Feedback from satisfied entrepreneurs, already working towards 2022

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Ph. credits Tanja Viganò

Better than expected turnout and international buyers made for a positive trade fair experience for many companies: it sent a powerful collective signal of recovery after the enforced stop due to the pandemic.

Large public turnout, better than expected for many, with international buyers, albeit not at past levels (and the absence of Asia was felt ) and satisfaction with an original formula to which many of the firms added extra activities in their city showrooms. The companies are drawing up their initial reckonings on “supersalone.” All agreed that it had been a positive experience, and for everyone it sent a signal of the restart of an entire industry and of the city of Milan after the cancellation of the 2020 Salone del Mobile due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They’re all hard at work on the 2022 edition, in the hope that it will go back to being a classic Salone again, especially in terms of size and visitor flows.

Carlotta De Bevilacqua President and CEO of Artemide

Artemide was one of the first companies to support the Salone del Mobile by confirming it would take part in this edition with great enthusiasm. Although there are plenty of exhibition spaces in the city and our base is nearby in Pregnana Milanese, we’ve always believed in the fundamental role of the Salone del Mobile, by taking part in as many spaces as possible, keen to send a strong signal of recovery through innovative and sustainable ideas. The results have been absolutely positive, with good national and international uptake, and especially for the strong message of recovery that underpins Milan’s role as the international capital of design. Ernesto Gismondi, who was also Vice President of Fiera Milano, believed in the Salone del Mobile right from the off, in its power to attract international attention and showcase not only products but also the companies’ Made in Italy design culture, setting up a network of trade relations and the exchange of know-how. 

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Artemide, Ph. credits Daniele Mari

Elisabetta Bolzan, Chairman and Director of Bolzan Letti

We signed up to “supersalone” right at the beginning even though it was an unknown, given the situation with the pandemic, but believing in our products and especially in the efforts we’re making towards achieving sustainability. We were amply rewarded. Products have become the protagonists once more, as is only right. Turnout exceeded our expectations. We met major contract, retail and design entities, who didn’t just visit us but stopped, chatted, and have already been to see us at our offices. I hope this innovative, fresh format will feature again at the next editions.

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Bolzan Letti, Ph. credits Daniele Mari

Francesca Bosa, Art Director of Bosa

We were pleasantly surprised by “supersalone,” especially the unexpected turnout given the times. Lots of visitors from all over the world, apart from Asia. We really liked the environment, enriched by all those trees that no doubt helped to make the air healthier. Our experience was certainly a positive one.  

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Bosa

Franco Caimi, CEO of Caimi

This special Salone event was particularly important for the sector as a whole, it sent a signal of confidence and optimism to Italy and to the rest of the world and was confirmation of the fact that fairs can and should be being held. Great turnout, above expectations also in terms of foreign visitors, and there were many of them, even though it was difficult if not impossible for some countries to take part. The particular exhibition format this year was the only possible option, but we hope that the next Salone will revive the usual modalities, which are also essential for maintaining the level of international visitors and exhibitors.

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Caimi, Ph. credits Tanja Viganò

Giovanni del Vecchio, CEO of the Giorgetti Group

We had lots of visits from buyers, architects and journalists, both from Italy and abroad, especially - from Europe, the United States and the Middle East - both at “supersalone” and at our two spaces in Milan, the atelier in Via Serbelloni and the store in Via Durini. Asia couldn’t be there because of the travel regulations. Overall, it was a very good outcome, better than expected.

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Giorgetti, Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano, Ph. credits Diego Ravier

Demetrio Apolloni, President of Knoll Europe

This special edition of the Salone del Mobile represented a major signal of recovery for the sectoral companies, for the city of Milan and, more generally, for the international design world. After a series of lockdowns and the uncertainties around the Covid-19 pandemic, we are happy with our results; public turnout exceeded expectations, especially with regard to visitors from abroad. These few days enabled us to present our latest innovations live, creating opportunities to meet people and re-establish physical contact with clients, architects and journalists. A significant signal of recovery, in the lead-up to the big 2022 edition.

knoll

Knoll, Ph. credits Daniele Mari

Daniele Lago, CEO of Lago

Restarting and testing the water was the right thing to do, both symbolically and as regards showing willingness. We always believed in it, and it paid off. The week at the fair went well, as did the integration with Fuorisalone, much needed given the reduced spaces: the combination of the two things was a winning one. We saw lots of buyers and lots of dealers, albeit not at classic Salone levels. The real challenge will come in 2022 – we need to build it carefully, hoping that the pandemic lets up a bit. We need to think of the design ecosystem in the round – the pandemic has changed the context, and we need to take account of this. The relationship between the trade fair and the city also needs to be valorised, with more collaborations to made it truly attractive. However, it’s crucial to have demonstrated a certain solidity, a fine gesture towards the design community.

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Lago. Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano. Ph. credits Diego Ravier

Damir Eskerica, CEO of Moroso

Our “supersalone” experience was absolutely positive. We’re happy with what’s been achieved. Seeing each other again, showing that things keep moving ahead was an important emotional driver. Expectations were that we could restart after all the difficulties, firing up the machine, an industry, that had ground to a halt. We also had the privilege of having our own space in the city, the showroom, where we saw a great turnout of clients and journalists, especially from Italy and Europe, not many from the United States, and virtually none from Asia. Certainly, if it hadn’t been for “supersalone” the quantity and quality of proposals would have been inferior. We also took advantage of the opportunity to launch our More-so project, which is very important to us. We are already working towards 2022, we can’t wait to get back to having the old Salone, with people from the US and from Asia.

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Moroso, Ph. credits Daniele Mari

Monica Pedrali, CEO of Pedrali

“supersalone” was the first official opportunity to show our clients and consumers all the new things that they hadn’t yet had a chance to see in the flesh: the 18 products presented during 2020 and the three 2021 absolute novelties. The installation #pedralitimeless, curated by the Calvi Brambilla Studio and the collections were much appreciated by visitors. In our opinion, taking part in this special edition of the Salone del Mobile at such a delicate and changing time constituted an act of faith and responsibility in the furnishing system and in the city of Milan. We therefore signed up and took part with great enthusiasm and with a desire to give of our best, making the absolute most of this opportunity and gearing up for the 2022 Salone del Mobile.

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Pedrali, Ph. credits Daniele Mari

Luigi Fammiano, Chairman of Riflessi

This was the first time we’d taken part in the fair itself – on top of the usual city exhibition in our Milan store – first and foremost to send a strong signal of positivity and do to our bit towards the recovery. Despite the reduced formula – also in terms of space – compared with the normal Salone, ours was a largely positive experience, we were delighted to see good flows of interested people, professionals and others, and a more substantial foreign presence than we had expected. We are also particularly pleased to have been able to make maximum use of the exhibition space, creating what amounted to a proper stand that was truly representative of Riflessi’s identity.

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Riflessi, Ph. credits Daniele Mari

Stefano Seletti, Artistic Director of Seletti

It went well, my comment on “supersalone” is a positive one. We saw some interesting clients and made some important contacts. Let’s say that anyone in the city for Design Week, would definitely have swung by the fair, especially as it was smaller than usual. I think that at this point in time, it took guts to make certain decisions and to put a trade fair together. I’d say the organisation and the exhibitors showed their courage. I am happy to have been part of a new project, different from the usual one. I’m even more staggered by other exhibition organisations in which nothing’s changed and the stands are exactly the same as they were before the world changed.

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Seletti, Ph. credits Daniele Mari

20 September 2021