Fashion Designers Turn Furniture Designers @ Salone Milan 2015

Fashion Designers Turn Furniture Designers @ Salone Milan 2015

jimmy choo

Monograms and Furnishings – United by Design at Salone Milan 2015 !!!

Milan’s Salone del Mobile – the most important appointment in the global design calendar – continues to also be catnip for the world’s top fashion brands. Fashion and furnishings come from two different worlds, but they share the intention to present their own take on comfort and elegance, and they are united by the same common denominator: design.

Today more than ever the big designers are coming up with ideas to “dress” the home with their collections. Furniture and accents become the indicators of a lifestyle, sending unequivocal messages just like a pair of shoes, a dress or an accessory.

This idea can be seen in action over the course of the Salone del Mobile at the Rho fairgrounds and throughout the city where all the major brands are presenting their refined home collections.

Bottega Veneta

More grand palazzos than ever opened their doors for Salone 2015, and participation by fashion houses was at an all time high.

Though some labels such as Giorgio Armani, Versace and Missoni show the latest collections from their own home divisions, most fashion houses get in on the action by partnering with architects or furniture designers on one-off projects. By collaborating with architects and furniture designers, fashion brands can gain the freedom to explore process and materials through more experimental applications.

While they’re not necessarily a money maker, these furniture designs help tie together a brand’s general message.

Many fashion designers created product ranges and installations specifically for the Salone del Mobile audience. The Salone provides the opportunity to discover the creations born of the imagination of fashion directors, in collaboration with the greatest artists and interior designers.

It’s proof that the boundaries between fashion and furniture/interior design is blurred, and that design from each realm have much to learn from one another.


Milano Moda Design

Milano Moda Design 2015

Milano Moda Design is an International event who takes place in conjunction with the Furniture Fair (Salone del Mobile) Milan Design Week and celebrates the popular bond between fashion and design.

2015 marked the 8th edition of Milano Moda Design, an international event coordinated by national Chamber of Italian fashion that collects the events of fashion houses that, on the occasion of the Salone del Mobile, 2015 participate with presentations of their Home Design Collection or with special events in collaboration with internationally renowned designers.

The fusion between design and fashion, both Made in Italy’s excellences, leads Fashion brands to find a natural stylistic continuity in home textile design.

luisa beccaria salone milan 2015

There were-

36 brands ( incl first timers – Belstaff, Luna Rossa and Richard Ginori )

34 events

7 Home Collection presentations (Armani Casa, Bourbonnais, Living, Diesel Fendi Casa, Missoni Home, Trussardi House, Versace Home)

that made up the rich calendar of Milan Fashion Design – born with the purpose celebrating the marriage between fashion and design, and both representing the continuous growth of the excellence of Made in Italy.


Brands Listed in Alphabetical Order


Alexander McQueen

alexander mcqueen

Studio Wieki Somers and Kvadrat took up residence at McQueen’s Via Verri home through a unique, bespoke installation.

Inspired by the Spring/Summer 2015 collection, ‘Blossom Rain’ featured three geisha warriors holding a series of lamps against a blossom haze backdrop of laser cut textile from Kvadrat


Antonio Marras

antonio marras salone milan 2015

Italian Designer, Antonio Marras, collaborated with Design Collective, Segno Italiano, to create “Il Sentiero Deinidi Di Ragno” (The Path to the Nest of Spiders).

An installation of webbed, woven baskets in forms of bird nests, suspended as high as five metres tall, and fastened to a rotating mechanism with 50 x fluttering, chirping zebra finches flying amongst the exhibit.

Each handmade basket nest is created through Sardinian craftsmanship and interwoven with couture strips of fabric from Marras’ collection, creating intricate, wearable handbags.

antonio marras paola lenti 2015 (4)


Armani Casa


The thread that runs throughout the new Armani/Casa collection in the Tortona neighbourhood is a sense of luxurious essentiality, which through art and design unites East and West, expressing its elegant timelessness with a few precise but unmistakeable touches.

There are also the Armani Casa exclusive textiles by Rubelli, made using hand looms that hark back to old textile manufacturing techniques.

armani casa

Finally there are the lamps born from the antique manual traditions of the master glassworkers of Murano.

In addition to a new Armani Casa collection that featured the limited edition ‘Justin’ desk in sea-green leather and red lacquer chairs among other items, Giorgio Armani also transformed his Armani Teatro space into an interior design studio

armani 2015

A retrospective of the company’s top design projects over the last decade were on display in honour of the designer’s 40th anniversary that is coming to a culmination next month with the debut of his new museum Armani/Silos

Giorgio Armani celebrates his vision of interior design illustrating through renderings and unreleased photos the global projects curated by his studio all around the world.

armani gallery

Armani also opened a brand new flagship store at Via Montenapoleone 2, which is dominated by sweeping curves

Giorgio Armani Via Montenapoleone



belstaff 2



Bottega Veneta

bottega veneta 3

Bottega Veneta opened a new boutique on via Borgospesso, this in addition to their maison on via Sant’Andrea and the historic location on via Montenapoleone.

