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Milan Design Week 2021

September 22, 2021

Early September saw the much-anticipated return of Salone Del Mobile and Milan Design Week. Here Reto Aschwanden of Label Step picks some highlights from the rugs on display in the city

Among the rug brands Jan Kath probably delivered the boldest comeback to the physical world, with three simultaneous shows: the company’s stunning new Savonnerie Surprise and Spectrum creations were presented at a temporary Jan Kath showroom in the Brera design district; the legendary Erased Heritage collection was presented at the Alberto Levi Gallery, and live weaving by Sanchir Kath at the Salone show drew huge crowds throughout the event.

Rugs by Jan Kath at showroom on via San Marco 12

Almost 30 months after the last edition, this year’s Milan show was branded supersalone and came with a different concept. The overall exhibition space as well as the size of individual stands were both reduced. And while this limited the possibilities for exhibitors, the standardised booths also resulted in a more level playing field, making it even more important for exhibitors to stand out with a smart concept and great creativity.

Campiture collection rug by Elisa Ossino for Amini Carpets

Italian brand Amini Carpets cleverly used the concept, reducing their display to maximum visual impact for their new Campiture collection, designed by Elisa Ossino. The collection’s simple geometric patterns are masterfully executed and seemed to resonate particularly well not only with this year’s show but today’s complex reality in general.

Venus Power collection rugs by Patricia Urquiola for cc-tapis. Photo: ©Claudia Zalla

Like Amini, Milan based cc-tapis was present both at the fair as well as in their downtown showroom. The brand’s centre piece this year was the Venus Power collection by Patricia Urquiola. It was presented at supersalone as well as in a special installation at the cc-tapis showroom. The Venus Power mission statement reminded viewers that everyone, regardless of gender, carries with them a dimension of femininity and was another example of contemporary rug brands resonating with pressing social and political issues of today.

Design Variations exhibition by Edelgrund in courtly Palazzo Litta

Edelgrund was showing at the prestigious Design Variations exhibition in courtly Palazzo Litta. A poetic installation presented the company’s kilims from Northern Iran hanging from the high ceilings of one of the palaces majestic salons. It featured both complete kilims as well as their individual panels. In the most casual way, the setup revealed the construction of these kilims, which are woven in narrow stripes and then sewn together. The lavish 17th-century palace and the kilims artisanal minimalism coexisted effortlessly, supported by an occasional breeze through the open windows, gently swaying the long kilim panels.

Face Multi, Fort Street Studio at L’Artigianato

Another exhibition dense with atmosphere and emotion was Fort Street Studios at L’Artigianato. The New York company’s team and creative directors Janis Provisor and Brad Davis welcomed visitors in a breathtaking Milan townhouse apartment full of exquisite vintage furniture and eclectic wallpaper. Fort Street Studio’s new Thai silk collection perfected the wonderful interiors design. The carpets are exclusively handwoven for Fort Street Studio in one village in Northern Thailand, where also the silk is produced and hand dyed. In Milan, the company also celebrated the publication of its book A Tale of Warp & Weft, Fort Street Studio which chronicles 25 years of adventures in carpet making.

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