MILAN (eTN) – It was Milan’s Mega Event and the 51st edition of iSaloni and the International Furniture Fair in Milan – Italy’s most important window on modern design and a leading showcase for the world.
The event brought in 331,649 visitors to Milan: 292,370 sectorial operators – a plus 3.5 percent compared to 2011; 188,579 foreign operators, mounting to a total of +5.9 percent; plus 103,791 Italian operators, in line with last year’s results. In addition to the sectorial operators, more than 6,484 members of the communications industry attended the 2012 Saloni, with 5,725 coming from countries all over the world.
In his closing remarks, Organizer and Cosmit’s President, Carlo Guglielmi, said: “These are exceptional results, especially given the prevailing bleak economic climate in the run-up to the Saloni.” The events in the city promoting the culture of living also had a large part to play in the success of the event. Again the Saloni has proved itself not just as a business opportunity but as a vehicle for culture, with culture at the very heart of city-wide events.
Outside the fairground, the show went on in Fuori Saloni in more than different 400 venues – a mix of exclusive design and art – from April 17-22, with an array of
great and innovative ideas, such as “Design Dance,” an event/show illustrating the story of man through design, at the Teatro dell’Arte at the Triennale di Milano, which was a sell-out every evening, and a large number of people being turned away because of the theatre’s limited capacity.
There were lengthy queues also for the “Skybook” installation at the Biblioteca Pinacoteca Accademia Ambrosiana, a striking multimedia installation giving voice and light to its extraordinary treasure and books and garnering great interest from foreign cultural operators.
The public also responded enthusiastically to the “MonteNapoleone Design Experience by Citroën. AUTO-MOBILI” exhibition, set against the backdrop of Milan’s most exclusive shopping street.
The foreign market is doing well with a turnover of 12.1 billion euro, while the Italian market dropped by 9.8 percent in 2011, due to a substantial block of consumption, and a market which has over 400,000 employees and generates 32 billion euros.
Mario Monti, Italy’s new Prime Minister paid a surprise visit to Milan and stated:
“The latter underscored the fundamental and symbolic role of the Saloni, as a focal point for businesses that make up 3 percent of the Italian manufacturing industry, and an inventive driver of crucial Italian economic growth.”
Citiziens of Milan wished that the Milano Design Week – FUORI Saloni and its creative spirit would stay all year around. This is the time when silent Milan lives up to a total other dimension, and tiny private apartments in the city center get rented out for 600-800 euros a day, with bath tubs becoming additional dormitories. Hotels as far as to up to Switzerland until Lugano and the surrounding area (70 km) were sold out. It may have taken over 4 hours to reach Milan or the fairground due to heavy traffic, but it was simply the place to be. It is the time when conservative Milan opens its houses, minds, and hearts, and turns into tyhe most vivid place in Italy. It was party time all night long, with Lenny Kravitz and Philippe Stark opening FuoriSalone at Kartells.
Visionnaire, the flagship store of Group IPE Cavalli at Piazza Cavour, hosted a gigantic party with over 1,000 guests, and recently signed an agreement with the 328 Dornier and German AVIATION brand for a project to refit private jets. It gave an idea of what luxury on a private jet is in a special preview and mock-up of fuselage in the Visionnaire Design Gallery.
New technologies where introduced by international lighting leader, FLOS Spa, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year in Palazzo della Permante. For that, a spectacular and limited edition 50th anniversary light – a PHOTON table lamp designed by Philippe Stark using O-LED (Organic Emitting Diode) – was launched as a limited edition of 500 lamps. But there is more.
FLOS company is using revolutionary bioplastic, a completely biodegradable material. “We are pleased to enter this new challenge for the future, said Piero Gandini, Chairman and Managing Director of FLOS, in press conference in Milan, “which represents the non-stop Italian innovative spirit,”
Further away on Corso Como and slightly hidden on the first floor, Fulvio Ferrari,
Curator of Turin’s famous Casa Mollino, which has received great accolades by Tate Gallery Director Chris Dercon, confirmed iFuori Saloni was not to be missed. And many important art galleries and collectors showed up on the first day, coming from New York and all over the world.
“The American are coming back and Canadians returning” was the headline from “Il Sole 24 ore,” Italy’s leading financial paper. It said: “With the 2008 crisis and economic downturn, many Americans buyers stayed away, but this year they are back and buying.” It is the Italian design and quality that brings them back, confirmed the Vice President of Chicago Architect. “Made in Italy” still counts.