Among the many presentations at Maison&Objet, the sprawling Paris trade show that takes place in January and September of each year, it’s easy to get lost. Criss-cross the innumerable aisles for even a few hours and sensory overload is all but certain. As a decidedly not spontaneous person who finds joy in making unnecessarily detailed itineraries, I had a game plan for the fair upon arrival—but was sidetracked by a few choice booths. There was one I visited several times: Kin and Company’s work in the Rising Talents exhibition, which, for this iteration of the fair, focused on six emerging designers from the US. The Brooklyn-based design firm, helmed by cousins Joseph Vidich and Kira de Paola, is known for its sculptural, often undulating objects typically made from steel. For its European debut, the firm showed a series of objects: its Wave coffee table, Thin shelves, Slip mirror, and Cascade mobile, an audience favorite. Made of half-moons, discs, and rings of varying colors, the composition creates the entrancing effect a sky full of stars. —Tiffany Jow, editorial director
I’ve never met a tote I didn’t like, and the recently released versions from the popular suitcase company Away are now at the top of my must-have list. Cleverly dubbed the Latitude and Longitude totes (in reference to their tall and long shapes), the bags are made from unlined Italian leather and feature a minimal, removable band along the back that allows you to hook them to the extended handle of your suitcase. I have had more than my fair share of spilled items as a result of trying to balance my purse on the top edge of my suitcase while rushing through the airport and trying to find my passport at the bottom of “the black hole.” These bags (available in four colors… I’m eyeing that hunter green) each come with a removable key clip and a detachable zip pouch, so even when I’m not organized, my bag still can be. —Rachel Gallaher, senior editor
Boston-based designer Nicole McLaughlin’s upcycled apparel and footwear transforms mainstream fashion into high-brow design objects. A graphic designer at Reebok by day, McLaughlin moonlights as a self-taught fashion designer, reinterpreting commercial items from Nike, IKEA, The North Face, and JanSport into bespoke pieces that straddle the line between streetwear and wearable art. For the past two years, she’s taken to Instagram to display her one-of-a-kind designs including a tank top made from recycled Nike hats, a skirt constructed from old Patagonia fleece jackets, and slip-ons patchworked from old Carhartt beanies. They’re tongue-in-cheek, sustainable (she uses recycled materials, typically discarded soles from Reebok and other found shoes), and now, they’re for sale. On September 24, McLaughlin launched her first bag collection constructed entirely from upcycled hats, which are available on Foot Locker’s new streetwear shopping app, Greenhouse. I’m no hypebeast, but I can’t wait to wear one of McLaughlin’s ironically stylish creations. —Claire Butwinick, assistant editor
The Best Things We Saw is a monthly roundup of places, spaces, and things that stopped GRAY staffers in their tracks. Herewith, our picks for the best of the best in September.