Top picks from Salone del Mobile design fair
Words by Rob Chilton
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Top luxury names brands arrived at Milan Design Week to show off their latest products innovations, heritage and expertise
Milan is a supremely stylish city for 52 weeks of the year, but when Design Week rolls into town the style dial gets turned up to 11. A string of luxury names such as Maserati, Ermenegildo Zegna, Bottega Veneta, as well as non-Italian brands like Louis Vuitton, Cos and Hermés set up at the design fair. Here are the highlights.
First up is Loewe, the Spanish leather experts. Loewe joined forces with Japanese craftsman Jiro Yonezawa – a master of the bamboo basket – to produce this stunning piece.
Mario Bellini’s iconic Cab armchair from 1977 was given a refresh by Cassina’s creative director Patricia Urquiola, with a little help from Italian shoe company Santoni, which hand-painted three versions in petrol blue, lobster and sage green. Urquiola says the new chairs are an “homage to an historic piece by Mario Bellini.”
A special Maserati Levante SUV was customised by Allegra Antinori and given a dazzling tri-coat green colour inspired by the Tuscan hills. Inside, Pieno Fiore leather seats have 3D-effect button-tufted embroidery.
Milan’s neo-classical arch, the Arco della Pace is the architectural gem from which Bottega Veneta’s new bag takes its name. The Arco tote for men has a dome-shaped flap and is made from pieces of French calf leather and suede.
Making their debut at Milan Design Week were special edition pieces of furniture from Bentley Home to celebrate the British carmaker’s 100th birthday. Just 100 pieces of a chair, foot-stool and desk were made with Bentley’s centenary logo etched into the metalwork.
The bright colours of jockey silks were the standout design motif on a series of steel vases from Hermés. The Paddock vases were hand-painted with enamel in a geometric variety of herringbones, stripes and checks.
Cubicles filled with smoke, light and fragrance helped Ermenegildo Zegna tell the story of five new scents from its Essenze Eau de Parfum collection. Artistic director Alessandro Sartori says the quintet of fragrances, which contain bergamot grown exclusively for the brand in Calabria, are ideal for the “elegant informality” of the Zegna man.
Sartori was joined by ballet dancer Eric Underwood, model Carlo Sestini, influencer Q Mike for the imaginative launch event in Milan that took visitors on an immersive and sensory experience.
In a project with Cos, French architect Arthur Mamou-Mani built a structure of 3D printed bio-plastic modules that fused fashion with architecture. Cos creative director Karin Gustafsson called Mamou-Mani’s work “futuristic, yet reminiscent of traditional craftsmanship.” The architect himself hopes that his work “will offer an insight into the future and showcase how this digital craft can have a positive impact on the world.”
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban built a temporary structure using recycled paper for an installation at Milan Design Week. The working office that stood in Palazzo Serbelloni is part of Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomade collection.
And finally, an exercise bike you’re unlikely to find at your local community gym. Designed by world-renowned furniture designer and architect Antonio Citterio, Technogym’s Personal Bike is made of micro-polished steel and aluminium.
It comes loaded with training programmes for fitness, sport and health which can be accessed from the touchscreen.
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