For the design community April can mean only one thing, it is time for the biggest furniture show on earth, Salone del Mobile.Milano. Last week saw the 55th edition of this prestigious event which took place from 12th to 17th April at the Milan Fairgrounds, Rho. There were over 300,000 operators from more than 160 countries and a visiting public of over 30,000 people. Becoming an increasingly international event, the President Roberto Snaidero explained; “Internationalisation and innovation are key drivers of this important edition. In particular, companies taking part in the Salone affirm that 63% of revenue is generated by exports, while 67% of them have made substantial investments in innovating machinery, equipment and software; research and development.” Cementing itself in the worldwide design events calendar LINK this annual event has also shown its integral importance to Italy as a country and its design and manufacturing industry. “The Salone del Mobile is one of Italy’s most important appointments. A showcase of what the entire home furnishings chain has to offer international markets in terms of product quality and innovation,” said Deputy Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda.
Trends for the coming seasons are determined and the must-have collections are showcased for the first time. The worlds’ most renowned design brands were all there to showcase their latest offerings for the industry’s most prestigious buyers and design writers from across the globe. The LuxPad caught up with some of its favorite brands to find out their highlights from the show and what we can expect from their just-launched collections…
As an iconic Italian brand, Fornasetti is a huge presence in Milan and although they did not exhibit at Salone del Mobile they joined in the wider occasion of Fuorisalone 2016. To celebrate they created an impressive installation at the Fornasetti Store, Corso Matteotti 1/a 20121 Milan. One of the walls was decorated with 100 “Tema e Variazioni” plates in an homage to the artist book “Tema e Variazioni” of which they are presenting right now. It’s a limited edition art book of 100 copies entirely handmade representing the first 100 variations created by Piero Fornasetti.
Barnaba Fornasetti spoke exclusively to The LuxPad about what Salone del Mobile means for him; “Milan city of contradictions, Milan city always ready to self-criticism, Milan city pro Expo or anti Expo, Milan design capital but also city with a terrible urban design, Milan historically dominated by everybody, Milan city of the enlighteners. I love and hate Milan at the same time. The “Salone del Mobile” is also all this….?”
Missoni Home are a star example of successfully combining heritage with modernity. This was showcased in their presence at Salone del Mobile, with matriarch Rosita Missoni taking over their Snapchat channel. Taking part in the show and the wider occasions of Fuorisalone, this year’s installation was beautifully named Floral Galaxy. Missoni Home’s presence is always greatly anticipated as they are looked at as the leaders in home fashion across the seasons.
Alberto Jelmini, CEO of T&J Vestor Spa, the prestigious manufacturer behind many of Missoni Home’s designs, and brother of Rosita Missoni, shares his thoughts with The LuxPad on the importance of the show for the design industry. “It is hugely important for brand awareness and communication. As an exhibitor or visitor, if you are serious about design it is a must to be present.” He also tells us about the stand out styles spotted: “This year has been less about new shapes and all about surface pattern, materials and color. It is the attention to detail in the finishes that has been particularly notable. Color has been used with plenty of confidence, even touches of neon!”
Tom Dixon is renowned for his creative exhibitions at the world’s leading trade shows. Never one to conform to normality, at last year’s Salone del Mobile he took over an abandoned theatre to create his very own Cinema and at this year’s show he went one step further and created a pop-up restaurant. The Restaurant by Tom Dixon and Caesarstone featured a series of experimental kitchens housed inside a deconsecrated 17th century church. Each of the four spaces were inspired by the elements – Earth, Fire, Water and Air and decorated with a range of his products including new pieces and classic designs. The installation provided a unique interpretation of how food and surfaces can interact in an exercise of distinctive tastes, smells and visuals within each kitchen.