Philippe Starck

Jean-Baptiste Mondino

Philippe Starck

Starck, 61, is a polarizing figure in the world of product design. Some are bewitched by the maverick thinker's take on products, from chairs to juicers to, recently, a spaceship interior. Others are enraged by his slick showmanship. None seem able to ignore him completely. Starck most recently blazed a trail across British television screens as the host and arbiter of a design-related reality show. Meanwhile his longstanding partnerships with hoteliers such as Ian Schrager and Sam Nazarian have introduced the concept of a sleek home-away-from-home to a whole demographic of global travelers.