Manlio Armellini was able to go beyond the concept of "fair" to embrace a new way of communication and promotion through the design culture.
Manlio Armellini, one of the founders of the Salone del Mobile in Milan and the one who most of all contributed to making this fair what it is now, has passed away.
Manlio Armellini has witnessed this idea since the prodromes of his birth, when his father Tito, director of the Associazione industriali del legno, was trying, together with a small group of entrepreneurs, to find solutions to the lack of export of Italian furniture.
In 1960, they had tried to participate together in the Cologne fair, but success was not what they had hoped for. This gave rise to the idea of organising a fair in Italy too.
From this intuition, in 1961, Cosmit, the organizing committee of the italian Salone del Mobile, was founded and in the autumn of that year the first Salone del Mobile was held in Milan.
If today we have a Design Week envied by the whole world, an industrial sector that exports almost half of its turnover, it is undoubtedly also thanks to Manlio Armellini, for years CEO of the Salone and promoter of Made in Italy in the world.
Deus ex machina visionary, has in fact been able to go beyond the concept of "fair" strictly understood, to embrace a new way of communication and promotion through the design culture, surrounding himself with the great names of Achille Bonito Oliva, Peter Greenaway and Massimo Vignelli - just to name a few -, offering his Milan unforgettable and unrepeatable exhibitions such as Stanze e Segreti (Rooms and Secrets) and bringing the image of Made in Italy in the world thanks to continuous investments also abroad.
It is mainly thanks to him that the Salone del Mobile has become an "event", the event we all know, capable of bringing hundreds of thousands of people and companies interested not only in the world of furniture but also in design and creativity in Milan.
Let us close with a wish: that the long-awaited next edition of the Show will be dedicated to him.
Article by Laura Lazzaroni and Andrea Cuman
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