The new space has a 205 sq metre display area decorated with frescoes by the extraordinary 18th-century masters Carlo Innocenzo Carlone and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, which hosted the collection designed by Tomas Maier

bottega veneta (2)

Bottega Veneta secured a superb location for its first free-standing home collection boutique.

Located discreetly on Milan’s Via Borgospesso, the store unfolds like a series of grand rooms in a renaissance palazzo with magnificent wall frescoes and double-height wooden ceilings

This was the first time the brand properly showed off its full home offering in a single dedicated space




The master tailors and Wallpaper* joined forces once again this Salone.

Paying tribute to the Viennese elegance that inspired Creative Director Brendan Mullane’s latest collection, the fashion brand teamed up with Vienna-based glassmakers Lobmeyr to create a specially oversized version of its legendary Oswald Haerdtl-designed Candy Dish


Which in turn takes centre stage for a city of glass for Brioni’s mini heroes, all immaculately dressed in miniature replicas from the collection



Installazion serpenti Bulgari by Zaha Hadid

To celebrate its latest Serpenti jewellery collection, Bulgari worked with Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid to create a snake-inspired installation in the garden of the Bulgari Hotel

Hadid’s enormous white metal structure slithered across the grass like a tunnel featuring an open mosaic of reptilian scales

Installazion serpenti Bulgari by Zaha Hadid 2




In honour of the 65th anniversary of its Desert Boot, British shoe brand Clarks partnered with the Halo Trust to present new versions of the boot created by 14 different UK-based artists and designers including Marc Quinn, Lee Broom and Faye Toogoode.

The painting featured is entitled ‘Urban Nomad’ by artist Marc Quinn




For the past four years Swedish fashion brand Cos has commissioned creatives to design installations for Milan’s Salone del Mobile.

Past recipients of the commission include design studios Nendo and Bonsoir Paris; this year, it fell to New York-based architecture studio Snarkitecture

New York-based firm Snarkitecture created a fabric-based installation for the Swedish brand Cos, owned by H&M, using 30,000 strips of light fabric meant to reflect the “shifting translucencies” of the brand’s spring collection.

The concept was one of a solid fabric infill which was then cut and sculpted with scissors, it came from a primal idea about digging, excavating and cutting away space. The result embodied COS’s their clean, minimalist design aesthetic, and focused on the designers’ concept of ‘reduction’.


Snarkitecture’s response led visitors on a small, labyrinth-like tour of Spazio Erbe, an exhibition space in the Brera district of Milan where the studio had created a series of serene caverns formed from thousands of layered white fabric strips.

The translucent strips were made from a synthetic, non-woven fabric which hung from panels on the ceiling, forming a series of branching paths through the space, the complexity of which were further exaggerated by carefully-placed mirrors

“The space almost feels like a cavern, similar to when you think back to a traditional stone cave,” says Daniel Arsham, co-founder of Snarkitecture. “However this installation is both solid and not solid at the same time – obviously you can walk straight through it if you really want to. So there is that play between solidity and translucency.”




Diesel took outer space as one of its inspirations, with a tableware collection featuring astronaut-shaped vases with plants sprouting out of their helmets and giant salt shakers and pepper mills shaped like rocket ships.

The brand also introduced wooden flooring and outdoor furniture this year along with tie-dyed fabrics and wood with a subtle camouflage pattern.

diesel living


Ermenegildo Zegna

zegna 2

Ermenegildo Zegna appointed Milan-based Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola to create a series of seating elements from recycled wine barrel wood

Entitled ‘Baco,’ Urquiola’s concept included two forms: a tunnel shaped stool and a three-petal seat, both of which were displayed in the brand’s boutique.

The project was conceived by San Patrignano Design Label who has worked with over 45 designers to create modern pieces from antique casks



Emilio Pucci


The signature Emilio Pucci look joined forces this year with design by Kartell to present a special version of the Madame upholstered chair at Pucci’s new Via Montenapoleone boutique

The chair references the Pucci scarves by the same name, which show architecture and landscapes of world capitals, including Paris, New York, Rome and Shanghai, the last of which is a debut for Salone del Mobile.

