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Fashion Fever At Milan Design Week 2021: Hermès, Gucci and More

French and Italian fashion brands proudly flaunted their homeware, furniture, and decorative objects for the world’s biggest design fair in Milan, Italy.

Sep 25, 2021 | By Joe Lim

In its 59th edition of Salone del Mobile, or Supersalone 2021, the world has descended on the largest furniture exhibition in Milan, Italy. While big furniture brands showcased their offerings, fashion brands also had their fair share of pomp and circumstance. Here are some of the leading brands in fashion for Milan Design Week which took place 5 to 10 September 2021.

Hermes installation at Milan Design Week 2021. Image: Hermes.


With its expertise in leather goods, French luxury house Hermès proudly flexed its muscles with products flaunting a medley of materials such as natural wicker, handwoven cashmere, sumptuous leather, and even copper that’s tinted with enamel. These made the homeware and furniture products stand out all thanks to their rich textures. The French brand also showcased a bevy of tactile textile-based vignettes that spurs one to touch.

Dubbed as “Designed to be touched”, these pieces were bent on encouraging one to connect to the physicality to objects in a post-lockdown world where everything is mostly virtual. Case in point: Méridien, a gorgeous plaid fabric where golden threads woven into cashmere create an alluring pattern work.

The softness of the material coupled with its dazzling shimmer created an elevated touch of luxury. Renowned Indian architectural practice Studio Mumbai had a spot in the limelight with the Sillage d’Hermès armchair. This eye-catching seat with its generous proportions and painstaking detailing where its wood is coated with unique cellulose microfibres from Puglia, Italy, where artisans varnish and meticulously hand-paint each piece with stripes.

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A stalwart in Italian fashion, Gucci needs no introduction to fashion and design. This year, it referenced work-from-home culture in the current pandemic. Staging the exhibition via a luxurious library vibe, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele’s channelling of a traditional Italian stationery shop was spot on.

The pop-up store featured an array of homeware goods, beautiful notebooks, letter cases, glass-domed paperweights, and plenty of stationery, it was a sight to behold. With an affinity for stationery, Alessandro Michele’s Gucci Cartoleria pop-up on Via Manzoni was clearly expressed. It was also to launch the Florentine brand’s Lifestyle Collection.

These included a “cabinet of curiosities” from Michele’s childhood memories. Items on display featured pencils, notebooks, pens, paperweights, board games, and even Christmas-themed objects. His whimsical style even exhibited an overhead upside-down train track, a sensor-activated chess set, and even a quirky mouse hole complete with a miniature living room at foot level. It was a set meant to create wonder and curiosity for everyday objects.

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Louis Vuitton

It was one of the highlights of Milan Design Week. Louis Vuitton took over the frescoed rooms of Palazzo Serbelloni for its 2021 design edition. Innovation has always been in the heart of Louis Vuitton for more than 160 years. Not just limited to making clothing and wearable goods, the Objets Nomades collection for Milan Design Week kept the brand alive. These expressive products are designed by some of the world’s most renowned designers such as Campana Brothers, Marcel Wanders, Patricia Urquiola, to name a few.

This year’s Supersalone, Louis Vuitton presented an evocative collection for the home. Take for example the “Aguacate” room divider designed by Fernando and Humberto Campana – the name is Spanish for Avocado and consists of nine differently sized artworks shaped like avocados. This brightly-hued object can be installed on a wall or be freely hung as a room divider. The other Campana Brothers creation is the “Merengue” – these are tropical poufs shaped like that of delicate flower petals.

The supple leather and soft wool lining make it supremely comfortable to sit on it while the cheery colours add effervescence to any interior. The last product is the “Petal chair” by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders – this elegant seat embraces the butt and lumbar with supple leather, all hand-stitched to resemble a stunning bloom. The chair’s tree-inspired base structure made of cast aluminium gives the appearance of a delicate spring garden.

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