Fashion brands take on the Salone del Mobile

From Nature To Armani Casa

Pictured: Armani Casa's latest collection

(Image credit: TBC)

While Italy's furniture companies don't typically dabble in fashion, the reverse - fashion designers dipping their toes into design - occurs with ever increasing frequency. There's no better stage for this activity than the Salone del Mobile, a six-day champagne-drenched, design extravaganza. On the one hand, there are brands like Giorgio Armani, Fendi, Versace, Kenzo, Missoni and Hermès, who show off a huge range of wares to press and buyers from their fully dedicated home lines. But the fair has also enticed fashion brands with no formal Casa departments to get in on the furniture action with spruced up store windows, one-off furniture designer collaborations and special events. The cross-pollination also filters down to the designers themselves: industrial design whiz Tom Dixon donned his fashion trousers this season with the full-scale collection he designed for Adidas, while Turkish fashion designer Dice Kayek put down his scissors and picked up a scalpel to create a marble sculpture. Here's a round up of the best fashion-meets-design activity of the week.

Armani Casa

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Armani Casa (opens in new tab)

There were no outside designer collaborations for Giorgio Armani's Casa line this year - which turned out to be just as well. The collection this season hit a new high thanks to fresh pops of colour: Mr Minimal did orange stone tables and turquoise leather chairs. Also in the mix were a myriad of chic new shapes including retro-inspired wardrobe cases and Deco-style writing desks

Tom Dixon (opens in new tab) for Adidas (opens in new tab)

Tom Dixon, the UK furniture designer who brought pop-up restaurants to the Salone and an excuse to visit the city's Museum of Science and Technology has now dazzled us with his first fashion collaboration with Adidas. Entitled 'The Capsule', the collection was neatly summed up by Dixon as 'everything you can pack neatly in a bag for a week away.' Precise, well executed and entertaining to boot, the collection shows that Dixon may very well have a new career ahead of him

Adidas By Tom Dixon

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Tom Dixon for Adidas

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02 Adidas By Tom Dixon

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Alberto Guardiani (opens in new tab)

Italian shoemaker Alberto Guardiani got in on the design action with the launch of a new luggage line designed by Andre Klauser and commissioned by Wallpaper's very own design team. The star of the canvas and leather range - unveiled in store during the Milan fair - is a flat and narrow overnight bag that has a convenient shoe pocket

Alberto Guardiani Wallpaper

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Alberto Guardiani

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Bottega Veneta (opens in new tab)

The epitome of subtle elegance, Bottega Veneta went the quiet but cool route this year and chose to present a lovely selection of hand-made boxes in its Via Montenapoleone store.  Designed by Nancy Lorenz, each of the 25 boxes featured precious materials such as mother of pearl, clay, wood or pigment

Bottega Veneta

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06 PRSH BOX

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Brioni
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Brioni's windows featured a video installation by American artist Collier Schorr that showed off the Italian brand's flair for 'Su Misura' suiting. The video was accompanied by black and white still photographs taken in Brioni's own atelier

07 Brioni Su Misura By Collier Schorr

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08 Brioni Su Misura By Collier Schorr

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09 Bulgari

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Bulgari
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Roman jeweler Bulgari made a design statement by slapping down a giant hand sculpture in the middle of the Bulgari Hotel's garden. Inspired by an advertising image created by Fabrizio Ferri in 2000, the big hands were also featured in Bulgari's store windows in Montenapoleone and each featured giant-sized examples of their B.zero1 rings

Cos (opens in new tab)

Cos camped out in the cool, out-of-the-way neighbourhood of Lambrate this year to launch their site-specific pop-up store. Designed by Remy Clemente and Morgan Maccari, the simple but striking metal and wood structure created a graphic cage in which to house pieces from Cos' S/S 2013 collection

10 COS

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11 COS

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Cos (opens in new tab)

Cos camped out in the cool, out-of-the-way neighbourhood of Lambrate this year to launch their site-specific pop-up store. Designed by Remy Clemente and Morgan Maccari, the simple but striking metal and wood structure created a graphic cage in which to house pieces from Cos' S/S 2013 collection

12 Nebula Night

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Dice Kayek (opens in new tab)

Turkish fashion label Dice Kayek dabbled in design for the first time with 'Nebula', an installation created for Thus Spoke the Marble. Made entirely of marble, the piece was sculpted with a series of square flat slabs that were positioned in a fish-scale configuration, also rotating to allow in sunlight

52 Etro

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Etro (opens in new tab)

Etro is one of Milan's fashion houses that has a proper Casa line: its home textiles are some of the best in the business. To celebrate the design week, the Italian brand exhibited a photography installation by American artist and art director Erik Madigan Heck in its Via Montenapoleone boutique

