As Milan’s international Salone del Mobile turns 50 this year, WWD caught up with Carlo Guglielmi, president of Cosmit, the association that organizes the trade show, to take stock of this milestone event.
WWD: What makes the Salone stand out and enjoy such long-lasting success? Carlo Guglielmi: The most striking evolution of the Salone took place 10 years ago, when it changed from a business trade show to a moment of analysis and reflection on design, furniture, lighting and kitchen, sealing an increasingly stronger connection between culture and industrial products.
This is not only a trade show but a cultural event. That’s why we’ve also organized cultural exhibits outside of Italy, to bring our image abroad, as we did in New York between November and December with Peter Greenaway’s [revisitation of Leonardo’s] “Last Supper” or the performance of “Perchance to Dream” by Robert Wilson and Roberto Bolle.
A more cohesive federation with strong and precise views set the path for the Salone’s new course 10 years ago, versus a more casual organization before then. We can still see the results of this turnaround.
WWD: The fashion industry has been looking at the Salone to re-create its open, friendly atmosphere. The Camera della Moda has been involved, and many fashion brands have either been expanding their home collections or actively participating at the design week. How do you feel about all this? C.G.: Fashion and interiors are two very different sectors, with a different presence and different ways to communicate. We greet 340,000 people and have 5,700 shows, we count 2,500 exhibitors and draw 6,000 journalists. Fashion shows can accommodate 800 guests at the most, who are generally the same every season. What the fashion industry is doing is praiseworthy…to hold a series of events in the city, so that this is like a festival that reaches out to everyone.
WWD: What special events are organized during the upcoming Salone? C.G.: In Piazza Duomo [the city’s cathedral], artists will reinterpret a number of relevant scientific discoveries, and in the central Piazza San Fedele we will create a virtual forest, with sounds and even fog, paying tribute to light, given it’s the year of Euroluce [the Salone’s biennial show dedicated to lighting]. There will also be an exhibition of young designers with Citroën, which will present its new cars on Via Montenapoleone.
WWD: How does Cosmit feel about its 50th anniversary? C.G.: We don’t want this to be an edition of self-celebration. We are trying to look at the future, but it will also be a moment to remember Rosario Messina [former influential Cosmit president in the 1999-2008 period who died suddenly in March], continuing to work and to reinterpret his views.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion