Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano. Author: Andrea Mariani.
Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano. Author: Andrea Mariani.

INDiplomacySupersalone, the 2021 Salone del Mobile.Milano special event, took place in Milan from September 5 to 10. The event marked the return of Milan to the center of the international design scene two years after the beginning of the pandemic. Curated by architect Stefano Boeri and his team, Supersalone was animated by 425 brands, 170 young creatives and 39 makers, for a total of over 1,900 projects on display. Mixing digital and real, Salone del Mobile celebrated a new beginning, once again attracting visitors from all over the world.

Among the guests of this edition there was a delegation from Morocco, organized by the Casablanca office of ITA, the Italian Trade Agency. The delegation included prominent architects, designers, and representatives of the furniture sector, which have always looked at Italy as a producer and exporter of high-quality goods. Renowned designer and interior architect Hicham Lahlou was also part of the delegation. A regular guest of the Salone del Mobile, Mr. Lahlou was curator in 2018 of the SaloneSatellite exhibition “Africa-Latin America”, organized by Marva Griffin Wilshire and dedicated to designers under 35.

Mohamed Sami Ben Jelloul, capo della delegazione ICE al Salone del Mobile 2021
Mohamed Sami Ben Jelloul, Trade Analyst

Morocco presents numerous commercial and investment opportunities. Made in Italy enjoys an excellent reputation among operators. About 10% of imported furniture comes from Italy, which can still further improve its positioning in the country. The furniture sector has grown significantly, also thanks to the large construction projects of tourist facilities and commercial buildings underway despite the current Covid crisis. As part of the promotion of Italy-Morocco exchanges, the Casablanca Office of ITA selected and organized the visit of buyers, importers, architects and designers who are strongly interested in the Salone del Mobile, Homi and Proposte events” said Mohamed Sami Ben Jelloul, Trade Analyst of ITA Casablanca.

The visit, held from 5 to 10 September, included participation in three fairs. In addition to Supersalone, the members of the delegation also took part in HOMI, an event dedicated to home decor, and in Proposte, a textile fair held in the splendid setting of Villa Erba, in Cernobbio (Como).

Also, on the initiative of the Embassy of Italy in Rabat in collaboration with the ITA Casablanca, the program included several meetings with representatives of the academic world of Italian design. These included a meeting with Alba Cappellieri, Director of the Museo del Gioiello (Jewellery Museum) in Vicenza and professor of design at the Polytechnic University of Milan, as well as a visit to the exhibition curated by Ms. Cappellieri at the Gallery of Modern Art.

Alba Cappellieri, Director of the Museo del Gioiello
Alba Cappellieri, Director of the Museo del Gioiello

The Embassy in Rabat and the ITA Casablanca launched several projects to promote Made in Italy design over the last years. This summer, as part of the “Italian Design Day” initiative, promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy organized various events, both on presence and online.

On 8 July the Italian Design Day was inaugurated by a round table held at the residence of the Ambassador of Italy Armando Barucco, with the participation of leading Italian and Moroccan personalities from the world of architecture and design. Local representatives of institutions and universities, representatives of associations and the media attended the round table. The meeting ended with the presentation a short documentary on some architectural and infrastructural works of Italian architects in Morocco.