Milan Design Week has been one of the best leading events when it comes to defining international interior design trends Worldwide! Over the last years, it’s clear that more and more designers and brands (both Italian and international) have begun to invest more and more in this Milanese event which attracts millions and millions of design enthusiasts during the last couple of years.
This top design event first came to be all the way back in 1961. From focusing originally on Italian furniture to opening up to many more foreign brands, whether we’re talking about Salone del Mobile or Fuorisalone, there’s no doubt that this event has brought forward many interior designers as well as some of the most relevant projects in the interior design spectrum.
The brands that made the event
Every year Milan Design Week has managed to attract many design enthusiasts, so it’s only natural that some of the World’s top brands (Italian or foreign) would make it to the event. Every year they manage to marvel and amaze millions of visitors who are either there to get a chance at showing their own projects or simply to learn about the upcoming new trends of that year. Now, we delve a little deeper into some of the best projects by some of the world’s leading brands.
You can’t mention an Italian brand without including Armani’s name in the mix! One of the most marking entries by Giorgio Armani in the event has to be “The dream of living according to Giorgio Armani”, launched at the Armani Theatre. This exclusive event was an exhibition dedicated to all of Armani’s design projects, among them Queen’s Gate Place in London, the World Towers in Mumbai, the Armani Hotel in Dubai and Milan among many others.
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Among many of the names that have collaborated for Baccarat, we can count those of Alain Moatti, Henri Rivière, Jaime Hayon, Michele de Lucchi, Philippe Starck, among many others. Some of these names were involved in many of the projects this brand has presented for Salone del Mobile, most notably the beautiful Philippe Starck’s ‘Marie Coquine Chandelier’, structured around an umbrella to create a unique ambiance.
One of the most noticeable products from Chipperfield is the all-wood family, specifically the Fayland table, the Fawley bench, and the Langley stool. The Fayland table was originally designed for a project in rural England, featuring a linear form and a clear structural concept. The three pieces were presented at Salone del Mobile, showing that they completed each other in any living room style.
Being involved in the creation of luxurious furniture for around 30 years, it’s only natural that Italian brand Fendi Casa was involved in more than one initiative during this Milanese event. On last year’s edition, the brand presented a brand new collection designed by Parisian designer Thierry Lemaire. These furniture pieces consisted of several luxurious pieces including sofas, tables, lamps among many others. In this collection some cushions designed by late design legend Karl Lagerfeld all the way back in 1965.
Table Egeo was definitely one of the top furniture pieces that Edra has ever shown off during Milan Design Week. This table was heavily inspired by the glass tradition of the Brasilia table designed by the Campana brothers. In the case of this piece has a top in thick glass (that can be either black or gold), one central pedestal or legs. With a base made from tubular steel, this lovely table gives any dining room a unique touch of luxury.
Perhaps one of the most notable works for Milan Design Week from Zaha Hadid was the resulting chairs in collaboration with Nagami. Despite the chairs being all by the Spanish company, Zaha Hadid was responsible for the 3D painting of the chairs, alongside Ross Lovegrove and Daniel Widrig.
The collection, named “Brave New World: Re-thinking Design in the New Age of Technology”, essentially combined computational design and large-scale robotic 3D printing on the products with the goal of exploring new innovative ways of creating furniture that challenges the limits of imagination.
Roberto Cavalli Home Interiors is a recurring presence at this event, of course. Last year the brand presented a unique furniture collection filled with sparkling shades of citron, banana leaf print, and new animal patterns. In this collection, there was the Key West Swivel Armchair, the Tahiti Chaise Longue and the Acapulco Modular Bookcase, all of them with tropical touches to them, derived from Roberto Cavalli’s vision, philosophy, and style.
One of the most noticeable entries from Porada to Milan Design Week has to be the Gargantua armchair in collaboration with Staffon Tollgard in Canaletto walnut with customizable upholstery in fabric or leather.
Created in 1964 in Mantova Seletti has since then had a reputation for striving for improvement, innovation, and originality in all of their lighting designs. Every year during the Milan Design Week Seletti is the host for Design Pride, also known as “the most democratic party of the Milan Design Week”. This event, which takes place at the 5 VIE art + design and sponsored by the city of Milan, consists of a street parade that aims to celebrate creativity and design in a fun alternative way while showcasing some innovative design works by newcomers.
