eNewsletter 202: Cantoni on Steroids — Welcome to Milan!
A Taste of Italy
Michael Wilkov, David Boxer and Scott Bonds shop Salone del Mobile in Milan
Last month, the latest fashions in home furnishings were displayed in extraordinary style at the annual Salone Internazionale del Mobile exhibit in Milan, Italy. As founder and Chief Energizing Officer of Cantoni, Michael Wilkov made the trek with Senior Buyer David Boxer and Bontempi Kitchen Director Scott Bonds.
It’s safe to say the experience made an impression on all three men, however the most succinct summation may have come from Michael’s friend, Steven, who was also in attendance: “The Milan show is like Cantoni, on steroids,” he gushed. Needless to say, this analogy still brings a broad smile to Michael’s face.
“Cantoni shops nearly every major furniture show in any given year because the goal has always been to source the best product from around the world,” says David, “but we clearly have a soft spot for Milan. When we started the business way back in 1984, most of what we sold was Italian-made . . . not to mention the fact that our name is decidedly Italian, too.”
In Store Soon!
Here’s a quick recap regarding what Cantoni fans can expect to see in stores and online in the coming months:
Inspiring. Magical. Fashion-forward.
“This was the 28th year I’ve attended the show,” says Michael, “and as always, the entire city comes alive with the kind of creativity and fashion that only the Italians can deliver. If you have a love for things both modern and creative, you can’t help but be inspired by everything around you.”
After hearing this, and viewing pictures from the trip, we were more than curious as to how the Cantoni team would describe a typical day spent shopping for cutting-edge trends and designs at the renowned show.
Here’s an overview of their daily schedule:
- Grab an early morning espresso (to shake off the lingering effects of a late-night dinner), and have breakfast around 7:00 a.m. Usually, it’s muesli with yogurt.
- Arrive at the fair by 9:00 a.m., shortly before the doors officially open.
- Shop and visit with vendors until 2:30 or 3:00 p.m., then break for a quick (albeit fabulous) lunch. “The Fiero Milano venue has great food,” admits David.
- Continue walking the fair until close, around 6:30 p.m., then return to Malerba before heading back to the hotel.
- If lucky, rest briefly before venturing to dinner around 9:00 p.m. Great wine,food, and conversation ensue.
- Collapse in bed between 12:00 – 1:00 a.m., to sleep before getting up to do it all again!
Hmmm. This kind of “work” sounds suspiciously fun, no?
Trends This Season
“We saw that natural materials combined with refined ones, such as vintage wood and polished stainless steel, are important,” explains David. “And lighter woods, including walnut, sycamore, and oak, were prominently featured, as were matte finishes, especially in color.”
In reference to kitchen trends, Scott Bonds reports that stone-faced cabinets, as well as complete stone kitchens (from floors to doors to countertops and backsplash) are emerging, as well as rough-yet-modern finished woods with motorized components.
Along with taking in the stunning displays and innovative designs seen at Salone, the trio drew inspiration from some of Milan’s most famous apparel stores—not to mention the people.
Some of the most compelling items I saw were supported by two legs,” joked David. “The Italians are some of the most beautiful people in the world. That they make stylish and fashionable furniture is really no surprise.”
Michael has this to say about the big picture going forward: “Many of the larger Italian companies are focused on providing a total home concept,” he says. “It’s not just about a commodity anymore, but rather enhancing a lifestyle.”
And that’s why at Cantoni, we’ve always said: Great Design is a Way of Life.
Salone Internazionale del Mobile
The Salone del Mobile is the global benchmark for the home furnishing sector. It’s an invaluable tool for the industry, and one that was created to promote Italian furniture and accessories for the export market.
The show first appeared in 1961. A few years later, exhibitors began to devote serious thought to their stands, making The Salone stand out against other trade fairs ever since.
The 2012 edition was attended by 292,370 trade operators, and hosted 331,649 visitors from around the world.
To learn more click and enjoy the links below