When it’s scorching hot, you just go to a tropical island and bask under the sun. If you want a real taste of rich Asian cuisine and you can splurge on a trip, you go to Singapore to satisfy your palette. To see, meet and know the latest in fashion, you only think of one place in the world to go to: Milan. And if you are a furniture designer or enthusiast, you haul yourself to a city that prides itself of gathering hundreds of talented furniture designers and artists in one festive celebration of beauty, function, style and comfort: Milan (again).
There is absolutely no doubt that Milan is THE design capital of the world. When you visit Milan, even for first time tourists, you will never miss the fact that the city is brimming with design wonders. People all over the world flock to the city to witness the latest in fashion trends; and every year, the city draws in more 300,000 furniture enthusiasts, designers and artists from all over the world. This convergence of world-renowned and emerging talents in furniture design is popularly known as Milan Design Week or Salone Internazionale del Mobile, and happens every year in April.
So what makes Milan, a lone city in the world, gets so lucky to be THE hub of art, beauty and trends? Sure, the city has a lot to offer in terms of eye-candies that over two million tourists visit every year. But, what makes Milan unique and the PERFECT venue for top and emerging designers to showcase their ingenious creation?
History made it happen for Milan
The people behind Milan’s earning its moniker as the design capital of the world worked hard to make this happen. Looking at the rich history of the city, you would no longer wonder how it became what it is today. After all, Italian furniture designers/makers worked tirelessly in promoting their pieces.
The first exhibition or Salone was held in 1961, led by a group of Italian designers with one unified goal: to market what they had to offer to the public – gorgeous furniture pieces that bore their distinctive style and heritage. Through the years, the number of exhibitors grew, surprising no one, as Cosmit, the company in charge of the annual exhibition, has consistently managed to attract designers from all four corners of the earth to come to the city and be part of its extensive and crowd-drawing celebration of furniture and light designs. Truly, the Salone has etched its place in everybody’s calendar as evident on the increasing number of visitors that go to the trade fair every year.
Italian design: a feast for every eye
Part and parcel of the Salone’s success is the intricate and sumptuous furniture that Italians proudly create. Italian design encompasses furniture, fashion, architecture and automobile. The city has produced renowned talents the world has admired over the years. If not for the elegant fixture Italian designers created in mid-1950s, the Salone wouldn’t have happened. The likes of Achille Castiglioni, Vico Magistretti, Bruno Munari, Gio Ponti, Ettore Sottsass and Alvar Aalto who are some of the greatest furniture designers in the world, made Italy a household name for fine and future-inspired furniture designs. Italian furniture designers have always been forward-looking in their designs, drawing attention and admiration from the locals and foreigners alike. Marrying the concept of modern and elegant designs has always been the core of Italian furniture, cementing its place in the design industry and, needless to say, earning its rightful place to be THE design capital world.
Beyond Italian furniture: looking at world-class talents
Through the years, the Salone continues to snag the interest of foreign designers from overseas, making the event world-class and globalized. Now, not only Italian furniture design is brandished proudly before the eyes of the public – famous and up-and-coming designers have been given the spotlight as well. This year, from April 9 to 14, the trade fair will house 965 Italian designers and 290 foreign designers. Diverse collection will be ubiquitously displayed, making the event richer what with all the historical and cultural influences these designers represent through their creation.
Unified connection among designers
While it is true that Italians dominate the number of exhibitors every year, there is still a unified goal being shown in each Salone mounted every year – that of bringing innovative, smart, sophisticated and functional designs to the world. This solidarity strengthens over the years as more businesses occur in the trade fair, giving more opportunities to top and starting furniture designers all over the world and bringing more smiles to furniture design fanatics.
It is true that it is part of our nature to go where the crowds go. And that we become understandably curious why thousands of people go to Milan every year. But, who wouldn’t? After all, this exciting experience is magically amplified with the vibe people feel during each staging of the Salone. Vibrant designs, festive mood and cocktail parties are what people look forward to in Milan Design Week. Needless to say, there is this invisible pull, almost like magic, that brings together artists and enthusiasts in celebrating the beauty of ingenious designs in furniture and light.
212Concept’s Kubikoff will be part of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile this year. To check out Kubikoffs’ collection, log on to www.212concept.com.