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Everything you need to know about the 61st edition of Milan Design Week

A design from Benetti Home's 'Mr Flock' collection, which will be on display at Milan Design Week
A design from Benetti Home's 'Mr Flock' collection, which will be on display at Milan Design Week Copyright Copyright Benetti Home
Copyright Copyright Benetti Home
By Saskia O'Donoghue
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Euronews Culture is heading to Milan Design Week - or Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano - for its 61st edition, which runs from 18 - 23 April. Here's our guide to some of the most exciting exhibits at the iconic event

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The Milan Furniture Fair - or Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano - is back for its 61st edition. 

Attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors over its run from 18 to 23 April, Euronews Culture will be on the ground bringing you the lowdown on the new trends in design, stand out pieces and talents to look out for.

The Design Week, often referred to as 'Salone', is the largest fair of its kind in the world, showcasing the latest and best in furniture, homewares and design from across the globe.

The event was launched in 1961, with an original focus on Italian furniture. Since then, it has grown massively. The current show occupies an area of nearly 230,000 square metres and hosts around 2,500 companies putting their wares on display, in the centre itself and across the city. Pre-Covid around half a million people from all over the world visited the fair annually and it’s expected to be back to that level this year.

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/2023 Getty Images
Milan's mayor Beppe Sala speaks at the Milan Design Week press conference in FebruaryVittorio Zunino Celotto/2023 Getty Images

2023’s theme will shed light on the themes of sustainable design, innovative materials, urban regeneration and artificial intelligence as a tool to sit side-by-side with man-made design, rather than replace it.

Running alongside the Design Week is Euroluce, a premier biennial international lighting exhibition that will put on display the most impressive and of-the-moment lighting from home fixtures to hospital and event installations, with a focus on eco-sustainability and energy saving. Euroluce’s layout will be inspired by urban planning to reimagine it as a ‘city of light’.

Here’s a guide of some of the highlights set to go on display at 2023’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano.

Fornasetti, the iconic brand founded in the 1940s and perhaps most famous for its ceramics featuring the face of opera singer Lina Cavalieri, will unveil ‘The Syntax of Making’. It’s composed of three new collections of furniture and accessories for the home, including wooden cabinets, bedside tables, trays, mirrors, lamps and, of course, porcelain. The new pieces will be covered with motifs from the Fornasetti archive - and, impressively, each will be made and decorated by hand. Expect to see furniture and homewares awash with shells, landscapes and delicate floral patterns - perfect as we get into springtime.

Seletti, the Italian brand known globally for its surrealist take on design and, perhaps most iconically, for its lipstick mirrors, has teamed up with Marcantonio for part of its display at the fair. Promising an immersive experience to visitors at its event space, the design house will also showcase its latest creation, the Window Lamp, which takes the shape of an archetypal window, complete with white frame and clouds floating in a blue sky. We can’t wait to see this whimsical piece - and the rest of the collection!

Giorgio Armani’s Casa collection is sure to be a treat for every visitor to the Salone. It will be presented at the Palazzo Orsini, one of the most impressive buildings in the city and home to the headquarters of the Italian fashion brand. Guests will be taken on a tour around the interior and grounds to see the new homewares range from Italian great Armani.

Copyright Segis
A selection from Segis' Carell collection, set to go on display at this year's SaloneCopyright Segis

Well-established Italian design house Segis is focusing this Salone on a collection of armchairs, called Carell and designed by Spanish designer Alejandro Valdés. The brand is offering up furniture with modern proportions and curved solid oak armrests, focusing on ergonomics and soft surfaces, aiming to provide functional, comfortable and versatile chairs. The Carell collection will be seen for the first time at this year’s Milan Design Week and each piece is available in a wide range of upholstery and colours, from subtle greys to bright yellows, greens and reds.

This year, Levi's is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its 501 jeans and, at Milan Design Week, the firm is marking the occasion with the installation ‘The Greatest Story Ever Worn’ by artist Ian Berry. The exhibit will be on display at the University of Milan for the entirety of the Salone before it continues its journey to Madrid next month. Be sure to catch it in Milan if you can though - it includes the largest denim mural ever created, made up of recycled 501 jeans collages and is 10 metres long. Quite the spectacle!

