Salone del Mobile, Day 1

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Published April 22, 2009

In keeping with tradition, Salone preview day has been blessed by an unpredictable mix of sun and rain. But that didn’t stop international press from scoring gifts bags. Nor did it dampen Zona Tortona, the alleyway that annually becomes the center of activity.  With so much to see and very little time after preparing our Everyday Life Objects Shop, I managed to pop by the That’s Design show at Superstudio Più (via Forcella 13) organized by Zona Tortona, Domus Academy and Poli.design. There I found the collaboration between the young Milanese clothing label 2357® with students from Politecnico di Milano, creative workshops on reinterpreting classic men’s and women’s clothing that will run all week long.I planned to meet Stefan Diez at the e15 showroom on Via Tortona to discuss future projects for Apartamento. On the way I had a look around the Temporary Museum for New Design under the art direction of Giulio Cappellini, and peeked into the booth of British designer Tom Dixon. Among other items of interest, Dixon was showing a beautiful new wood and metal Slab Stool. On the way out I couldn’t resist the tiny but impressive Comet Lamp installation by Dixon for Veuve Cliquot.

I finally caught up with Diez and we chatted about his new Houdini chair designed for e15, which I was curious to see in person after seeing it online. We also got a chance to discuss another new project he did for Thonet, future plans and ideas on what to do later on. I departed Zona Tortona for Via Monte di Pietà 11 to see Renato Preti’s Skitsch brand launch and the opening of its first flagship store: Its 600 square meters and 13 windows host a collection of more than 50 new design projects by 28 of the world’s best-known designers—and some of the most interesting emerging ones—under the artistic supervision of Cristina Morozzi. There I found Bertjan Pot hanging out at the bar with Sven Rudolph and Cartsen Schelling of studio Ding3000, all of which produced a piece for Skitsch. It will definitely be a destination for trips to Milan from here on out.

The party was packed, so we moved up to the T Magazine party around the corner at Bulgari Hotel to meet with Max Lamb and the boys from Rich, Brilliant, Willing. Under a spell of paper butterflies and some rain showers we ran into a few familiar New York faces, like Brian Phillips from Black Frame with Felix Burrichter of Pin-Up, with the new summer issue fresh from the printer (which looks amazing: Congratulations Felix!). The splendid Ambra Medda was promoting the Craft Punk show Design Miami produced with Fendi, which I hope to visit some day. To conclude  the night I checked out the opening of another great new space in Milan, Le Stanze di Dimore, at Via Solferino 11, in the heart of Brera. The event was hosted by Dimore Studio, which is run by Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci. Hidden inside an incredibly amazing old Milanese apartament, the new space will be a gallery for the Milanese duo’s creations and site-specific projects. The Milanese, you should know, make their housing work for them.

Marco Velardi, associate editor of Apartamento Magazine and co-owner of creative agency SM, reports from his hometown, Milan, during Salone del Mobile (April 22–27).