Odile Mir’s granddaughter is reissuing her 1970s French furniture
Parisian designer Léonie Alma Mason launches LOMM Editions – a new brand presenting 1970s furniture designs created by her grandmother, nonagenarian artist Odile Mir
New design brand LOMM Editions makes its debut with a multigenerational story of collaboration and love. Launched by Parisian designer Léonie Alma Mason, it features the furniture designs of her grandmother, artist Odile Mir.
Mir had studied sculpture in Casablanca, Morocco, before moving to Paris in the 1950s. Growing up, Mason was immersed in her grandmother’s creative universe: ‘I spent a lot of time with her in her workshop in Toulouse, making clay sculptures, papier-mâché books, salt doughs, drawings,’ she recalls. ‘She was always speaking about her new ideas, creations and artistic collaborations, but she never talked about this design period in her life before 2017.’
Odile Mir: accomplished artist and self-taught designer
An accomplished artist now in her nineties, Mir was a self-taught designer. ‘She always regretted not being able (or allowed, at the time, being a woman) to study more and to become an architect,’ explains Mason. Even without an architecture background, Mir was able to conceive and develop projects such as La Nef Solaire, a pavilion and giant sundial in the south of France, created in 1993 in collaboration with astronomer Denis Savoie and engineer Robert Queudot.
Mir’s furniture pieces were largely produced by French manufacturer Prisunic in the 1970s, whose affordable prices and contemporary, optimistic design approach made it a popular choice for furniture at the time. Her designs featured metal structures and leather, and their simplicity offers a glimpse of Mir’s talent. She would work on early prototypes by welding together steel chrome tubes and using found leather scraps to create her chairs, later developed into sleek furniture pieces.
LOMM Editions: a multigenerational design collaboration
It was when Mir asked her granddaughter to find a maker that could reproduce a lounge chair from her 1970s collections that Mason discovered her grandmother’s full design catalogue. This inspired her to create an archive of Mir’s works, and eventually a collection of reissued pieces of furniture presented under the brand name LOMM Editions (the moniker formed from a combination of their initials).
‘We spent many afternoons together in my grandmother’s basement, looking for documents, old pictures, original prototypes that had survived from the time,’ says Mason, who also did some independent research into the furniture manufacturers her grandmother worked with, and spoke to curators from French museums and institutions to piece together the history of these designs. ‘I felt like an archaeologist,’ she jokes. The result of this research was a collection of approximately 40 pieces, designed by Mir and forming the basis for LOMM Editions.
The collection includes pieces from the ‘Filo’ series, originally produced by Prisunic, among them a sleek chair and ottoman with chrome structures and natural leather, and a magazine holder defined by a simple graphic line in chrome. ‘At the time, the “Filo” collection was shown in the windows of Printemps on the Boulevard Hausmann in Paris; you can still find some of these vintage pieces at antique shops or at auctions, with cognac leather,’ says Mason.
‘We agreed together to modernise them,’ she continues, by using ‘a very different untreated cow skin with a pale pink colour, which will evolve and darken with time. This line is amazing because it is so simple, clever and timeless,’ she adds. ‘The seat is totally independant from the structure. The steel is really thin and unbreakable.’
To make the collection feel complete, Mason and Mir added a lamp, a piece, the granddaughter explains, that really represents the collection’s mood. Originally designed and prototyped in 1971, the ‘Duo Floor Lamp n°872’ was never produced. ‘It is very beautiful, with a perfect balance of round and straight elements, but also very practical and flexible, with the double swivel shade moving up and down,’ says Mason.
To present the collection, Mason has edited a limited-edition design book (conceived as an art project and featuring elements recurring in Mir’s designs and her own home, such as mirrored surfaces and the colour yellow), and restored a 1970s bookshop in Paris’ rue de Clichy, to preview the LOMM Editions lamps before the collection is fully unveiled later in 2021. §