Italian luxury fashion brand Bottega Veneta is once again collaborating with architect and artist Gaetano Pesce for the Salone, presenting a special edition collection of handbags at the design house’s Via Montenapoleone store. The handcrafted bags will be on display as part of an installation called ‘Vieni a Vedere ('Come and see'), which will be an immersive ‘grotto’ that guests will walk through, discovering the collection. The bags, the first ever designed by Pesce, will feature Bottega Veneta’s signature Intrecciato weave and designs of mountains and sunsets and sunrises, reflecting the artist’s early life in Italy, growing up near the mountains and also his current home, the prairies of America.

In a fabulous clash of two design heavyweights, the collaboration between Jimmy Choo and Venini is one not to miss at the Salone. Jimmy Choo’s stiletto shoes are thought of as sculpture in their own right, so teaming up with Venetian glassmaker Venini to create a limited series of vases in four different shades makes perfect sense. The glass creations mirror Jimmy Choo’s signature Diamond chain, currently featuring across the brand’s latest shoe, handbag and jewellery designs. You can catch the vases on display in the window of Jimmy Choo’s Milan flagship boutique, located on Via Sant Andrea.

Copyright Takeda Katsuya Design / Tatehiko
A piece from Takeda Katsuya Design and Tatehiko's Brace collectionCopyright Takeda Katsuya Design / Tatehiko

This year’s Salone will put on display a collaboration and cultural fusion between Takeda Katsuya Design studio, based in Milan, and Tatehiko, based in the Japanese city of Ashikaga. The result is the BRACE collection, a new line of easy-to assemble pieces, consisting of a side table, a low table and a shelf, all characterised by diagonal lines. Each item can allow for different configurations and applications, adding to its versatility. Every piece is made from high quality Hinoki cypress wood, which has been used in the construction and furniture industry in Japan for centuries. Tatehiko are well known for their philosophy of valuing and sustainably using local resources and this impressive collection can be viewed at the Takeda Katsuya Design studio at Via del Torchio throughout the week.

To be unveiled at the 18th-century Palazzo Citterio is the latest collection from the collaboration between Dior and Philippe Starck. Among a number of desirable pieces is the Monsieur Dior armchair, a revisited version of the brand’s iconic Medallion chair. Much of the collection will feature Dior’s signature toile de Jouy print and will be displayed alongside a video and musical installation from the House by Soundwalk Collective.

French heavyweight design house Louis Vuitton is set to take over the Palazzo Serbelloni to showcase two separate projects. Firstly, the brand’s Objets Nomades furniture and design collection, which was launched in 2012, will unveil 11 new creative and functional items, realised by the likes of Atelier Oï, Raw Edges, Atelier Biagetti and Studio Campana.

Louis Vuitton will also present its Cabinet of Curiosities collection, created by Marc Newson. The Australian designer has reinterpreted the brand’s signature monogram trunk, including 19 metal cubes covered in leather in the design, some of which feature secret compartments — in the design. Each cube is removable and can be rearranged in more than 1,000 combinations for further customisation. If you’re keen to snap one up, be quick as the practical yet ingenious pieces are strictly limited edition. 

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Copyright Zambaiti Parati
Wallpaper from Zambaiti Parati's collaboration with the Metrogramma studio and AMDL CIRCLECopyright Zambaiti Parati

Zambaiti Parati has been a top name in wallpaper design since the 1970s and has collaborated for the Salone with the Metrogramma studio by Andrea Boschetti and AMDL CIRCLE by Michele De Lucchi. The result is the new ‘Atelis’ collection, which features a collection of wallpapers using rice starch and pure linens, with slight flaws showing the value of handmade decor. Metrogramma’s input is a design theme of the history of stitching, recalling the ancient art of sewing and creating precious artisanal and decorative wallpapers. AMDL CIRCLE’s pieces were inspired by the rural landscape, focusing on the technique of ploughing and, as a result, raking pigments onto sheets of wallpaper with wooden combs, evoking the look of field furrows as seen from the sky. They used natural, earthy colours and left small imperfections in each piece, adding uniqueness to every design.

TheSaloneis open to the public from 18 - 23 April.

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