One of the most prestigious annual exhibitions in the world, Milan Design Week combines boutique events, immersive pop-up installations and a sprawling and spectacular fair known as Salone del Mobile. The city-wide celebration features carefully curated and often impressive exhibits of textiles, wallcoverings, furniture and decor. Surprise and delight are prerequisites and, for most Italian design brands and institutions, so is public access.
Items honored during Milan Design Week 2022 ranged from reissues of legendary accessories – like Arco K by Flos, an exquisite limited-edition update to the arched 1962 floor lamp by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, now featuring a optical-grade crystal base – to fixtures that represent the future of interiors, as seen through Lee Broom’s haunting Requiem collection, which the London-based designer has handcrafted. There were examples of timeless Italian collectible design, as evidenced by Federika Longinotti Buitoni’s Collecto tableware collection, and technological milestones, such as the Silente noise-cancelling chair.
Spotting the town between all these design brand activations, fashion houses have launched their own sets of amazing homewares. “Fashion entered the world of design with intention,” explained furniture designer Marta Sala, whose exquisite chairs are used in Hermès and Loro Piana boutiques. In fact, many of the most memorable moments and coveted collections of this Milan Design Week have been dreamed up by Italian design brands with international fashion collaborators, or fashion and jewelry brands with designer collections. . Some highlights, below.
Presented in the inner courtyard of Palazzo Isimbardi, an 18th century palace, the Loewe Weave, Restore, Renew exhibition presented three distinct projects unified by the idea of giving new life to forgotten objects. Using colored leather string, Spanish craftsmen have repaired 240 unique baskets from around the world. These Renaissance objects lined the walls of the exhibition while in the center sculptural fringed raincoats – reminiscent of thatched roofs – were on display. Each had been made using an ancient Galician technique known as Coroza. Additionally, Loewe showcased a tote collaboration with Young Soon Lee, featuring woven recycled newspapers. All in all, it was transporting.
B&B Italia with Stella McCartney
Few armchairs are as recognizable as Italian architect and designer Mario Bellini’s beloved bulbous Le Bambole for B&B Italia, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this Milan Design Week. To honor the icon, the contemporary furniture brand enlisted Stella McCartney for a unique and unconventional iteration with a hand-drawn mushroom motif, known as Fungi Forest Burgundy.
Louis Vuitton Nomadic Objects
Composed of curious and often colorful creations, the Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades collection has found the historic house in collaboration with several of the world’s most imaginative designers. This year’s artistic line-up included Atelier Oï, Patricia Urquiola, the Campana brothers and the studio of Marcel Wanders (who recently announced his departure from the design world). In Milan, a tiered design wonderland was dedicated to the collection, allowing each eccentric element to engage with those around it.
Four luminous geometric sculptures, each resembling a variation of a water tower, hosted the most recent collection of Hermès homes in the Brera Design District. With light and lightness as central themes, these hollow, radiant structures housed porcelain pieces, furniture, designer objects and, for the first time, cashmere textiles worthy of the Hermès name. Blankets and bedspreads alluded to historical patterns and used patchwork and quilting techniques that emphasized internal geometries.
Launched alongside a live ceramic workshop at Brunello Cucinelli’s Milan boutique, designer and architect Daniel Germani’s limited-edition ceramic tumbler references the cashmere balls used by the Italian luxury knitwear brand. Its elegant and refined aesthetic is reminiscent of that of Brunello Cucinelli, who only sold the ship on the spot on the day of the event. All proceeds from the article were donated to the Franceso Morelli Foundation.