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What Not to Miss at Milan’s Salone del Mobile 2021

The world’s most anticipated design fair, Salone del Mobile (September 5-10), is making its comeback with Supersalone – here are the highlights not to miss, as edited by Vogue Living, our sister interiors publication coming back in November.

Supersalone will feature modular and reusable spaces. Photo: Courtesy 

“Supersalone will be a very special event. It is born from the need to respond to a special historical moment – the one we have all lived through,” starts Marco Sabetta, general manager of Salone del Mobile. The annual Milan furniture fair, launched in 1961, is the largest of its kind in the world. The Supersalone is intended as a prelude to the 2022 edition scheduled for spring. “It is an event we pushed to organize to give faith and energy to the furniture sector, in order to restart. It will be the first sector fair to reopen after the global pandemic,” continues Sabetta.

Unique in many ways, Supersalone stems from the dialogue with companies that understand “the need for continuity of the Salone, but with a version which reflects the exceptionality of the times,” shares Sabetta. The main difference is that Supersalone has a curator – architect Stefano Boeri – who has called internationally renowned co-curators to work with him: Andrea Caputo, Maria Cristina Didero, Anniina Koivu, Lukas Wegwerth, and Marco Ferrari and Elisa Pasqual of Studio Folder. The new format introduces a “large design library, which will celebrate the renewed attention and care devoted to contemporary living spaces,” describes Boeri. The layout will consist of long parallel sets, designed for the specific goods categories, and will allow companies to narrate their identities and products on vertical walls and horizontal surfaces, both of which will be modular and reusable.

The Supersalone promises to be a celebration of objects for all. “A great experience for family and joy, with a commercial, playful, and cultural dimension at the same time,” shares Boeri. “Everyone will be able to purchase all the products seen at the fair, which are the best of national and international production. It will be a unique experience for those who want to renovate, improve, and experiment with space and new materials in their own home.” The public’s appetite for design has soared in recent years. In 2018, the 57th edition of Salone del Mobile saw 434 500 visitors in six days, a marked increase on previous editions. Just prior to the coronavirus putting a halt to the 2020 edition, Salone had confirmed itself as the undisputable superpower of design showcasing, with Italy leading the way.

Bitossi and Pierre Marie’s baroque ceramics line. Photo: Courtesy

With sustainability and circularity at the heart of Salone’s spring 2022 preview, Supersalone will invite attendees to discover the Forestami project at the east gate of the fairgrounds, a green welcome area featuring 200 trees, which will be replanted in the metropolitan area of Milan after the event. “With Supersalone we want to fuse the energy and excitement of the live experience – being in contact with the best of the best in design – with the extraordinary agility of the digital world,” Boeri says. The event will feature a QR code and direct access to the digital platform – a smart and quick way to consult the catalogs, look at the objects, buy them, or get in contact with the company. A series of cultural events, live music, and the internationally recognized award in industrial design Compasso d’Oro exhibition will also take place during the six days. Meanwhile, shows on the history and production of Salone del Mobile will be featured, exploring pieces by design masters Carlo Mollino, Vico Magistretti, and Enzo Mari, among others.

Dior Maison’s Medallion chairs. Photo: Courtesy of Dior

This year’s edition also sees major houses like Dior and Hermès bring together various artists to collaborate on new pieces. Dior Maison has commissioned 17 designers and artists with varying styles to reinterpret its Medallion chair. From countries all around the world including Lebanon, the enlistment includes Sam Baron, Nacho Carbonell, Pierre Charpin, Dimorestudio, Khaled El Mays, Martino Gamper, Constance Guisset, India Mahdavi, nendo, Joy de Rohan Chabot, Linde Freya Tangelder, Atang Tshikare, Seungjin Yang, Ma Yansong, Jinyeong Yeon, Tokujin Yoshioka and Pierre Yovanovitch. One of Dior Maison’s iconic pieces, the original oval-backed Medallion chair in grey and white was selected by Christian Dior out of his love for the Louis XVI style. The chairs were what the guests at the couturier’s fashion show sat on as part of their “sober, simple and above all classic and Parisian” décor. Meanwhile, Hermès has worked with Indian designer Bijoy Jain and his team at Studio Mumbai on an organic chair whose seat and sides are made of papier-mâché.


Bisazza Montepulciano Terra Tiling. Photo: Courtesy

Amid the fertile terrain of creativity, invention, and generosity, new or improved releases created over the last 18 months will be offered at every corner. From Italian luxury design brand Bisazza revealing new geometric patterns inspired by the tradition of polychrome stone flooring for the Marmo collection in various types of marble, to Danish brand Carl Hansen & Søn giving a new lease on life to its celebrated Plico chair, all major furniture brands and designers are ready to play their part in this new debut. With the re-edition of the Pigreco chair, designed with Tobia Scarpa, Tacchini will present its first new product for 2021 and a preview for Salone next year, in addition to the new modular system Victoria created by David/Nicolas.

Carl Hansen & Søn Plico Chair. Photo: Courtesy

Comprising five models and 30 colors, the new collection of rugs, Formula Contract, by Nanimarquina offers 250 different combinations. The Florian folding side table designed by Vico Magistretti in 1989, and the Serenissimo and Creso tables designed by Lella and Massimo Vignelli in the 80s will be part of the new 2021 products from the Remasters collection of Acerbis. Invited by Italian brand Bitossi, Parisian artist Pierre Marie will highlight the raw soul of ceramics through a baroque line, while Jean Nouvel, Jean-Marie Massaud, and the duo behind Neuland Industriedesign will interpret the MDF Italia philosophy, based on the values of simplicity and refinement of each product. “Supersalone is about giving a sign of the presence of Milan and all of Italy on the international scene,” Boeri says. “It’s about giving strength to the world of design as a great attraction to the public and a connecting element of different worlds.”

MDF Italia Random Bookcase. Photo: Courtesy


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Originally published in the September 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia

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