The Salone del Mobile.Milano US road show

maria porro, salone milano

Maria Porro, President of Salone del Mobile.Milano, photo Guido Stazzoni

What Salone President Maria Porro had to say about the current launch tour for the upcoming edition and its innovations, with stops in New York and Los Angeles

The Salone del Mobile.Milan road show is taking off from the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles on its American presentation tour for the upcoming edition, reclaiming its traditional April spot on the calendar - from 18th to 23rd – after a four-year hiatus. 

With the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Chapter AIA LA, the leading American professional organisation for architects and designers – and the technical tour partner – Salone President Maria Porro will be filling in the press, professionals and players within the furnishing sector on the top new departures at the 2023 fair. America is an extremely important furnishing market: Made in Italy enjoys a fantastic reputation, and design products in particular accounted for a huge volume of sales in 2021 (3.4 billion USD) with authentic Italian products  notching up a 15% rise in 2022. This trend is also confirmed by the significant increase in Italian product distribution channels (single brand and specialist stores, architecture, design and engineering studios, residential and contract construction firms), for products that have always been innovative and sustainable,  with an eye to details and looks. Maria Porro told us about the objectives of this road show, which is travelling on to New York in partnership with the New York Institute of Technology, coordinated by the Miami office of the  Italian Trade Agency:

What is the objective of this American road show?

The Salone is readier than ever to rise to the occasion this year, innovating its exhibition format, which meant that it was important to reach out now to our American interlocutors, to promote the trade fair and to talk about all the work that’s been going on this year, hoping to connect with as many journalists and interior designers as possible, and prepare them for the great surprises that await them at this year’s Salone. 

What relationships are there with the US market and what do the prospects look like from the vantage point of the President of the Salone?

America is an extremely important market for the furnishing world, certainly one of the leading outlet markets for Made in Italy design, besides being an incredible test-bed, not least for design. It’s also a benchmark for the huge contract sector, large-scale projects – in both the residential and the hospitality sectors. There are a great many companies with their outlets on the American market, and it’s indubitably one of the most important markets in terms of both economic results and the significant challenges posed by American projects, aside from the huge American awareness of sustainability, not least the various certifications needed to break into this particular market. 


A comment on the Salone’s drive towards increasing internationalisation:

The Salone was set up in Milan initially as a national fair, then a European one, going on to become the sectoral benchmark at global level. Today the Salone del Mobile.Milano is an international event, both in terms of exhibitors – 30% of which come from other countries – and in terms of visitors, where the figures are reversed: 70% of our visitors come from abroad. Then there are the exhibitions that the Salone has organised and organised all over the world, such as the Moscow Salone and the Shanghai Salone. The Milan Salone is the point of reference at world level for furnishing production and design and that’s why we are increasingly keen to give prominence to experimentation, research and the new frontiers, remaining the peerless  mirror of an entire sector and a place where the latest trends can be found. 


A word of advice for foreign visitors coming to the next Salone:

My advice is to throw themselves into the Salone experience – it’s not just a trade fair, it’s a real experience built on discovery, relationships and interface,  and my advice would be to explore it taking as much time as necessary. What you see at the Salone you won’t find anywhere else in the world. The companies have free reign to design their idea of the future of living, so it’s really important for visitors to take time over finding out what’s on offer. Plus, this year, thanks to Euroluce and the palimpsest of cultural events and opportunities for knowledge building, the Salone really will be a place for great discoveries, insight, professional growth and, especially, the place for finding out where design is actually going.

22 February 2023