Fratelli Rossetti (opens in new tab)

Italian shoemaker Fratelli Rossetti brought a collection of objects and furniture designed by Alessandro Gedda to its store windows on Via Montenapoleone.  Gedda, a contemporary artist, created a coffee table, a frameless armchair and a metal bookshelf

13 HE ART Table

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14 FLLI ROSSETTI Boutique

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Haider Ackermann
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The Colombian-born, Paris-based fashion designer Haider Ackermann was scooped up by Belgian design brand When Objects Work to create a series of custom-made scarves. Using woven baby yak, Ackerman created three beautifully executed shawls that come packaged in a photography-printed box

Haider Ackermann

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16 H Ackermann

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Hermès (opens in new tab)

A stellar showing at Hermès this season included not only a new range of bespoke furniture and a extended offering of wall-coverings and fabrics, but also a perfectly executed design collaboration with Philippe Nigro. The French-born Milan-based designer created nine small-scale furniture pieces, all of which were mixed with classic items from the Hermès home collection and presented inside miniature houses created especially for the show space in Via Clerici

17 Hermes

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18 Hermes

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Jimmy Choo (opens in new tab)

London-based footwear brand Jimmy Choo got in on the design action by presenting a series of sculptures by Giovanni Balderi in their Sant'Andrea store. Constructed from marble, the pieces take on the guise of a modern day Venus de Milo

19 Jimmy Choo

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20 Jimmy Choo

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Louis Vuitton (opens in new tab)

Capitalising on its recent mega-hit design collaboration, 'Objets Nomades', Louis Vuitton hosted a series of design talks spread over three nights in its Milan store featuring the big-name designers who had created the collection. Each night's talk involved a roster of three designers, including Jay Osgerby of Barber Osgerby, Maarten Baas, Oki Sato of Nendo, Patricia Urquiola, Thierry Gaugain and Constance Guisset. The conversations spanned across everything from project inspiration ('I took more of the "mad" part of 'nomad,' explained Maarten Baas of his beach chair), to personal information ('I'm a libra and I love design!' exclaimed Osgerby) and juicy disclosures ('I hate to travel,' confessed Oki Sato)

Pictured from left: Lamp by Nendo; Bell lamp by Barber Osgerby

Lamp by Nendo; Bell lamp by Barber Osgerby

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Bureau by Christian Liaigre

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23 Marc Jacobs

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Marc by Marc Jacobs (opens in new tab)

Milan's Marc by Marc Jacobs store is already a magnet for the young trendy kids in town and the crowd only got bigger during the Salone. Shoppers and drinkers were treated this year to a limited-edition range of chairs that the brand created in collaboration with Nina Tolstrup for 19 Greek Street. A special version of the chair - featuring a Jacobs day dress print fabric - was also created exclusively for Wallpaper's 2013 Handmade exhibition

Marni (opens in new tab)

As a follow up to last year's Salone as well as the most recent Art Basel Miami, Marni presented the most recent edition of its '100 Chairs' exhibition in the new Spazio Marni, a sprawling raw space in Viale Umbria which will house the brand's upcoming fashion shows. The chair collection consists of every variation of seated furniture - from rocking to chaise lounge to the new kids' chairs - and is all made by hand in Colombia

Marni

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25 SPAZIO MARNI

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26 SPAZIO MARNI

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Missoni (opens in new tab)

Patricia Urquiola has turned out to be the go-to architect for Milan's high-end fashion labels. Missoni caught the fever, signing up the Spanish-born architect to remodel its Montenapoleone store. The new mood greets visitors at the front door, where clear orange glass doors slide open to reveal a subtle collage of signature Missoni motifs etched into wood, mirror and copper finish metal

27 Missoni

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Missoni

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Nike (opens in new tab)

The American footwear brand went all-out at this year's Salone, creating its own sprawling Stadium Milano to house an exhibition entitled 'The Art + Science of Super Natural Motion'. The objective was to highlight the Nike Free and Nike Flyknit, their newest hot, fast, super-light athletic shoes. The coolness of the footwear designs was amplified by the surrounding video and light installations create by digital artists Universal Everything, Quayola + Sinigaglia and Daniel Widrig

29 ART SCIENCE OF FIT UNIVERSALEVERYTHING

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30 ART SCIENCE OF FIT UNIVERSALEVERYTHING

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31 ART SCIENCE OF FIT UNIVERSALEVERYTHING

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32 Prada Knoll

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Prada (opens in new tab)

Way ahead of the curve, Prada had already given the fashion community a preview of some major Salone news during Men's fashion week last January. At that time, the Men's fashion show was 'dressed' in furniture prototypes designed by Rem Koolhaus' OMA studio and produced by Knoll - the fruits of their very first collaboration. For the Salone, we were treated to the final prototype versions, rendered in their actual concrete, glass, leather and stone, inside Prada's Fogazzaro headquarters.