Exhibited in a specially designed part of the via Montenapoleone showroom, this chair is a manifestation of the collaboration between two brands that are both famous for their use of colour and design.

emilio pucci




Etro announced that their colourful home collection will be expanded by the addition of geometrically shaped sofas, beds and nightstands that celebrate the beautiful textiles this brand is known for.

Etro DeChirico Sofà



fendi 2

The luxury Italian fashion house Fendi worked with the quirky Campana Brothers to create the somewhat disarming ‘Armchair of Thousand Eyes’.

Entitled ‘The Armchair of a Thousand Eyes,’ the chair is a riot of colour, pattern and mixed tufts of kidassia, mongolia, shearling and rabbit furs. It is of course done in the Fendi style, with an earth-toned colour palette that blends precious materials with innovative textures.

Fendi presented its contemporary house collection created by the Parisian designer Toan Nguyen. The precise lines of the furniture pieces communicate both their distinctiveness and functionality.




hermes salone

Hermès has decorated the walls of its via Pisoni showroom with a new interpretation on wallpaper that plays with the shadows created by leaves and parrots in the Jungle Life Jacquard design, and elicits strong emotions in the Multicolour Jungle Life version, both of which were designed by Robert Dallet.

One of the pieces of furniture presented was the Satellites low tables in three different versions with onyx and marble tabletops.





Fashion designer Marcelo Burlon has quickly made strides with his eponymous sportswear label.

Now the young entrepreneur is growing his brand with a collection of three graphic carpets, all hand-knot in Nepal that he designed for Italian rug company Illulian


Kris Fuchs at 10 Corso Como

10 corso como b

10 corso como


La Perla

la perla 2

La Perla showcased a series of Esprit D’Atelier pouffes created to look like the brand’s signature nervures technique

A stream of small folds of silk satin creates a striking three-dimensional effect inspired by “nervures” which are one of the main themes of the sophisticated creations of lingerie and beachwear spring summer 2015 for La Perla.

This new piece of furniture was designed by designer Walter Tahir exclusively for La Perla and starred in the La Perla Boutiques at via Montenapoleone during the 2015 Salone Milan.

la perla

The Esprit D’atelier began as a multifunctional design piece to interpret as Ottoman or coffee table and mirrors the La Perla allure as presented in Paris during the 2015 Haute Couture week.

It reflects the sinuous lines of the female body and lends itself to groupings with multiple combinations.

la perla 3


Lawrence Steel

lawrence steel

Marble manufacturer, Marsotto, partners with different industrial designers every year, but they’ve never teamed up with a fashion designer until now.

The marriage with Aspesi designer, Lawrence Steel, was a happy one, thanks to Steele’s three collections of tables and consoles featuring sharp lines and graphic black and white intersecting patterns




Jonathan Anderson, Creative Director at the helm of Spanish leather luxury brand, Loewe, collaborated with with artist, José Luis Bazán, to present The Bowls Project.

A collection of three sets of fifty unique bowls, all inspired by British Potter, Lucie Rie, and created from Loewe’s trademark material: leather. The project explores scale and perception through sculpture and design. Their colors are reminiscent of Lucie Rie’s palettes, including her iconic uranium yellow

At first sight they seem to be made of clay, but when touched, they reveal that they are made of the finest leather.



Louis Vuitton


Louis Vuitton took up residence in the 19th century Palazzo Bocconi to exhibit additions to its Objets Nomades leather collection.

What started in 2012 as a collection of ‘portable’ furniture, inspired by the house’s rich history of luggage design, has grown into 16 limited edition “Art of Travel” pieces by 9 leading names in design.

The armchair-hammock by Patricia Urquiola and the beach chairs by Maarten Baas were unique must-see pieces.

louis vuitton


Maison Margiela

maison margiela window

One the most crowded cocktails of the Fuorisalone was surely the celebration for the new opening of the Maison Margiela boutique.

The new space in Via Sant’Andrea is exclusively dedicated to womens wear and includes a selection of couture: the first collection signed by the new creative director, John Galliano.

maison margiela



marni (2)

Marni evolved their contribution from last year, working with the same charity to produce a fruitful banquet market titled the Marni Mercado de Paloquemao, a tribute to the vibrant fruit markets of Bogotá in Columbia.

Part of the sales of limited edition handmade objects, created in Colombia by a group of women experiencing hardship, will be donated to various charitable organizations.

marni 2




Missoni planted “The Garden of Delights” at both its Milan showroom and Salone del Mobile, with botanical prints displayed surrounded by accents such as shoji screens.

