The undisputed protagonist of Fuorisalone will be notably absent this year.
A normal year would see Tom Dixon head for the Milan Fair in April to meet the world’s opinion formers, designers, press and clients, but for the first time in 15 years, Tom Dixon will not be presenting his new collections at the Salone del Mobile, instead Tom will place all his bets on London and his world tour
After 27 years of uninterrupted presence at the Milano Design Week, and every single time as the highlight of Fuorisalone in a crescendo of installations and events on an ever larger scale, appeal and success, this year, Tom, the rebellious and unpredictable hero of British design, surprises us again, but in another, truly unexpected, way – this time by NOT presenting his new collections in Milan
“ The modern world is about networks, and rather than do a big launch this year I want to weave a more complex more unexpected web of interrelated global friends.
Next year I will come back to Milan with, I hope, some new, more unexpected material that will be inspired by my travels ” …………. Tom Dixon
All of 2018’s offerings hit the road and travel to global dedicated partners, dealers and customers in an overdue give-back for years of enthusiasm, support and growth.
Into his travelling trunk Tom Dixon will pack a mysterious black Melt with mesmerising optic effects, electric blue pendants, space-age silver leather upholstery, an updated Supertexture textile collection and table-top glassware.
He has already commenced a 90-day preview tour around the world to present his latest collections, starting at two brand new hubs in London and New York, voyaging onwards launching the newest product, latest finishes and freshest colours all the way to the furthest reaches of a rapidly exploding world network from Casablanca to Reykjavik, Singapore to Toronto, Cape Town to Berlin and all the way to Lima.
Tom Dixon at Crema, Cape Town, South Africa Feb 21st 2018
So it appears that for now for him Milano is no longer the epicenter for launching his novelties as usual, but vice-versa, Tom and his team are going to personally visit and meet architects, showrooms, clients and journalists.
He will be also be heading to dedece Sydney to launch a new Tom Dixon Monobrand store and afterwards on to Melbourne, Tokyo and Hong Kong, introducing this season’s latest innovations in lighting, furniture and accessories.
Many other projects are in the pipeline eg Tom Dixon and his Design Research Studio are also designing ship interiors for Sir Richard Branson’s upcoming Virgin Voyages cruise line, whose first ship is set to sail from Miami in 2020.
One of those big projects is the move this month, of Tom Dixon’s London Headquarters from Portobello Dock to Kings Cross, an increasingly more vibrant area very near to the new St Martins School of Arts, and Google is also moving there, as well as Facebook
Tom Dixon will create a new flagship shop, showroom, office, restaurant and cafe into a building originally dating back to 1851, the Coal office, a 17,500 sq. ft. complex, once a coal distribution centre.
Part of the new Coal Drops Yard retail quarter, their new Headquarters has further been conceived as a hub for designers and design
The Coal Office building ( Tom Dixon’s new HQ ) follows the curve of the Regents Canal, and is undergoing restoration as part of the redevelopment of King’s Cross.
With a focus on fashion, craft and culture, Coal Drops Yard will fuse the traditional with the contemporary, housing a unique mix of established and emerging retailers.
Individual and independent shops, signature retail brands and new concepts from home and abroad will come together with cafés, bars, restaurants and public spaces to create a new shopping destination for London.
“Offices, a store and showroom, a restaurant and café… more people, more shops, more partners… We will use this incredible location as a platform to broadcast our latest ideas in interior design, product innovation and experiments in food, functionality and future living“, ……… Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon and the Salone Milan
A story that goes back a long way !
It was 1990 when he first debuted in Milan: it was with Cappellini and the S-Chair, at Galleria Carla Sozzani, 10 Corso Como.
Tom himself recalls that he was sleeping on a bench near Piazza Castello because at the time he didn’t have “enough money” for a room.
Tom Dixon, edition after edition, has always brought to the Milano Design Week not only product novelties, but also moments of true engagement with both trade professionals, and the general public, intuitively grasping also the “show” and entertainment direction that Salone del Mobile week was taking.
Tom undoubtedly always knows how to stand out in the increasingly more fierce and crowded Salone Milan calendar, chock-full of events, cocktails and parties.
And this year he does it again: he surprises us by NOT even exhibiting !
Tom Dixon’s “Digital Industrial Revolution” @ Salone Milan 2012
And so, we had him for two years at the Science Museum with a kind of living factory, Most, where he gave away just-made chairs; then came the Cinema in 2015 and, in 2016, the spectacular concept, the Restaurant, at La Rotonda della Besana.
An escalation to last year’s taking over of Galleria Manzoni, in the heart of the city: the Multiplex project, in collaboration with Ikea and the unveiling of a unique bike with Moto Guzzi, the Tomoto: his greatest and most complex Design week that’s tough to compete with and surpass.
Tom Dixon only went to the main fairgrounds at Rho for one year, and he probably won’t go there again (too many constrictions and limits for such a super free and rebel mind as his, always eager to do things his own way).
In a couple of Salone editions, Tom even picked up his bass guitar to play on stage with a group of friends and peers, The Rough (as a 20 year-old in the London of the 70s, he was a musician in the band “Funkapolitan” and rock and motorbikes are still big loves).
And just last year Tom was awarded Designer of the Year – Lifetime Achievement for his contribution to Fuorisalone’s history.
Till next year Tom !!