Read more about the collection

Roberto Cavalli (opens in new tab)

As a side show to his proper home line presentation, Roberto Cavalli threw (what else?) a party. This one, however, was dedicated to his lifestyle. In one corner, the Italian fashion designer re-created the photographic studio (complete with drum set) he has in his own Florentine home. In another, a giant mosaic self-portrait. And in the middle of it all, were piles of gold plates and cups from his home collection, mixed in with mannequins in saucy red carpet gowns

33 Roberto Cavalli

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Roberto Cavalli

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Ruco Line (opens in new tab)

Ruco Line, a high end sneaker company, nabbed Jean Nouvel for the architect's very first fashion collaboration. In honour of the Salone, Nouvel created a sleek mono-tone high top sneaker in bright candy colours

Ruco Line

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37 Jean Nouvel

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Safilo (opens in new tab)

Italian eyewear maker Safilo teamed up with venerable Milanese architect Michele De Lucchi for a special installation in the courtyard of the University of Milan. Using chain-sawed slabs of natural pinewood, De Lucchi designed a 5 m-long and 3.8 m-high structure in the style of one of his own houses that fit just under the first storey of the University. Small cubby holes were created to house plaster casts of faces, hands and noses, designed by de Lucchi and produced by Milanese workshop Fumagalli and Dossi, which displayed Safilo eyewear

39 1 Safilo

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Safilo

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Italian eyewear

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Salvatore Ferragamo (opens in new tab)

This year, Salvatore Ferragamo joined forces with Italian furniture maker Molteni and Tel-Aviv-based designer Ron Gilad, Wallpaper's 2013 Designer of the Year. Gilad was charged with designing vignettes for the Florentine footwear brand's store windows where he showed pieces he designed for Molteni's Grado 45 collection last year as well as a his new 2013 'Vetrina', a glass cabinet displaying select Ferragamo product

41 Salvatore Ferragamo

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Salvatore Ferragamo

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Fashion brands take on the Salone del Mobile

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62 Santoni

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Santoni
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Patricia Urquiola was also responsible for designing Santoni's new store in Via Montenapolone, unveiled during the most recent Milan Fashion Week. In honour of the Salone, the footwear brand hosted a cocktail party to celebrate Urquoila's new line for Swiss carpet company Ruckstuhl. Her 'Logenze' carpet, shown here, was featured in the store's windows

Sergio Rossi
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The Italian footwear brand roped in the notoriously shy (and silent) designer Gabriella Crespi to participate in a joint exhibit in Milan's extravagant Palazzo Crespi. The palazzo belongs to Crespi's cousin, Giulia Maria Crespi, and was a pitch-perfect scene for Gabriella's iconic designs (five of which were on display, plus a new re-edition of her 1985 'The Moon' table). In amongst the Crespi pieces were 18 footwear pieces designed by new Sergio Rossi creative director Angelo Ruggeri

44 Sergio Rossi

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'The Moon' table by Gabriella Crespi

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Versace (opens in new tab)

Though Versace has its own proper Casa line designed by an in-house team, this season Donatella asked the Haas brothers to add some juice to the collection. Applying honey-combed patterned brass on the likes of a futuristic-looking throne chair or a LED coloured light table, the LA based duo did not disappoint. Also a hit were the new textile patterns they designed which Donatella had incorporated into her latest A/W 2013 Women's show

61 Versace

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Stool table

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Versace

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Vionnet

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Vionnet (opens in new tab)

Goga Ashkenazi may be new at the top job at Vionnet but she certainly knows who to call when it comes to design. For the Salone, Vionnet sponsored Rossana Orlandi's off-gallery exhibit at Milan's Museo Bagatti Valsecchi. The well-attended show featured new works by Nacho Carbonell, Massimiliano Locatelli, Frederique Morrel and Yukiko Nagai

Roberto Capucci
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One of Rome's most important couturiers in the 1960s and 1970s, Roberto Capucci is still active today. The designer participated in the Milan fair with a design and fashion student contest in which 8 of his signature sculptural dresses were exhibited alongside the work of the winning students. The work included fashion (made entirely from paper, for instance) as well as design objects such as chairs and boxes, all of which was exhibited at Milan's Palazzo Reale

55 Roberto Capucci

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54 Roberto Capucci

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53 Roberto Capucci

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Vivienne Westwood
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Vivienne Westwood's Milan boutique played host to installations created by the UK-based 100% Design fair. Entitled 'New British' the exhibit featured British-made wood furniture and lighting

59 Vivienne Westwood

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60 Vivienne Westwood

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JJ Martin