Designers Show Home Collections at Salone del Mobile

Staying true to themselves was the mantra for Italian designers.

with contributions from Alessandra Turra
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A view of the Diesel home collection.

Photo By Davide Maestri

A view of the Hermès home collection.

Photo By Davide Maestri

Conversely, Bottega Veneta creative director Tomas Maier said he couldn’t “imagine someone having a house” entirely decked out in the brand’s line. “Most of the people who come to us are clients that shop our other categories. They share the sensibility for the aesthetics, for what the company stands for, and they appreciate the make, the lasting quality and design, never too loud,” said Maier.

The designer chose to mix vintage pieces by Dimore Studio with his own items, which included the “floating” desk or dresser with drawers in lacquered parchment and the Tassello seats in collaboration with Poltrona Frau, such as a suede sofa made with foam and feathers that took almost two years to develop. “I wanted to show how this furniture can live in different environments, adapt to your life and our own interior decor,” said Maier.

Home collections have been serious businesses for years, and designers continue to invest in research and development, joining forces with qualified producers. Case in point: Diesel introduced its kitchen, made by Scavolini, one of Italy’s best-known kitchen specialists “The kitchen is the long-lasting pièce de résistance in the home. Brands have to be more and more about lifestyle, and I felt we needed to add this to the collection,” said Diesel chief Renzo Rosso.

The brand’s home business now totals 13.5 million euros, or $17.7 million at current exchange. “It’s beginning to be relevant, and I want to bring it to 100 million euros, or $131.1 million, in three or four years,” said Rosso.

Versace Home accounts for 10 percent of sales, and its dedicated Web site has grown 230 percent since 2010 and sells in 44 countries (the main online markets are Australia, the U.K. and the U.S.).

Missoni, which developed flame-patterned, super-resistant woven vinyl carpeting with Bolon, is also growing its home business, mainly through hotels, with the third expected to open in Oman next year, and providing designs for condos in Manila and Toronto.

Alberto Jelmini, Rosita Missoni’s brother and ceo of T&J Vestor, which produces Missoni Home, said the home business last year had sales of 21 million euros, or $27.5 million, up 10 percent from the previous year, but that the growth derived only from exports, while the company saw a 10 percent drop in Italy. For this reason, Missoni is changing strategy, opening up to department stores more, with dedicated spaces at La Rinascente and Coin, and “selling by project, and not by product category,” said Jelmini.

In Milan, where it introduced its furniture collection last year, Hermès presented its new Module H series of panels, in the size of the brand’s iconic scarf, and in different materials — from canvas to leather or crocodile hide, to name a few. The panels can be combined in infinite variations on an aluminum grid. “This is a very creative idea. It leaves a lot of room to the imagination, for personalized, never standard spaces,” said ceo Patrick Thomas of the system, which was developed with Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.


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