Pascale Mussard, high priestess of Design Parade

Capture d’écran 2019-06-27 à 09.42.19

Her passion is infectious, as anyone who has seen her will agree. Founder of the brand “petit h,” the re-creation laboratory of Hermès, Pascale Mussard has been reinventing the links between know-how and craftsmanship for 40 years. Her latest whim? Presiding over the 4th edition of Design Parade, the international interior design festival, in Toulon. We got the chance to meet her during this first partnership between American Vintage and the festival.

Design Parade will be held from June 27 to 30, 2019 in Toulon. What is the concept behind this festival?

Design Parade aims to share contemporary creation in the interior design field with professionals and the public at large. Each year, its contest presents 10 young designers, giving them a showcase and unique support. Design Parade and the fashion festival at the Villa Noailles in Hyères, both developed by Jean Pierre-Blanc, strive to educate our sense of sight, generate vocations, award creativity and demonstrate the importance of festivals, such as these ones, to shed light on the creative world of tomorrow.

Toulon and Hyères… Is there a link between the two events?

The goal behind this festival is also to pay a vibrant homage to Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, the famous art patrons of the late 20th century, who largely contributed to enriching French culture by supporting artists in all fields, including Man Ray, Alberto Giacometti, Salvador Dalí, Jean Cocteau, Francis Poulenc, Luis Buñuel and André Breton… To continue this tradition, the idea is to stay as close to their vision as possible in order to bring together the selection that they would have made if they were still here.

This year, François Champsaur (his work above) is President of the Jury of the 2019 Design Parade in Toulon.

Design Parade is now one of the star French events in terms of creation. Is it important to shine the spotlight on Southern France, considering the omnipresence of Paris?

The idea isn’t to go head-to-head with Paris, but it’s true that Jean-Pierre Blanc, Director of the Villa Noailles, was sad to see this historic heritage left by the wayside. He quickly contacted Hubert Falco, President of Toulon-Provence-Méditerranée, the region of the city of Hyères, and suggested that they restore the glory of this architectural highlight. In giving Southern France a new voice, Jean-Pierre was visionary: the region is right at the forefront of the contemporary art scene. Marseille has really taken off. The Vallauris Biennale was modernized. The Carmignac Foundation was inaugurated in 2018 in Porquerolles… Moreover, this year, new initiatives reinforce this expansion, such as the opening of the Design Master’s program at the Ecole Camondo, the Centre Georges Pompidou hosting a “Nouvelles Vagues” exhibition honoring beach furniture and inflatable products… The South is hotter than ever. And we are proud to be a part of it.

Kim Haddou and Florent Dufourcq, winners of the 2018 edition. Discover their portrait here.

The jury is composed of 13 figures from the design and architecture world. What are the selection criteria?

Each year, the selection criteria depend on the visions of the two presidents of the jury and the other jury members. Each festival has its political and poetic choices, which might be militant or artistic. Each edition represents current creative expressions. This year, François Champsaur, President of the Jury, chose 10 very different candidates whose themes explore sustainable development, ecology and natural materials. The idea is to imagine the future. There is a growing focus on raw materials and authenticity: the architecture of the future is architecture with meaning.

What does the American Vintage award represent?

American Vintage will award the winner of the interior design category, who can express the entire range of his or her talent by designing the window display layout in a selection of American Vintage stores. The chosen candidate will get the opportunity to carry out a first professional project. I find this really interesting, because it opens up the door and supports the new vanguard of future artistic creation in a concrete way!

AMV Journal is a space dedicated to encounters, discovery and travel. Every week, explore the musts, portraits and inspirations of American Vintage and its creation studio.