- From Scandinavia to Italy: the lifestyle labels are in Cologne
- Economic appeal of the German market brings creative impetus
A meeting point for the international design world: from 18th to 23rd January, the imm cologne will again be drawing top brands from all over the world to Cologne. They include creative labels from Spain and Scandinavia, lifestyle firms from France, Austria and Germany as well as the old and new classics of Italian design. Together they will be proving that the first furnishing fair of the year is not just the ideal forum for staging premium interior design, it is also where the sector's top innovations make their debut.
The Italian brands are one of the biggest groups of exhibitors. More than 60 prestigious firms will be flying the flag in Cologne, including MDF Italia, Kartell, Potocco, Bonaldo, Zeus Noto, Bensen, Softline and Matteograssi. Nor will companies like Riva, Minotti, Flexform, La Palma, Cassina, Cappellini, Poltrona Frau, Marac, Fiam, Cierre, Porada or Tonon be missing out on the chance to be part of the "imm cologne". They will be providing some very special highlights in the Pure design hall with stylish dining rooms, expressive solid wood furniture and lavish upholstery.
The trends from Italy
The joint stand of Poltrona Frau, Cassina and Cappellini in the Pure hall is an important pointer for coming interior design trends. The group will be staging its brands in the "hyper-realistic" setting of a lifelike house. Cassina will be presenting an exciting highlight with "Authentic Wood" - four brand new products for the "Cassina I Maestri" Collection by Le Corbusier. The presentation will focus on the current challenge of translating big, classic pieces into human dimensions for urban rooms - of creating beautiful, comfortable products in the right size out of exquisite materials and with a passion for detail, says Giulio Cappellini, architect and art director of Poltrona Frau and Cappellini. Another current preference: soft and warm shades with bright splashes of colour for accentuation, in cobalt blue for instance. The shapes are clear but slightly rounded.
The Italian exhibitors are looking forward to the fair optimistically and expecting it to provide some strong impetus for their international business. "For us, Germany isn't just a priority market, it's also the most important gateway to the states of Eastern Europe. We believe it's crucial to be represented at the respected trade fairs in Germany, like the imm cologne," says Dr. Claudio Luti, CEO of Kartell. Matteo Galimberti, head of communications and marketing at Flexform, agrees: "The imm cologne - as in the past - will give our firm definite advantages and encourage further growth on the German market."
A melting pot of languages and design disciplines
A particularly wide variety of different languages will be filling the air in Pure Village in Hall 3.2. As well as the Italians, visitors can experience Spanish firms like Gandia Blasco or Scandinavian companies like Fritz Hansen, Furnism or Stringfurniture. The mix is certainly attractive: the new, interdisciplinary trade show format presents furniture in combination with flooring by Parador, wallpapers by A.S. Création, textiles by e.g. Greek label Nomaad and lighting systems from Austrian company Zumtobel.
Top French label Ligne Roset needs rather more space to unfold. It will therefore be exhibiting in the Pure hall - with numerous product premieres for worldwide distribution. "Exports account for two thirds of our business. And because the Cologne show has a very high percentage of international customers, it makes good sense to use the fair as a platform for our new products," explains company owner Pierre Roset.
German upswing attracts Italian lifestyle
As well as the international character of the fair, the good performance of the German market is also drawing illustrious Italian names to the Rhine in larger numbers again. MDF Italia is counting on the attraction of the German market, as Lucia Legè from the company's press office explains: "Because of its relevance throughout Europe, the imm cologne will be the premiere for MDF Italia's new top products. Expectations of this event are very high, especially because it's aimed at a market that's setting itself apart from the others with a strong upswing."
Even though the underlying economic conditions certainly speak for the Cologne location, they were by no means the only decisive argument for many exhibitors, says CEO of Koelnmesse Gerald Böse. "We visited a great many companies over the last year so that we could tailor our offering to their needs in face-to-face talks. That proved very worthwhile, and we can look forward to an imm cologne with a great many interesting design brands and compelling product innovations."
imm cologne + LivingKitchen
18 to 23 January 2011
9.00 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Preview Day: 17 January 201, Public Days: 21 to 23 January 2011