Translated by
Nicola Mira
Sep 3, 2021
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Milan Furniture Fair to open again soon, just ahead of fashion week

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Sep 3, 2021

Milan will be very busy this month with Salone del Mobile.Milano (the Milan Furniture Fair), scheduled on September 5-10, which will be followed by contemporary art event Milano Art Week on September 13-19, and then by Milan Fashion Week Women, from September 21 to 27. Covid-19 with its various variants still looms, and the Milanese events will be closely monitored, especially the Furniture Fair, set to kick off on Sunday.

The installation by architect Mario Cucinella at the 2019 edition of Salone del Mobile.Milano - Brera Design District

In 2020, Salone del Mobile.Milano, the international furniture and design show, was cancelled because of the pandemic. It is back this year in a new September slot, as opposed to April, with a new format devised by Stefano Boeri. After an 18-month absence, and beset by lingering uncertainty about the pandemic’s evolution, what used to be a mega event that literally took over the Italian city for seven days - in 2019 it attracted over 500,000 visitors - is now having to settle for a less ambitious edition. The numbers of foreign visitors in particular is expected to be much lower this year.

The Furniture Fair proper, rechristened Supersalone and celebrating its 60th anniversary, will be opened by Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella on Sunday. It will occupy the first four halls of the Fiera Milano exhibition complex in Rho, on the city’s outskirts, welcoming 1,900 projects and 423 exhibitors. The fair’s exhibition fittings have been entirely redesigned, adopting sustainable materials and jettisoning traditional stands in favour of more fluid, innovative layout that enables visitors to “roam freely inside a vast design library.” Proof of vaccination status or a negative Covid test are needed to access the fair, and mask-wearing and safe distancing are mandatory once inside.

The fair's parallel event, Fuorisalone, has always been a magnet for luxury labels, especially those that in recent years have diversified into home decoration. It too is back this year, in its traditional Milanese haunts like Brera’s Tortona neighbourhood and the Lambrate district. Over 600 brands are scheduled to take part in Fuorisalone, staging a host of initiatives across the city concurrently with Supersalone. However, only a limited number of fashion labels will take part in the Milanese showcase, given the health situation and the fact that the event is scheduled only a few days ahead of the Milan fashion week.

Hermès is one of the luxury labels whose presence has been confirmed. It will as usual unveil its latest home decoration collections via a presentation held at the Pelota venue. At the city’s municipal modern art gallery (GAM), Bulgari will stage an exhibition entitled ‘Metamorphosis’ on the history and myth of the serpent, showcasing works by renowned artists Ann Veronica Janssens, Azuma Makoto, Daan Roosegaarde and architect Vincent Van Duysen.

The exhibition dedicated to Rick Owens - Galerie Philia

Missoni will present a new home decoration collection (including chairs, a sofa and a vase), both at Supersalone and elsewhere in the city, at its Milan store and in one of the installations inside the Milan State University’s quadrangle. However, unlike in the past, the Italian label will not be staging events at its Milanese showroom.

Louis Vuitton, which is about to drop a new edition of its collection of ‘nomadic objects’ styled by famous designers, will note take part in Fuorisalone, which will have to do without one of its most popular names. Dolce & Gabbana, fresh from launching its very first furniture collection in Venice, is another leading label that will not take part in the Milanese event.

Worth noting, among the fashion-related events, an unprecedented exhibition dedicated to the brutalist design objects created by Rick Owens, staged by art and design gallery Galerie Philia at the Spazio CB32 venue. It is entitled ‘Rick Owens: dialogue with emerging Italian designers’, and will feature, alongside some of Owen's work, a selection of objects created by young Italian designers.

“My furniture is my couture. I use rare materials and I work with highly specialised artisans to create unique, one-of-a-kind objects,” said Owens in a press release. 

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