Whether products, brands or characters, these iconic items illustrate the creativity of their time. Rooted in the French collective memory, they have traversed the ages, often crossing borders on their way.
From the nineteenth-century Michelin Man (“Bibendum”) to the high-speed TGV train designed by Roger Tallon, via the Lacoste polo shirt created in 1933, the Bic ballpoint pen invented in 1950, the Sophie the Giraffe teether made by Vulli and the Tefal frying pan, their images and stories have a worldwide appeal.
Everyday, technological, playful or culinary, they are all part of an industrial, economic and cultural history impacted by the artistic and graphic trends of the past or present.
This exhibition aims to tell their stories, featuring a host of inventors, creators, designers and illustrators.
Bygone or contemporary, these brands have a rich advertising heritage; each tells an ephemeral but powerfully evocative and intriguing story, packed with emotion.
Advertising – a significant factor in their success – is the thread that links together these success stories à la française.
The objects, posters, films and trade catalogues in the exhibition are all taken from the collections of Les Arts Décoratifs and chosen to represent the various sectors: toys, the food industry, beauty and hygiene, transport.