FRESH Perspectives: Salone del Mobile 2017
Pivot’s Kayte Compton takes us on an excursion through Salone del Mobile Milano 2017
My first day in Milan started with a delicious cappuccino and a quick stroll around my new neighborhood in the Brera District. I needed to work off my jetlag and channel my inner Italian diva before hitting the big show. Before I knew it, it was time to make my way to the fair. Getting to Salone del Mobile was an experience of its own -- I took the overcrowded Metro and as soon as I exited, I saw people scrambling everywhere. But within the chaos was a feast of eye candy. You might say the people watching experience in Milan was bellissimo! Salone del Mobile was the perfect intersection between fashionistas and mobilistas.
The fun began with Kristalia who released a new table line for indoor/outdoor use. There were a lot of dark finishes and beautiful natural color. I was very intrigued by their new soft seating line, Tulie.
I met with Daniel from Kvadrat and if you know me, you know my obsession with textiles is real! I immediately sent a picture of his new textiles to my rep here in the Bay Area to get some samples!
Daniel from Muuto gave me their latest updates and a much-needed espresso at their beautiful booth! The new chair is beautiful and extremely durable, and as always their brand shined through with pastel color blocking and beautiful lines.
One of my favorite booths this year was Magis. My good friend Giovanni showed me around and introduced me to the new products. He showed me Magis’ new seating line Officina with hand-hammered iron structures, beautiful construction, and even more beautiful lines. In addition to this, Magis released stunning new finishes on the Chair_One.
I was lucky to have a tour with Alev Oztas, the president of Emeco. Alev showed me Emeco’s new chair designed by Jasper Morrison. I learned that Emeco has one new product release a year and that Morrison's 1” Chair was the star of this year’s show. This chair has a square frame bent with radius that is an engineer’s dream.
Arper’s booth consisted of large wooden architectural pieces that housed small meeting areas. The booth itself was quite impressive! Simone from Arper showed me the launch of new products into existing families of furniture, as well as a new sofa line. People were actually sleeping on the sofa so I didn’t get a chance to sit on it, but that makes me believe they were very comfortable!
I had a quick visit with Henry and Ben from Ercol. I learned that furniture considered ‘classic’ in Europe might be considered ‘new’ in the U.S. I also learned Henry’s grandfather designed the first chair for Ercol and it’s still being sold today!
And every other year at Salone, there is either a show for lighting or kitchen. This year was an absolutely amazing lighting exhibition named Euroluce. I viewed lighting made for decoration, for outdoor, some for bathrooms or kitchens, and a lot of lighting just for making a statement!
There was so much to do in Milan other than the furniture fair! On Friday, Herman Miller hosted a cocktail hour. Herman Miller launched a new soft seating line designed by Scholten & Baijings. The exposed wood frame wrapped with quilted fabric is gorgeous. I admired the packed Herman Miller showroom -- There were Maharam fabrics dramatically draped from the ceiling in numerous saturated colors and multiple textures. The designers were walking around chatting about their new products and the showroom was full of smiles!
From the Herman Miller event, I made my way across the city to a dinner party hosted by Febrik. Febrik planned a dinner with 20 incredible designers from across the world -- I was beyond honored to be invited! We ate at a traditional Italian restaurant and I had some of the best food and conversations I've ever had!
After dinner, the whole group headed to Barbasso for an Emeco-hosted cocktail hour. I learned the Barbasso is the place to see and be seen! I sipped on a Negroni as I walked around with my new friends from dinner. It was the perfect way to end an extraordinary day!
Looking back on my trip, I spotted many new design trends. From a color standpoint, there were lots of pastels, natural colors with either wood or a metallic brass/shiny metals. Exposed wood frames with metal details were also a big theme. Dramatic lighting was used to show off vignettes of beautiful pieces of furniture. I saw lots of shaved velvets -- or that is what I am calling them! I think this effect is made by taking a razor to mohair so when you run your hand over it, there is no directional mark but it gives the same amazing feeling!
I can't wait to attend Salone again, but until then, I'm looking forward to bringing all my new knowledge back home. The entire experience was magical, exhilarating, inspiring, and empowering. Back in California, drinking a glass of rose vino will always bring back my amazing Milano. Ciao!