Apart from its latest home collection featuring graphic black and white upholstered furniture, Missoni also created a lounging experience for weary Salone visitors in its Via Solferino Showroom

Sofas came covered in a 3-D houndstooth pattern while chunky, poolside chairs were covered in jazzy, dark stripes with a Seventies feel.

missoni mirrors

Outside of the trade show, the brand hosted “Missoni Mirroring,” an installation featuring light, sound and exclusive video. This also serves to show off the brand’s knitted frame mirrors and Richard Ginori vase collection.

missoni home


Roberto Cavalli

roberto cavalli 0

“More continues to be More” in the home world of Roberto Cavalli, where the designer offers all manner of exotic pattern for every interior surface.

First presented at the 2012 Salone del Mobile, the Home collection contributes to the taste for beauty and luxury, the definition of the Cavalli style; this collection focuses more than ever on a mix-and-match of different colors, fabrics and materials, achieving some pretty unexpected results.

roberto cavalli 1

This season’s collection came brimming with lush florals and his beloved leopard print crawling on plates as well as floral rugs and upholstered dining room chairs

The Cavalli collection was also filled with predictably lavish concoctions such as candle holders resembling snakes; pleated and studded suede sofas; hair calf patchwork rugs, and gold-fringed handles on night tables.

Roberto Cavalli 2



tods (2)

What would the ideal bag for a male architect look like ?

This was the task set forth by Japanese design studio, Nendo, in its second collaboration with leather goods company Tod’s.

Crafted from super soft calfskin, the resulting bag features multiple pockets both inside and outside for documents and pens, while its form can morph from a carry-all tote, and a fold-over man-bag, to a strapless clutch with just a few quick snaps


Tony Burch

tony burch

Many years ago, Tory Burch started collecting Dodie Thayer’s 1960s Lettuce Ware, originally moulded in Palm Beach from the leafy green itself.

Burch has now re-issued selection of the classic hand-detailed, ceramics glazed in Duncan Irish Green.

lettuce ware for tony burch

Celebrating the launch of their new Lettuce Ware in collaboration with legendary Palm Beach ceramicist Dodie Thayer, the American lifestyle brand and Wallpaper* commissioned Bethan Laura Wood to create a unique installation.

Inspired by retro party nibbles, Wood created a equally bright and cheerful installation of super-sized canapés.

tony burch 2


Trussardi Casa


Trussardi Casa celebrated the launch of its first home collection with a selection of pieces that give visitors a welcoming feeling with a cosmopolitan flair.

They showed a complete line of furniture and furnishings designed by Carlo Colombo, who was inspired by elegant Milanese homes. Soft leathers are matched with cotton textiles, velvet and chenille.

trussardi 2

Trussardi celebrated the revamping of its flagship store, Palazzo Trussardi alla Scala – on display were a series of furniture and objects characterized by a contemporary elegance, geometric motifs, and a beautiful mix of colors and materials.

Prized pieces of wenge-tinted oak or eucalyptus, black walnut and details made of solid oak sit side-by-side with Emperador Dark marble and Carrara marble




Versace unveiled two new collections, La Coupe des Deux and Greek.

The latest Versace home collection comes revved up with the usual sparkle, flash and oversized shapes that drives its signature excess.

versace (2)

The new ‘Coupe des Dieux’ chair is cut in slim lines and covered entirely in leather and is an antidote to the usual extravagance

As part of Design Week, Versace used its boutiques (Montenapoleone, Borgospesso and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele) to show off its new lines

Its showroom at the RHO fairgrounds was filled with white Mongolian fur covered side tables; spindly fifties-style leather chairs dotted with the brand’s Medusa head motif, and black wood-framed beds and sofas, which seemed spare and understated compared with the signature Versace fare.

versace home


Vivienne Westwood

vivienne westwood

Another fashion brand that made its mark at this year’s Salone del Mobile was English fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.

The brand collaborated with London-based lifestyle brand and design studio TIIPOI to create the ‘Alchemy: Material Obsessions’ collection.

vivienne westwood mirror

The Mirror 6 Collection by TIIPOI consists of metal mirrors that are cast using a complex bronze-alloy – the origin of which dates back to the 15th century from a town called Aranmula, Kerala, in Southern India.

The alloy composition is a closely guarded secret as it is said to have come to an ancestor in a dream. Once cast, the metal is laboriously polished by hand until the surface turns reflective.

The reflections produced by these mirrors are considered the purest kind, as the light is reflected directly from the polished surface.




Milling around this year’s Salone del Mobile, which closed just over a week ago in Milan, you recognised quite a few names. At least, I did. Fendi, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Versace.

Rather than the monikers of furniture designers, esoteric and obscure (at least, to me), the participants were just as likely to come from the fashion sphere.

