AbonnéArt & Design

Milan Design Week: a playground for luxury brands

Aymeric Mantoux

By Aymeric Mantoux25 avril 2023

Milan becomes the capital of design and luxury every year for one week. The 2023 edition of Milan Design Week was a great show of strength. Over 300,000 visitors from all over the world gathered in the economic capital of Lombardy during this week, over ten times more than during Fashion Week.

On the occasion of Milan Design Week 2023, Hermès presented its new collection of furniture and objects for the home at La Pelota, in the heart of Milan (Maxime Verret)

An elegant crowd crowds the entrance to the Galleria Meravigli, privatized by Hublot to launch its new design watch with Swiss artist Maxime Plescia-Büchi. The Milanese luxury and fashion world gathered in the midst of Chinese influencers and Middle Eastern press. Add a pinch of American celebrities seen in TV series, like Chuck Bass from "Gossip Girl" and some Negroni, then sprinkle it all with champagne. A ballet of black limousines driven by tied-up chauffeurs is waiting outside; the queue is long. A typical evening on Wednesday in April for Milan? Que nenni!

"We chose this date and location for the launch because Milan Design Week is a significant event, a must for leading luxury brands like ours," says Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot. Likewise, Hermès, Dior and Bottega Veneta, to name a few, have chosen to invest in Milan and organize events for their international clients and the press, who flock to the Salone del Mobile. A little madness took over the city in a particularly festive atmosphere. Techno floats from the design pride, ephemeral hotels like the one in Palazzo Monti, in the heart of the Brera district, signed by the furniture brand Vipp, social evenings in art galleries, Spritz openings in all the luxury boutiques… a pretty unusual atmosphere. "The striking thing is the crowd, the dynamism of this old city, notes a public relations specialist who came to accompany one of her clients, a large international luxury house. People are smiling; they are beautiful and young. There is also a lot of money." More than 300,000 visitors from all over the world flocked to Milan during the week, ten times more than during Fashion Week.



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Milan, a window on ultra-luxury furniture

To attract the wealthiest among them, like the Chinese billionaire art collector, the primary customer of most leading Swiss watch brands, such as Patek Philippe, the luxury brands deploy a wealth of imagination … and resources. "Several hundred thousand euros for an evening, more rarely a few million," confides a marketing manager who wishes to remain anonymous. Giorgio Armani opened the doors of its headquarters, the Palazzo Orsini, to showcase its interior line Armani Casa, while Loro Piana imagined furniture with vicuña wool in a scenery inspired by the Andean landscape—a project signed Cristian Mohaded and significantly noticed, the increasingly luxurious designs with unique pieces made to order or edited in 12 copies, with prices ranging from some thousands of euros to several hundred thousand. It is also the bet taken by Louis Vuitton or Hermès.

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