Milan – A Furniture Obsession

Posted on April 15, 2013


Brought to you by the letter ‘M’

Last Sunday the 52nd annual Salone del Mobile came to a close after a successful 6 day celebration of the very best in furniture style.

This year saw more fashion brands having a go at cracking the furniture market, with designs from Hermes, Armani and Lois Vuitton all taking centre stage.

Contemporary designs and innovative ideas were portrayed through the unusual shapes and styles of furniture. This year a definite theme emerged and some of the designers focused on helping the environment through their collections. Some designs chose to subtly promote a sustainable living by choosing to source only natural materials for their products. Others created products heavily focused around the idea of cutting down pollution.

Tile-maker Marazzi and Architect Mario Cucinella showcased their idea of tiles that reduce pollution. The product called “Pure Air” is a simple cube covered with hexagonal black stoneware tiles. Inside the cube, both air and noise pollution are filtered out. The product was originally installed at Milan’s state university, before being taken to the furniture fair.

During an interview with Fox News Cucinella commented: “For me the idea is to say, ‘Come to breath pure air.”  He continues: “I am not interested in making an extravagant building to show off my architectural ego.”

I can’t think of a more perfect place than Milan to host the world’s biggest furniture show, which is probably why it has ran with such success for so long. Furniture shops and fashion designers are in abundance in this contemporary city. When I visited I picked up on a definite theme which was crisp, minimal and futuristic. The competition to be seen as a furniture designer is tough, which is why it feels like this year’s collection has had to be more innovative, more stylish and more about making a point than usual.

milan marni

Marni’s collection included a limited edition project called ‘100 Chairs’. The chairs were all brightly coloured and included some unusual shapes. Made by Columbian ex-prisoners, the project is part of an initiative to help ex-prisoner settle back into ‘normal’ life.

milan versace

This year Versace’s collection was as bling as ever. After collaborating with Californian artist designers Nicolai and Simon Haas, the fashion house created twelve limited edition statement pieces for this year’s furniture fair.

milan louis vuitton

Louis Vuitton presented its ‘Objecs Nomades’ collection of sixteen travel-inspired products. The picture above shows a flat-packed stool designed by Studio Oi. Other pieces included designs by the people behind the Olympic torch, Maarten Baas and Barber Osgarby.

milan armani

Armani’s collection was constructed solely using natural materials including onyx, Tamo wood and banana fibre. Pieces reflected the natural theme by appearing simple and natural in style.

milan marc by marc jacobs

London based designer Nina Tolstrop and the London furniture showroom 19 Greek Street worked with Marc by Marc Jacobs to create this year’s groovy collection. The collection called ‘Re-imagined’ included vintage office chairs upholstered in textiles from Marc by Marc Jacobs.

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