homes.

“The intimate residential setting provided an opportunity for galleries to respond directly to the distinctive interiors — through harmonic conversation, or striking contrast — proving for an engaging new fair format that we have never experienced before. The curated programming will serve as a testament to this iconic building, but also as a testament to California’s rich design heritage as an international arbiter of taste,” Roberts said.

Los Angeles, she explained, stands out as “a nexus and arbiter of global taste,” which gained steam after World War II and is heavily influenced by the entertainment industry, car culture and Space Age engineering.

In tandem with the rise in creative talent emerging in all of its key cities, there are signs that the collectable art scene is on the rise from downtown L.A. to West Hollywood. “There is an exciting energy in the industry, as we see collectible design emerging as one of the most relevant and growing markets, particularly among the upcoming next generation of young collectors,” she said.

Los Angeles, in particular, Roberts added, is home to a younger generation of collectors who organizers are increasingly engaging with across Design Miami’s fairs. 

Inside Design Miami’s First Los Angeles Edition and Global Rebranding

Inside the Holmby Hills estate that will host Design Miami.LA.