It’s a growing trend. Tony Chambers – who, as the editor-in-chief of the fashion and lifestyle magazine Wallpaper*, is as likely to look at a grey Prada suit as an Eileen Gray table – dubs the increase in fashion labels offering homeware “exponential” over his 12 years at the magazine.

He highlights the collections of Bottega Veneta and Hermès – as well as the porcelain produced under the Richard Ginori label, which was acquired by Gucci in 2013 – as expressive of fashion houses’ “investment in quality” when it comes to their new homeware ranges.

“This is the silver lining of the financial crisis – now every brand thinks very, very seriously and long term about how they use their name and their logo,” Chambers says. “Pre-2008, there was quite a bit of abuse of that.”

What he means is: it’s not just about a logo slapped on a bog-standard product, for either designer or consumer. It’s about an investment in a unique worldview – because, in launching homeware, brands can spin an aesthetic universe around their clothing.

The perfect example is Rick Owens, whose furniture designs are as uncompromising as his fashion. They include a two-ton alabaster bed (yours for around £146k) and chairs with their backs replaced by moose antlers. Oddly, these pieces seem the ideal environment for Owens’s shrouded wraiths to writhe in exquisite agony (or whatever they do in their spare time), just as the leather-strapped benches that Versace created with Simon and Nikolai Haas in 2013 are the perfect seat for, say, a slashed and safety-pinned Elizabeth Hurley to recline on.

Perhaps that’s the kicker for the success of fashion-cum-furniture fusions: not whether someone buys the pieces (there will always be deep-pocketed takers for things this ludicrously luxurious), but whether the pieces marry convincingly with the designer’s sartorial aesthetic, and therefore further the brand’s message as a whole.

Because you’re not going to make much money with one- or two-off furniture pieces – or even 40-off designs, such as the Justin desk created by Giorgio Armani to celebrate the label’s 40th birthday this year.

giorgio armani

That said, Armani’s home division is doing swift business. Armani/Casa, the home branch of the Italian designer’s empire, saw 2014’s total business increase 22 per cent year-on-year. Retail and wholesale accounted for 50 per cent and licensed products five per cent, while, enigmatically, the remaining 45 per cent was made up by “interior design”.

This refers to bespoke design solutions created for Armani clients by in-house architects and interior designers – the kind of clients, presumably, who order made-to-measure suits or the haute couture creations of Armani Privé and want the designer’s exacting standards applied to their entire environment.

Versace and Fendi offer similar services, and have tied their names and tastes to exclusive hotels and private residences.

Armani’s latest Casa collection mirrors his January haute couture show in its fusion of East and West. “I try to find similarities between the East – which enchants me – and the West, to which I belong,” says Giorgio Armani of his cushions in jade-green and lacquer-red and his spindly, art-deco-meets-Ming-dynasty tables and chairs.

Incidentally, 50 per cent of the total Armani/Casa business comes from Asia (five years ago, it was just 31 per cent).

A number of other labels have cast their gaze east: “The Chinese market has grown considerably for Fendi in recent years,” says Pietro Beccari, chief executive of the Roman label, which has offered homeware since 1989, “and our Chinese clients are very important to us.”

Thus, at the 2015 Salone del Mobile, Fendi showed a scarlet “Zen” table and Murano glass featuring dragon designs – presumably envisioned as the saleable stuff – alongside its collaboration with Brazilian design duo the Campana Brothers, who crafted a hundred or so of the label’s fuzzy “Bag Bug” charms into another of those one-off headline-grabbing pieces.

Surrendering your entire home to a clothes label may seem like the ultimate act of devotion – or the nadir of fashion victimhood.

But these “fashioned environments”, extreme examples of so-called “designer lifestyle”, are undoubtedly popular. Armani-designed residences at Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, reportedly sell for 28 per cent more than equivalent penthouses in the Dubai tower.

Why? Because designer names resonate with a far wider audience than those of architects and product designers do.

“Fashion is louder, it’s sexier, it’s glamorous. Design is, with a few exceptions… a little lower-key,” Chambers states. It’s also a stamp not just of quality, but of taste. You know what you’re getting with a Versace chair – especially versus an Armani chair – and which you’d prefer.

The prejudice in the past was that the fashion designers were somehow too dim to move into this field. “I think initially – 10 or 15 years ago – for a design snob [a fashion house] wouldn’t be the first port of call. Why would you go to Versace for furniture?” Tony Chambers says. “But as it has evolved, there seems to be a healthier fit.”

Unlike designer clothes, which generally depreciate in value as soon as you rip off the tag and slip them on your back, homes such as those in Dubai are actually making money, and not just due to a property boom.

Maybe the furniture will too.

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