This year in Milan, fashion brands moved further into furniture and homewares.
Salone del Mobile this year saw fashion and accessory brands further encroaching on the world of furniture and product design, extending a trend that has been picking up speed for several years.
They have plenty of reason to do so, as consumer spending on the home has been steadily increasing. A 2015 survey conducted by Barclaycard showed furniture stores recorded 7.4% sales growth in the UK, a three-year high. In 2015, Ikea reported a worldwide 5% increase in sales, bringing total sales to €32 billion in the year to the end of August. And in the US, a 2015 study by CIT Group found that growth in the furniture industry continued to outpace overall growth in the US economy.
Austrian crystal brand Swarovski launched its debut luxury home accessories collection during Milan Design Week this month. “Atelier Swarovski Home is an exciting new brand that will offer the ultimate in luxury crystal home décor with an ultra-modern design aesthetic,” Nadja Swarovski, a member of the executive board at Swarovski, said in a news release.
The first Atelier Swarovski Home collection spared no expense and involved an all-star design cast, including design duo Raw Edges, industrial designers Ron Arad and Tord Boontje, and the late architect Zaha Hadid. The products range from crystal bowls and vases to a chess set with pieces that resemble buildings.
Fashion brands, while not new to this market, have turned more attention to the furniture sector this year, expanding their lines and partnering with more brands. Versace Home first moved into home furnishings in 1992, but Versace announced a reorganization this year at Salone del Mobile, planning to take its home collection in house and align it with the brand’s clothing and accessories offer.
Diesel launched its Diesel Home Collection of furniture and lighting in at Salone Del Mobile in 2009. The collection debuted with lighting produced in collaboration with Foscarini, and furniture with Moroso. In 2016, the fashion brand further expanded its home collection and teamed up with ceramic and porcelain tile company Iris Ceramica.
Other fashion brands that put a pause on the runway to focus on the home include Roberto Cavalli, Marni, Bottega Veneta, Fendi, and Giorgio Armani with Armani/Casa. At this rate, it won’t be long before we start referring to fashion brands and lifestyle brands interchangeably.