Luxury Swiss skincare brand La Prairie has collaborated with six students from Switzerland’s prestigious ECAL University of Art and Design for a new design challenge.

Since its inception in 1931, La Prairie has commissioned both high-profile and emerging artists to visually realise the ethos of ‘timeless beauty’ that is at the core of their skincare formulations. Through annual installations at Art Basel and collaborations with institutions like Fondation Beyeler, the brand has cemented its status as a patron of both artists and institutions. 

black and white portraits of the six ECAL students involved in la praire’s design challenge

Now, with this latest project, La Prairie is once again celebrating innovative artistry and design. For ‘La Prairie x ECAL’ the Swiss brand has commissioned students Gal Bulka from Israel, Paula Chacartegui from Spain, Chia-Ling Chang from Taiwan, Apolline Morel-Lab from France, Fernando Rivero from Mexico, and Charlotte Therre from Switzerland to take part in a unique competition that celebrates the next generation of designers. 

For the project, the six master’s students have been asked to create original pieces of work inspired by La Prairie’s vision of Swissness - one that values purity, precision, and timelessness in every aspect of its execution. 

While centering a brief around the aesthetics of a single country runs the risk of being limiting, each of these projects sees the students melding their individual global perspectives with Swiss design traditions to produce a singular range of sculptural and interactive works.

As the brand’s CMO, Greg Prodromides says, ‘in making the deliberate choice to work with young designers from varied backgrounds and experiences, we are treated to an exceptional array of interpretations of Swissness. We believe that this kind of diversity further enhances the values of creation and creativity, so essential to our identity as a luxury house.’ 

image of work in progress for La Prairie and ECAL design competition

Throughout the entire creative process, the students have been mentored by Wallpaper’s 2020 Designer of the Year Sabine Marcelis who offered constant insight into how the projects could be developed into dynamic design objects. Ranging from abstract sculptures to interactive installations, the final pieces express the singular vision of six students in the exciting onset of their careers. 

Each of the works will be featured in a week-long exhibition, from 18-24 January, on La Prairie’s Instagram page. The winning design will be determined by design experts from ECAL and votes from the public over Instagram, with the winning student receiving a grant from La Prairie to use towards launching their design career. Head to La Prairie’s Instagram now to vote for your favourite design and learn who the winner is on 25 January 2021. §