29 May 2024, 03:24
By Furniture News May 27, 2016

British brands stand proud in Milan

The BFM supported three of its members put their best feet forward at – what is billed as – the biggest date on the world’s furniture calendar, Milan’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile, last month.

The three companies – Duresta, Ercol and Gascoigne Designs – all had stands at the prestigious event, while some other BFM members were left disappointed due to lack of quality space. 

The exhibition had been through a process of space re-assignment prompted by I Salone Moscow last October, where its organiser recognised that consumer tastes were changing, and the traditional look, whilst still having a place, did not draw the attention of buyers to the extent it had in previous years. This led to the exhibition being realigned to focus more on contemporary designs.

However, the exhibition proved the busiest ever – despite a notable lack of Russian buyers, underlining the continuing Russian economic downturn. Nevertheless, the three companies reported much interest in the products on show, which was predominantly British-manufactured. 

Ercol moved to hall 7, which was bustling on each occasion the BFM visited the new-look stand, a range of chairs standing high and proud up one wall. International sales manager Henry Tadros was very pleased with the number of visitors, advising that Ercol had “taken more leads in a day and a half than in the full five days last year”.

It was Gascoigne Designs’ second year at the exhibition, and the company truly waved the flag for Great Britain, with a new facade to the stand featuring the Union Jack. David Gasgoine stated: “The show has gone very well.”

Duresta had a totally new approach to the exhibition this year. Sales director Jo Slaven explains that Duresta was “thrilled to be in Milan introducing the new and exciting collaboration with Matthew Williamson – a British fashion designer best known for his experimental, energising style”.

She went on to advise that the range is “now available exclusively from British luxury department store Harrods” and that the “iconic English Bohemian collection comprises four upholstery ranges and unique occasional pieces which stylishly draw inspiration from across the centuries and ensure a timeless aesthetic. The collection launches with further specialist retailers in the UK and globally from summer 2016”.

Two of the three BFM members were able to draw upon UKT&I funding through the association to support the export initiative.  The BFM also helped 16 other companies – mainly designer-makers – to exhibit at other venues in central Milan as part of Milan Design Week. The products on show ranged from furniture to jewellery and decorative lighting.

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