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Milan’s annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile is the most highly anticipated event dedicated to design and furniture on the worldwide calendar. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Salone began in 1961 – and since then, Milan has been synonymous with design, innovation and trend-setting.
The week-long event has become a prestigious showcase for brands and designers from around the world. Each year, for Milan Design Week, the city undergoes a much more dramatic transformation than it does during Milan Fashion Week: art galleries and furniture shops stay open until late, installations and temporary shows provide entertainment for curious passers-by and designers or buyers visiting from around the world. And over the recent years, food – a fundamental component in living well – has acquired an increasingly relevant presence in this week dedicated to design. There are several initiatives and events with food as the central theme, providing a moment of conviviality for its visitors.
Milan Design Week takes place, for the most part, in two distinct areas: a bit out of the city, Milan’s Fair in Rho has 230,000 square meters dedicated to furniture and design, the Salone, with a large part for young, emerging talents and brands; and at the same time, in Milan’s centre, the coolest neighbourhoods come to life with events, happenings and parties. It’s what’s been come to be called, the Fuorisalone (outside Salone) – and is the more informal, inventive part of the event that involves the city’s centre as well as the ex-industrial areas that have been reconverted today in cultural districts – thanks to the many photography studios, design and fashion ateliers, research centres, foundations, laboratories and showrooms. Areas of particular interest are the Tortona and Savona neighbourhoods and the “Fabbrica del Vapore”.