Milano Home: an innovative concept

Milano Home: an innovative concept

Adolfo Carrara, Exhibition Curator, presents the first edition of the event dedicated to home decor. “This is a new project that has been designed to meet the needs of both exhibitors and buyers, with targeted initiatives to boost customer loyalty. Nowadays, it is necessary to be able to customise a product or service by adapting it to the needs and expectations of the customer.”


The wait is nearly over, the curtain is about to rise on the first edition of Milano Home, scheduled for Thursday 11 January at fieramilano Rho.


“The exhibition concept is new and different. It is a project that aims to put a truly integrated community at the heart of the event. We are confident that we have created something really different and that those who carry out research, love good taste and demand quality and innovation will come to Milano Home. When they do, they’ll enjoy themselves and be surprised.”


Adolfo Carrara, Exhibition Curator of Milano Home, is a polite, cultured and friendly communicator, with a real mastery of the retail world, a past as an entrepreneur and a present that sees him at the head of one of Milan's most famous design studios. When he was offered the opportunity to work on creating new stimuli and interest in the world of living and home decor, he accepted with great enthusiasm.


“This is a world that I know well, having taken part in a number of events as an exhibitor. I come from a family with a long textile tradition, and after the business was sold, I set up as a consultant in textiles and home decor. When the offer from Fiera Milano came, I threw myself into this new project with a great deal of enthusiasm and determination. One thing I’d like to say straight away: it's not a new coat of paint on something that's already been tried and tested; it's not something that's already there that's just been freshened up. It’s a formula that’s never been tried before and I’m sure it will be well received by visitors, buyers and exhibitors.”



Let’s start at the beginning.


“Fiera Milano first called in two curators who tabled the needs of those on the other side of the fence, and then set up a sales network of ambassadors – industry experts from the various geographical areas – to reach out to the brands we wanted to be at the exhibition, to understand the needs of those brands, to pick up on new messaging and immediately project a positive energy.


With Emanuele Guido, Exhibition Director, and Enrico Corti (curator of the Household/Tableware sections, while Carrara is in charge of the Decoration/Textiles), the team worked in a productive atmosphere, placing the pieces on the chessboard to be moved step by step in order to build the new look and give the exhibition an appealing identity.



What are the high points and strengths of Milano Home?


“I think there are lots but I would like to highlight one in particular: the ability and willingness to have reached out to all stakeholders, listening to what people want, need and hope to achieve. A new, open and direct way of communicating has been established and we have launched initiatives to increase stimulation and foster loyalty.


There is a very clear need in the market today from customers who are increasingly looking for a tailored product. To meet this demand, as I said at the press conference to launch the exhibition, the key word is customisation, i.e. knowing how to adapt a good or service to the needs and expectations of the customer through appropriate personalisation. This is a lever that discourages product standardisation and gives new impetus to craftsmanship.”



What can small outlets do to withstand competition from various fronts?


“Smaller Italian retailers have to compete with large chains, department stores and industrial companies that have mass-market distribution, and there is nothing else to do but build loyalty through service by means of customisation. More than a lifeline, this is the only choice to take in order to withstand the shock wave of an industry undergoing profound change.


Now, more than ever, it is essential for retailers to get all their processes right in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors. It is also important to recognise that physical businesses must also be taken online. There is no alternative to that.”



A programme of educational and cultural events has also been organised. Can you give us a few hints so that readers know what to expect?


“It's not easy to summarise all the sessions, so I'll just highlight three and recommend that visitors check the itinerary at the exhibition so they don't miss any of the scheduled events.


The Fondazione Fashion Research Italia from Bologna, chaired by Cavalier Alberto Masotti, will be there. It has a textile archive, catalogued and digitised, consisting of 30,000 ancient and modern designs on paper and fabric and 5,000 inspirational volumes, as well as 2,500 samples of textiles, accessories and packaging with sustainable features. Milano Home presents the “Foulard d'Artista” (Artist's Scarf), made according to the traditional methods of the printers of Romagna.


Then, there are two sessions that I personally curated: Spazio Favini and Nappa Valley. The first came from a visit I made to Rossano Veneto, to the headquarters of the famous Favini paper mill. I was astonished to see, in a large courtyard, piles and piles of waste paper that had been stored in different colours for later use in the production of new paper. It is a spectacular installation where paper-cut trimmings, reel pieces or piles of non-conforming sheets chase each other in an unexpected play of colours. Walking through these columns of colour, I discovered a world of love for the environment and an exemplary company history full of values and respect for mankind and society.


At the exhibition, we built a Casa di Carta (Paper House) with the coloured paper sheets found in the square that day, almost like bricks, and laid the foundations of the new house of the future, committing to it our message of respect for the planet.


On these same bricks, in the pavilions, we present on-trend products in a deliberately upbeat and energetic colour scheme, to meet tomorrow's challenges with the optimism they deserve.


Nappa Valley (Tassel Valley), created with the Piedmontese company Monti Napoleone, focuses on the tassel, which has always been a symbol of the home. So I decided to create 3 metre high tassels with fabrics from the world of Made in Italy home textiles, all handmade, to explore the world of home textiles (linen, hemp, etc.).


At the heart of the Nappa Valley will be Fabio Grassi, an artist who will create weaves and warps.”

Adolfo Carrara, Exhibition Curator, with Emanuele Guido, Exhibition Manager

Inspiring spaces, fresh content, products, and creative tips to spark new ideas


Over 570 brands, more than 60 hours of talks and workshops for retailers and interior designers, and a fresh layout featuring a circular boulevard in each of the four pavilions – Vibes, Mood, Taste, Elements – leading visitors through the stands and towards the central hubs, where lively “squares” offer content, events, installations, and hands-on experiences.


The path features large polka dots symbolising an invitation to explore further, delve into alternative routes and discover new knowledge. “We were inspired by Yayoi Kusama's art. Kusama's polka dots are not just a simple pattern. Each dot is a microcosm, drawing the viewer in, urging them to look closer and get lost in thought and reflection.”