It’s hard to sum up the difference between Milan Design Week and Paris’ Maison et Objet. They are both huge, but I’d give the edge to Milan. There are definitely more interior designers and small retail buyers in
Paris while Milan has few small vendor type exhibitors but lots of small design manufacturers. Paris is for retail and Milan is the cutting edge of design.
Besides the exposition center at Roh the entire city has exhibitors tucked in nooks and crannies all over the place making sight-seeing a whole new sport. Nothing like going into an exhibit–say from Japan–with two dozen designers showing prototypes and small new manufactures looking to attract attention and walking out onto the street and going next door to a local restaurant for lunch or dinner. That’s another thing: in Milan, the party goes from 10am to 10pm with the partying spilling into the streets, especially in the Tortona district. Right next to our exhibit are the offices of designers like Fendi, Emilio ermanolia and other big names. It’s alive and kicking for sure.
Tomorrow I will visit the Brera neighborhood, probably the trendiest area of Milan for local shopping. There’s a gelato store there that has the best zabillione on the planet.