The luxury industry moves fast. Every season sees the discovery of new talents and the release of new creations—fashion collections, ranges of watches and jewelry, ensembles of furniture and so on—to satiate consumers’ ever increasing enthusiasm for novelty and quench their thirst for stimulation. And in the world of luxury design, everyone wants to see themselves as a pioneer.
But newer doesn’t always mean better. Brands with storied histories know that from time to time, instead of starting from scratch on the drawing board, it pays to dig in the archives for classic designs that are ripe for renaissance. A few thoughtful tweaks can bring them up to date, ready to be discovered by a whole new generation.
This year has seen an unusual number of brands looking backward as well as forward. Here, we look at five design classics that are more relevant than ever—a driver’s watch, a signature fragrance, an all-occasion backpack, a brutalist lamp and a sculptural chair. Their decades of age don’t show, and their designs remain unrivaled.
A reinterpretation of the classic Carrera driving watch, based on the original timepiece created by Jack Heuer in 1963. Its monochrome Panda dial configuration was created with the needs of racing drivers in mind. Buy here
Borne Béton lamp
This concrete lamp was first created by architect Le Corbusier in 1952 to illuminate walkways at his Unité d’Habitation building in Marseille. Nemo’s version uses Corb’s original production methods but with an updated LED lighting source.
Afra and Tobia Scarpa’s 1986 Miss chair has been relaunched for 2016 by Molteni & C. Tobia Scarpa has redesigned the armrest joint to make the chair more comfy and linear.
Revived in new textiles and colors, this Prada backpack was first designed in 1984. It was featured on the design house’s spring-summer 2017 catwalk, a bold utilitarian throwback.
The new L’Eau blend is the fifth reinterpretation of Chanel’s iconic scent since 1921. Created by Chanel’s master perfumer Olivier Polge, it gives the original a lighter and fresher spin. Buy here
Chambers is editor in chief of Wallpaper*