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Look What Flew In from Milan

The flyest designs from the world’s flashiest furniture fair are about to land stateside.


The Perch Light-Branch from Moooi lit up Salone del Mobile.

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Arrangements, Flos

“I remember seeing a prototype last year and thinking there was no way in hell that they were ever going to have that product, ever. This is actually something we can bring to the showroom.”
—Austin Forbord, Dzine

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Loto screen, Paola Lenti

“It’s gorgeous. It’s a beautiful showcase of material, and that’s what Paola Lenti is.”
—Eric Zimmerman, Dzine

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Jane table, Poltrona Frau

“This was the thing this year. Every friggin’ person had a round table with a lazy Susan.” —Eric 

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Tape sofa, Moroso

“I can see this in any tech office in the Bay Area. It’s kind of quirky, but kind of conservative in shape. It’s not too much one way, not too much the other. ”

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Elipse chair, Zanotta

“Zanotta has had a place in the history of contemporary design over the past 60 years, but in the last 5 it’s gone through a lot of change. I believe it aims to bring high-level design to different audiences at different price points, but I’m not sure how successful that approach will be.” —Eve Forbord, Dzine

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Ishino table, Walter K.

“These just seem really practical to me—the color, the shape, the fact that they are stackable. I would use those all day.” —Austin

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Bloom tile, Paola Lenti

“Paola got inspired by the hand-painted tile of Sicily. It’s about reaching deep into Italy’s history of craftsmanship, identifying things that are really special, and creating work for the small factories.”

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Cestlavie coffee table, Poltrona Frau

“You have a coffee table that is really pretty, but at the same time it’s storage. Those two don’t typically combine very well.”

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Arthur chair, Poltrona Frau

“What I really remember is the quality of the leather and that wrapping.”

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Xi pendant, Poltrona Frau

“This lantern is a beautiful combination of traditional Italian craftsmanship—there is the Venetian blown glass and the metal work, wrapped in leather.”

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Traveller daybed, Porro

“I always think of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with all the grandparents sleeping in the same bed.” —Austin

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Lilo chair, Moroso

“There’s a Scandinavian influence in this—I think there’s been a lot of that in design over the last three years or so.”

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Ginestra chaise, Baxter

“I love the simple, sculptural qualities of this—while not the most comfortable, it’s striking and functional for a short sit.” —Eve

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Nice faucet, Fantini

“I remember putting my hands on this, and that knob is so incredibly satisfying. That apparatus, to me, that really speaks to Fantini’s genius.”

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Silvia armchair, De Padova

“It’s all made by hand, super old-school. The canes from India are tied with rush bark.”

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Salone del Mobile is Paris fashion week for the furniture industry. Each April, design junkies and industry insiders from around the world converge on Milan, where the curtain is simultaneously raised on new collections from nearly every major design house: The 2018 show clocked nearly half a million attendees and more than 1,800 participating brands.

For many San Francisco designers and showroom owners with an eye for European design, the yearly exhibition is a required pilgrimage—a dizzying six days of getting schooled on the latest releases, schmoozing with brand bigwigs, and shopping for the pieces that will (hopefully) click with buyers and clients. This year, locals including Yves Béhar, Alison Damonte, Tina Frey, and reps from Dzine, Design Within Reach, Arkitektura, Roche Bobois, and the Future Perfect made the trip.

“It’s absolutely insane, but it gets our creative juices flowing for the rest of the year,” says Eve Forbord, who runs Dzine with her brother, Austin Forbord, and has attended the show for 14 consecutive years. Knowing that Dzine is the only place in the Bay Area where designers and in-the-know homeowners can shop top Italian design brands such as Boffi, Paola Lenti, Moroso, and Baxter, this year we tagged along with Eve and her team to see for ourselves what the world’s biggest design show is all about.

Here, in the slideshow above, is a sneak peek at the best, brightest, and boldest designs landing in the city this season, along with some musings from Eve, Austin, and Dzine furnishing department director Eric Zimmerman on why they think these picks will fly in the NorCal market.

All available at Dzine, 128 Utah St., 415-674-9430; prices upon request.


Originally published in the July issue of San Francisco

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