Had this not been a year different from all others, in November the world of Italian design – hence also international – would have gathered in Shanghai for the fifth Chinese edition of the Salone del Mobile. But due to the health crisis, this event has been postponed. Nevertheless, we have decided to concentrate most of our articles in this issue on China, which now represents one of the markets of reference for the restart of Made in Italy.
The post-lockdown months have fortunately seen a rebound in furniture consumption: in Italy, about 20% more than the same period last year. Other positive signals arrive from the People’s Republic, which according to research conducted by Boston Consulting Group will continue to be the motor of growth in the luxury sector. Through the viewpoints of the most important players of local distribution and the major brands of Italian décor, we have attempted to understand how the approach to purchasing of goods for the home is changing in China, thanks to the rise of a new aesthetic culture.
We have assigned the analysis to Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, internationally acclaimed designers, to understand how Made in Italy is perceived by Chinese observers. The results our survey have been encouraging: Italian design still has plenty of attractive options in this country, but only if it is able to transfer its distinctive values – of manufacture, but also of culture – to an audience that is increasingly capable of understanding and appreciating them. The is the true big challenge. Our companies know it, and for some time now they have been gearing up to properly narrate the heritage, research and innovation that lie behind their collections. The crisis will definitely be stimulating, to do more, and to do it better.