The Luxury Living Group is also a group that never misses an edition on Milan Design Week every year. Owner of several well-known brands such as Fendi Casa, Bentley Home, Trussardi Casa. Every year some of the top brands in both Italy and around the world present some of the finest furniture ever seen.
B&B Italia is another presence that makes Milan Design Week shine. we’re talking about one of the leading Italian companies in the international world of designer furniture. They create pieces for both home (B&B Italia Home Division) and contract (B&B Italia Contract Division).
This brand has presented in the last couple of year several works by designers such as Antonio Citterio, Naoto Fukasawa, Piero Lissoni, Michael Anastassiades among many others. We’ve previously mentioned the Maxalto collection, designed and coordinated by Antonio Citterio, which features sophisticated chairs and seating systems with some new range extensions and new finishes made for pre-existing products of the brand.
One of Poltrona Frau’s greatest highlights has to be, without a doubt, the Bretagne sofa. This exquisite piece provides new and elegant decorative combinations made from different and diverse materials. The seat cushions come in a new version with removable fabric cover which definitely helps in emphasizing their softness and comfort. Not to mention the fact that the frames, upholstered in Pelle Frau leather, create an overall effect of great visual and tactile warmth.
Jean-Marie Massaud is a recurring collaborator with Poliform for around ten years which has resulted in over 40 pieces in the collections of the brand. One of the most notable furniture design pieces is the Mondrian sofa with complementing accessories of the Cosmos tables. This duo was inspired by the Dutch painter of the same name (Piet Mondrian), and the piece’s design is a clear reflection of the clean lines and asymmetrical balance that defines the most of his paintings.
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Swarovsky Palazzo is something amazing to see every year. It consists of site-specific installation in a grand greenhouse set within a hidden courtyard of a neo-classical Milanese palazzo. In this exhibition spot that the new collections of the brand are unveiled alongside some home collections by several designers and brands such as Nendo, Patricia Urquiola, Peter Pilotto and John Pawson. Each year Atelier Swarovski presents a new home collection inspired and informed by a crystal with a presentation at the annual Milanese tradeshow.
A little preview of what’s to come at this year’s edition
So now that we’ve given you some of the main highlights that you can check out throughout the city as a whole, you’re probably wondering what’s coming for the 2019 edition right? This year’s edition will be celebrating DaVinci’s 500th anniversary of death. With that in mind, the fair organizers have two major installations planned to celebrate his life and legacy.
This year those who will be attending Salone del Mobile can expect o find a range of displays that will pay tribute to Renaissance ideas incorporating them into modern design. There’s also some buzz around “S Project”, a new display format expected to bring together multiple brands and products (both newcomers and usual guests) into one single space.
This year marks the return of Tom Dixon to Milan! The Manzoni is the new 100-cover restaurant has been created by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio. The main reason behind the opening of this new establishment (which is both a restaurant and a showroom) was due to the fact that Tom Dixon and his team wanted to have a more permanent presence in Milan. The Manzoni is set to open during Milan Design Week 2019 and will also be showcasing three specific new collections: Fat, Spring, and Opal.
Lastly, we have to mention Japanese brand Nendo that will be showing a certain project that was first introduced at IMM Cologne trade show and will also be making its way to Milan Design Week this year. Oki Sato worked alongside Venetian brand WonderGlass to create a series of cast glass chairs. The Melt collection features a chair comprised of an inverted arched base topped with a contrasting, flat pane of glass, and backed with a larger rectangle of glass.
One of the main novelties for this year’s edition of iSalone comes from the Italian brand Zanotta. This year they will be presenting a new set of tables entitled Enchino. The innovative feature going for these new products is the fact that instead of showing glass tables with metal legs, this new concept reverses these two elements by showing tables with metal surfaces and glass legs. There’s a lovely detail regarding the legs of the tables which are hand-blown in Venice by craftspeople using an ancient technique that dates back to DaVinci’s period which is fitting seen as this year the event will be dedicated to this Renaissance master’s life and legacy.