One of the world’s most prestigious annual expositions, Milan Design Week weaves together boutique events, immersive pop-up installations and one sprawling, spectacular fair known as Salone del Mobile. The citywide celebration presents carefully curated and often awe-inspiring exhibitions dedicated to textiles, wall coverings, furniture and decor. Surprise and delight are prerequisites and, for most brands and Italian design institutions, so is public access.
The items honored during Milan Design Week 2022 stretched from reissues of legendary accessories—like Flos’s Arco K, an exquisite limited edition update to Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni’s arching 1962 floor lamp, now featuring an 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 made by hand. There were instances of timeless Italian collectible design, evidenced by Federika Longinotti Buitoni’s Collecto tableware collection, and technological milestones, like the Silente noise canceling chair.
Speckling the city between all of these design brand activations, fashion maisons debuted their own sets of astonishing objects for the home. “Fashion entered the design world with intention,” explained furniture designer Marta Sala. Some of Sala’s chairs incorporate Loro Piana fabrics, while others are used in Hermès boutiques. In fact, many of the most memorable moments and covetable collections this Milan Design Week were imagined by Italian design brands with international fashion collaborators, or fashion and jewelry brands with design collections. A few highlights, below.
Presented in the interior courtyard of Palazzo Isimbardi, an 18th century palace, Loewe’s Weave, Restore, Renew exhibition featured three distinct projects unified by the idea of offering new life to forgotten items. Utilizing colorful leather string, artisans in Spain repaired 240 unique baskets sourced from around the world. These reborn objects lined the walls of the exhibit while, in the center, sculptural fringed raincoats—reminiscent of thatched roofs—were displayed. Each had been crafted using an ancient Galician technique known as Coroza. Additionally, Loewe presented a tote collaboration with Young Soon Lee, composed of woven recycled newspapers. Altogether, it was transportive.
B&B Italia with Stella McCartney
Few armchairs are as recognizable as Italian architect and designer Mario Bellini’s bulbous, beloved Le Bambole for B&B Italia, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this Milan Design Week. To honor the icon, the contemporary furniture brand tapped Stella McCartney for a uniquely unconventional iteration featuring a hand-drawn mushroom pattern, known as Fungi Forest Burgundy.
Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades
Composed of curious and frequently colorful creations, the Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades collection found the historic maison collaborating with several of the world’s most imaginative designers. This year’s artistic roster included Atelier Oï, Patricia Urquiola, the Campana Brothers, and the studio of Marcel Wanders (who recently announced his departure from the world of design). In Milan, a multi-level design wonderland was dedicated to the collection and allowed each eccentric item to converse with those around it.
Four glowing geometric sculptures, each resembling a variation of a water tower, hosted the most recent Hermès home collection in the Brera Design District. With light and lightness as central themes, these hollow, radiant structures housed porcelain pieces, furniture, design objects and—for the first time—cashmere textiles worthy of the Hermès name. Blankets and bedspreads alluded to historic patterns and utilized patchwork and quilting techniques that emphasized internal geometries.
Debuted alongside a live ceramics workshop in Brunello Cucinelli’s Milan boutique, designer and architect Daniel Germani’s limited edition ceramic cup referenced the bales of cashmere utilized by the Italian luxury knitwear brand. Its elegant, clean aesthetic mirrored that of Brunello Cucinelli, who only sold the vessel on site the day of the event. All proceeds from the item were donated to the Franceso Morelli Foundation.