Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
June 11, 2019
La Prairie has long held a connection to the worlds of art and design. Its Swiss heritage creates an obvious reference point to architecture icons like Le Corbusier. Those names have inspired the minimalist design behind La Prairie’s signature packaging and minimalist retail spaces. Even artists like Niki de Saint Phalle, and her use of cobalt blue, have inspired the immediately recognizable bright blue of the brand’s Skin Caviar Collection.
For the past several years, La Prairie has cemented its link with the contemporary art world by collaborating with a number of artists, including Paul Coudamy, Julian Charrière, Manon Wertenbroek, Mario Botta, and Chul-Hyun Ahn. Those commissions have resulted in traveling exhibitions as well as site-specific installations with their Collector’s Lounge Pavilion at Art Basel in Basel, Hong Kong, and Miami.
CEO Patrick Rasquinet spoke with Whitewall about La Prairie’s commitment to contemporary art and design.
WHITEWALL: How has the partnership with Art Basel strengthened the brand’s link to the art world?
PATRICK RASQUINET: Art is part of La Prairie’s identity. La Prairie has always had an organic link to the world of arts. Our partnership with Art Basel is based on the common values of luxury, Swissness, and audacity. La Prairie offers a new perspective on skincare and this partnership has given us an opportunity to embrace the art world’s values while paying tribute to our Swiss origins. This particular approach to aesthetics and luxury resonates with our clients and elevates the approach to skincare.
Art is part of La Prairie’s identity.Patrick Rasquinet
WHITEWALL: La Prairie has a history of supporting up and coming artists – why is this important to the brand?
PATRICK RASQUINET: A cornerstone of our heritage is audacity; an audacious pioneering spirit inspired by that of our founder, Dr Paul Niehans. His approach was as audacious as it was effective. We continue to infuse that pioneering spirit in everything we do, including our artistic partnerships.
At La Prairie, we believe that innovation, vision and spirit lives in the imagination of the next generation of artists. It is therefore our imperative to support and nourish young artists, who will evolve into the leaders of tomorrow’s world of art and culture. Each collaboration has brought to the brand a unique expression that enhances our philosophy of fusing art and science.
WW: La Prairie has now commissioned artists like Manon Wertenbroek, Mario Botta and Chul-Hyun Ahn. How have these collaborations enriched La Prairie?
PR: The artists are our new ambassadors. Each artistic collaboration is for us an opportunity to reveal a story about our brand and our collections. It is an organic encounter between the artist and our brand that celebrates our values and heritage.
In 2017 in Art Basel in Basel, the collaboration with Paul Coudamy was the occasion to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our icon: Skin Caviar. His piece, fusing science and technology, was one of the five art installations that formed our exhibition “The Art of Caviar,” which traveled to Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Zürich.
Last year, as a celebration of our Swiss heritage, we commissioned Swiss artists to unveil their artistic interpretation of our brand. First, Julian Charrière revealed the power of light in a mesmerizing video installation Light Upon an Imaginary Space at Art Basel in Hong Kong.
Later, in Basel, Manon Wertenbroek created three photographic pieces paying tribute to the cobalt blue of our Skin Caviar icon in an artistic dialogue with Niki de Saint Phalle.
For the 2019 edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong, Chul-Hyun Ahn – inspired by the science and phenomenology of light – has created three unique pieces that explore the fundamental properties of luminosity, colour and reflection – the very basis for La Prairie’s Science of Light.