Supersalone, the special 2021 event of Salone del Mobile.Milano, was a huge success. Over 60,000 presences were recorded over six days, demonstrating the powers of attraction and great appeal of an original, cross-cutting format which the companies embraced wholeheartedly. The words of Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who in his short unscheduled speech at the inauguration said: “this event, which gathers business courage, creativity, imagination and culture, is of extraordinary significance for the recovery and revival of the country“, proved to be accurate.

President Mattarella at the inauguration of Supersalone
President Mattarella at the inauguration ceremony. Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano. Photo by Luca Orsi.

As stated in a press release, 425 brands showcased their wares, 16% of which from countries other than Italy, with an additional 170 young design students from 22 countries and 39 independent designers. In terms of visitor flows, people from 113 countries attended the event, and over half were trade operators and buyers (47% from outside of Italy). Almost 1,800 accredited journalists attended from all over the world. All this was possible thanks to strict security measures, such as mandatory Covid-19 green certificates, and the presence of a hub for Covid swabs at the entrance.

The Lost Graduation Show, the fair dedicated to design students who graduated during the pandemic (we wrote about it here), was a huge hit with the public, also drawing critical plaudits from the many designers and architects who visited the show. Many events of the public programme featuring 40 illustrious voices were booked out, a sign that the desire to meet again and discuss fundamental design themes and the social and environmental value of design is more alive than ever.

Maria Porro, President of Salone del Mobile.Milano
Maria Porro, President of Salone del Mobile.Milano

We are closing this edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano with great satisfaction and huge emotion. It was important to take that first but decisive step, to make our presence felt and send a signal to the country as a whole. We did it” said Maria Porro, President of Salone del Mobile.Milano. “Deciding to go ahead with this “supersalone” took a good dose of courage and meant taking on a lot of responsibility – for the system as a whole and for the entire supply chain, which needed a physical and concrete occasion, not just symbolic and digital, to press the accelerator for a restart which – as we saw this week – is already in gear.

Just last June we promised you a “supersalone” – i.e. an unmissable and special event, that would be capable of drawing in the entire design and furnishing world for a week. Today we can say that we did it, thanks to the faith that the Salone del Mobile.Milano put in us, to the availability of the companies and to the extraordinary efforts of a team of curators – Andrea Caputo, Maria Cristina Didero, Giorgio Donà, Anniina Koivu, Studio Folder (Marco Ferrari and Elisa Pasqual) and Lukas Wegwerth – who showed the world where the future of large exhibitions could lie” said architect Stefano Boeri, curator of the event.

The curator of Supersalone, Stefano Boeri, during an Open Talk.
The curator of Supersalone, Stefano Boeri, during an Open Talk. Courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano. Photo by Andrea Mariani.

If Milan restarts, Italy restarts too. Our city has always been the driver of this country and it still is. We really wanted to hold the Salone del Mobile.Milano, which we had to suspend for two editions because of the pandemic, to show a strong signal: we’re here, Italy’s here and we want to get going again.”

It won’t be the same as it was, nor will we be starting again from scratch. While it’s true that the pandemic has evidenced our vulnerability and left so much grief in its wake, it has also kickstarted the huge heart of this city, its amazing solidarity and desire to get through it all together“- commented the mayor of Milan Beppe Sala, interviewed by Francesca Esposito.

The appointment is for the 60th edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, scheduled for 5 to 10 April next year, with the hope that the worst of the pandemic will finally be behind us.