product preview | Sep 10, 2021 |
The best debuts at Milan Design Week 2021

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It was a whirlwind week for design aficionados. Tens of thousands of home decor enthusiasts (including yours truly) flocked to Milan for Design Week 2021 and witnessed an assortment of major design brands reveal fresh launches that were every bit as energetic as they were inspirational. From rainbow-speckled rugs to streetwear-brand dinner plates, here are some of the most memorable Milano debuts that caught my eye. Ciao!

The best debuts at Milan Design Week 2021
The Fleece rug, Flux curtain and Fleck upholstery from Peter Saville’s Technicolour collection at KvadratPhoto by Casper Sejersen courtesy of Kvadrat

British graphic designer (and former Factory Records art director) Peter Saville created a collection for Danish textile company Kvadrat that was as swoonworthy as expected. Inspired by the neon spray marks English farmers use to identify sheep, the day-glo assortment, called Technicolour, included ombre pastel curtains, rainbow-speckled rugs and color-flecked upholstery that I will be dreaming of for weeks.

The best debuts at Milan Design Week 2021
Tom Dixon’s Melt chandelier Courtesy of Tom Dixon

British designer Tom Dixon hosted a stunningly styled breakfast in honor of his brand’s new lighting collections, as well as its “Black Light” exhibit in collaboration with Italian leather goods company Valextra. The spread alone was a work of art—filled with artfully presented fruits and fresh juices—but the fixtures stole the show, especially the Melt chandelier, which boasts semi-metallized shades that create a showstopping optic effect.

The best debuts at Milan Design Week 2021
Gucci's inflatable pillows in yellow Geometric G, Tian and red Geometric GPhoto by Max Siedentopf courtesy of Gucci

Gucci blessed attendees with a delightful last-minute lifestyle launch. The whimsical selection—presented in a pop-up shop filled with flying notebooks and furnished micro-apartments for mice—offers everything from logo-clad stationery and desktop goods to silk travel pillows and skateboards, which will all be available on the brand’s website starting on September 10.

Left: The Moonsetter floor lamp by Anne Boysen at Louis Poulsen Courtesy of Louis Poulsen | Right: The brand's Patera Oval pendant by Øivind Slaatto Courtesy of Louis Poulsen

At D Studio Milano, Copenhagen-based brand Louis Poulsen unveiled an innovative selection of lighting designs. Two standouts within the selection included Anne Boysen’s Moonsetter, a floor lamp with a circular reflector disc that can rotate 360 degrees around its own axis, and the Patera Oval pendant by Øivind Slaatto, which is composed of carefully designed diamond-shaped cells that cast glare-free light.

The best debuts at Milan Design Week 2021
The Off-White collection for Ginori 1735Courtesy of Ginori 1735

True to hypebeast form, there was a line around the block to catch a glimpse of the limited-edition home collaboration between Off-White and Italian decor company Ginori 1735. Luckily, I got right in and spent a few minutes alone with the coveted tableware collection, which—much like the label’s effortlessly cool Virgil Abloh–designed streetwear—is equal parts swaggy and chic, showcasing clean lines, simple black-and-white palettes, and graffiti-inspired text motifs.

The best debuts at Milan Design Week 2021
Clockwise from bottom right: The Round Table in Snakes and the Rectangular Table in Lipstick, Snakes and Trumpets, by Toiletpaper for SelettiCourtesy of Seletti

Characterful Italian homewares brand Seletti showcased a wild selection of new home decor pieces at Supersalone that instantly stole my heart. Designed in collaboration with Toiletpaper—a magazine run by irreverent Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari—the sprightly assortment includes mirrored cabinets, screens and wardrobes punctuated with pop-art motifs, as well as side tables with tongue-in-cheek prints of snakes, lipstick and trumpets.

Left: The Soriana armchair by Afra and Tobia Scarpa for Cassina Courtesy of Cassina | Right: The brand's Bramante cabinet by Japanese architect Takahama Courtesy of Cassina

Cassina’s showroom was nothing short of exuberant, filled with a slew of fresh collections and debuts with shapely silhouettes, unexpected color combos and loads of lush materials. One fashion-forward trend that grabbed my attention was the brand’s courageous use of bright orange hues, including the biomorphic Soriana series dressed in tangerine upholstery and Bramante, a glossy orange-and-maroon ombre lacquered cabinet with built-in glass shelving.

The best debuts at Milan Design Week 2021
Knoll’s Supersalone installation, including the legendary Barcelona chair (second from left) and the new KN collection by Piero LissoniCourtesy of Knoll

Knoll presented a special installation at Supersalone that quickly drew a crowd. The exhibit, which pays homage to a few of the brand’s historic ad campaigns, showcases some of its most famous designs alongside contemporary collections, including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Barcelona chair and the new KN seating family designed by Piero Lissoni.

