The 61st edition of the Salone del Mobile has just closed its doors, with expectations exceeded in terms of attendance. First assessments and impressions of this very dense event, marked by the return of Euroluce.
The Milan Furniture Fair has just closed its doors with an estimated attendance of 307,418 participants, a 15% increase over the 2022 edition. This is obvious for those who walked the aisles of the Fiera last week, sometimes waiting up to 20 minutes to enter some stands.
65% of the visitors came from abroad: with the strong return of China, followed by Germany, France, the United States, Spain and Brazil being ex aequo, out of the 181 countries of origin identified. An expectation, and a response in person, which always confirms the essential role of the event on the international scene. From an exhibitor’s point of view, more than 2000 brands were present from 37 different countries. On an air of reunion, the stands reoccupied again very large surfaces, which allowed to juggle skilfully between iconic pieces, best-sellers and new collections, greeting in the passages of declensions of materials, the continuation of a work of the manufacturers around the recyclability of the products (choice of materials, modularity, reparability). Of course, the Italians received as masters of the place, in neat scenographies, some with sensitive winks: Pedrali, returning to its fundamentals, opened with the Nari chair, co-designed by Andrea Pedrali and his grandfather Mario, founder of the company.
Among the first impressions of what the market will become, we note the porosity of the publishers’ proposals to other sectors. The opening up of indoor editors to the outdoor market, which has already been underway for several years, is becoming a constant: this may be pushing outdoor furniture manufacturers to identify themselves in other niches. As an example, Fermob marked its legitimacy in the indoor, and particularly the contract sector, by presenting versions of the Study (design Tristan Lohner) or the Bistro chair covered with leather, and a secretary, while posing as a manufacturer of lighting with another stand dedicated to Euroluce. Another illustration, Ethimo broadened its approach to outdoor living as a way of life to be considered, from a structural point of view, with a pergola at the entrance to the stand, and from the point of view of activities, with accessories and products related to outdoor cooking or sports, for example.
A successful return for Euroluce
This 61st edition was strongly marked by the return of Euroluce, which was eagerly awaited and thought to be a test foreshadowing the show’s future developments. On the one hand, the scenography was centered on the visitor experience, so that he could see a maximum number of stands during his visit, while taking into account his needs (rest, connection…). This challenge was met by Formafantasma: if it was not always easy to locate the stands from the numbering assigned, the strolling was much more fluid – all the more appreciable in the crowd of visitors, compared to the halls dedicated to furniture -, punctuated by mini-exhibitions, installations of artists’ works, as well as multiplied break areas. The open space of talks was joined by a richly endowed bookstore area. Contributing to this quality of visit, the halls dedicated to Euroluce were not illuminated, leaving the totality of the lighting to each stand: this gave a peaceful visit, valued the universe of each manufacturer, whatever the size of its stand. Finally, among the products, from Artemide to Flos, through Brokis and many others, we noted above all technical innovations, very subtle, for editors at the service of architectural design solutions, in a multiplication of elements that can live alone as well as in a combination of modular systems at will.
In fine, this 2023 edition revealed the transition that seems to operate the Show as a whole by consolidating a positioning on the interest of the prescription, particularly flagrant on Euroluce. Thus, in the long run, the challenge for future exhibitors will no longer be to present new products as such, but above all to show their ability to respond to the projects of interior design professionals, to position themselves in terms of recommending solutions: a real return to the fundamentals of design?