During certain times in history, the material world has existed at the height of sophistication; we celebrate vestiges of these eras and highlight them on our Journal.

The Material World

Take the recent renovation of the Hotel Ritz Paris, for instance. There is a reason the “Little Black Book” guarded by some is more deserving of the protection than most others. I would say the cache of contacts cataloged by Thierry Despont would merit the highest level of safekeeping, as he has designed homes for the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates and Calvin Klein; his past projects include the Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel and the Woolworth Building in New York City; and his reimagining of the Hôtel Ritz Paris has recently debuted to ample applause.

Nestled like a Belle Époche gem along the perimeter of the Place Vendôme, the hotel’s new interiors feature some quintessential Thierry Despont moves, including spaces that reflect the era in which they were originally born. A number of suites named after former illustrious guests—think Coco Chanel, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Elton John and Marcel Proust—ooze celebrity-worthy glamour. It’s no wonder the hotelier chose the Limoges native for the update, as he is known for a holistic approach to design that sets him apart. We salute him and other visionaries reinterpreting the past in the most sophisticated ways.