Salone del Mobile 60th edition and the citywide Milan Design Week brought the city to life like never before and IROCO Design dispatched its Tokyo team to bring our Asian clients the best and latest design trends. Throughout the week the 20 trade halls at Milan’s Rho Fiera Milano fairgrounds and furniture showrooms across the city centre were packed with industry leaders for the world’s biggest design fair. With 2, 175 brands exhibiting, 27% of them foreign, and 600 young designers added to the fold, the city was in celebration for Salone’s 60th anniversary, where attendance totaled 260,000 visitors from 173 countries.
Highlights of our visit included Hermès’s impressive installation of four luminscent pavilions in an old sports centre with Hermes latest accessories collection all displayed on recycled carton. Hiroshima-based Maruni was back with a new talent – the Japanese furniture-maker has appointed Danish designer Cecilie Manz to create a series called En. Meaning “one” in Danish and “circle” in Japanese, En consists of wooden tables and chairs. Ton’s display stood out as a story of the brand’s evolution, a transition from the past into the future. Their three most recent collections – 822 by studio Claesson Koivisto Rune, POV by Kaschkasch and Again by Gufler were on show amongst their classic Bentwoods. Spanish designer Jaime Hayon brought fun and free-spirit to the handcrafted rugs that he creates with Nanimarquina. His latest work, Troupe, uses a traditional hand-tufting technique to plot out an imaginative, contemporary design across the piece. Sustainability, unsurprisingly, dominated most discussions, press releases and product pitches across showrooms and exhibitions in Milan this week.
But while Salone offered the creative community a chance to observe the latest works and research from a host of designers and brands, for IROCO it was the more intimate conversations taking place around these events that left a lasting impression.
The city’s bars and cafés were packed with furniture designers from Asia, architects from the US and gallerists from Europe making connections, doing deals and talking about their plans for designing a better world. So look out for the new trends IROCO will be bringing into it’s collection.