Left: The Aqva swing armchair by Monica Gasperini for Artemest Courtesy of Artemest | Right: The brand’s Cloud N. 1 sculptural floor lamp by Biancodichina Courtesy of Artemest

Artemest introduced Aqva, a collection of custom-made artworks and design objects inspired by water. The ethereal assortment was exhibited in a water-filled room at the Senato Hotel Milano, and included a sumptuous Monica Gasperini swing chair clad in rich blue-green velvet upholstery and ostrich feathers, along with my current crush, a cloud-shaped floor lamp by Biancodichina that appears to float in thin air.

Left: Barovier & Toso’s Metropolis chandelier in Olive Courtesy of Barovier & Toso | Right: The brand’s Vertigo chandelier in Cadet Blue Courtesy of Barovier & Toso

Italian glass lighting company Barovier & Toso showcased two new collections, Metropolis and Vertigo, in the windows of its beautiful showroom on Via Durini. Drawing from the art deco designs of the roaring 1920s, the former includes a chandelier with a chalice-shaped body and handblown Venetian crystal arms and cups, while the latter features light fixtures with glass arms designed to look like flowers.

The best debuts at Milan Design Week 2021
The Croma lamp in matte black by Luca Nichetto for LodesCourtesy of Lodes

At the Supersalone fair, Italian lighting brand Lodes unveiled Croma, a new floor lamp designed by Luca Nichetto. Taking its name from the Italian word for a “quaver” or “eighth,” the slender light fixture is shaped to mimic a musical note, and comes in four distinct finishes, including two metallic ombre effects, as well as solid black or white matte.

Left: The Adela Rex armchair in Oak and Walnut by Philippe Starck at Andreu World Courtesy of Andreu World | Right: The brand’s Nuez Lounge Bio chair by Patricia Urquiola Courtesy of Andreu World

Spanish furnishings brand Andreu World debuted two eco-friendly selections at the fair: the Nuez Lounge Bio chair by Patricia Urquiola and Adela Rex by Philippe Starck. The first is constructed of biodegradable and compostable thermoplastic and breaks down into easy-to-recycle pieces, while the second offers armchairs composed of sustainable oak or walnut plywood designed without fittings or screws.

The best debuts at Milan Design Week 2021
The Natalie sofa by Zanellato/Bortotto at Pierre FreyCourtesy of Pierre Frey

Pierre Frey Jr. walked me through his brand’s first-ever Milan showroom, which was brimming with exquisite rugs, textiles and wallcoverings. While I was most excited to see the bold French Riviera–inspired Joie de Vivre collection (a personal favorite of Frey himself), I left equally smitten with the company’s latest furniture designs, especially the curvy (and ultra on-trend) Natalie sofa by Zanellato/Bortotto.

Left: Switch in lilac by Fort Street Studio Photo by Jacob Snavely | Right: The brand combined shag and flat-weave textures to give the rug a sculptural effect Photo by Jacob Snavely

New York–based carpet company Fort Street Studio showcased nine new additions to its Thai Silk collection at L’Artigianato. Composed of custom-dyed silk threads crafted in a village in northern Thailand, each of the designs is super soft and shimmery, especially the tone-on-tone Switch rug in lilac, which combines flat-weave and shag textures to forge a unique sculptural effect.

The best debuts at Milan Design Week 2021
Selections from the Boundless Living outdoor collection at Poltrana Frau, including Sparkler lanterns and the Secret Garden dining table, armchair and small sofaCourtesy of Poltrona Frau

Italian furniture brand Poltrona Frau showcased its first-ever outdoor collection, Boundless Living, inside its fresco-mural filled Via Manzoni showroom. The selection features Mediterranean-esque teal-tiled dining tables, sleek solid teak lounge sofas with two-toned upholstered cushions, and my personal favorite, the cage-style Sparkler lanterns by Kensaku Oshiro that cast ambient light and shapely shadows throughout a space.

Left: Dedar’s Kiku fabric in 001 Courtesy of Dedar | Right: Dedar's This Must Be the Place in 004 by Icinori Courtesy of Dedar

Milan-based textile brand Dedar released a dreamy fall collection spanning an impressive range of fabric designs. Highlights included Kiku, a jacquard with a Japanese-inspired chrysanthemum motif, and the chinoiserie-style This Must Be the Place, designed by French illustrators Mayumi Otero and Raphael Urwiller of Icinori.

Homepage photo: The Fleece rug, Flux curtain and Fleck upholstery from Peter Saville’s Technicolour collection at Kvadrat | Photo by Casper Sejersen courtesy of Kvadrat

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