Salone del Mobile Milan 2018: Meet Zu Insider Christina Khoo

Salone del Mobile Milan is KE-ZU’s favourite time of the year. This year we enlisted three Zu Insiders to take over the Zu-Gram, giving our followers insights and experiences as they happened.

Salone del Mobile Milan is the world’ biggest design fair and growing exponentially. With more than 2000 exhibitors at the fairgrounds and 1000-plus installations all around the city, the fair is a must see for anyone in the design world. As thousands descend on the fashionable city, Milan is whipped up into a frenzy of energy and excitement.

This year we wanted our followers to feel that energy and excitement and to be part of the action as it happened, so we enlisted Zu Insiders – three cutting-edge, vibrant and social media-savvy designers – to take over the Zu-Gram and post their experiences. Our brief? Anything goes! We wanted to know what they saw, what they coveted, who they met and where they ate, drank and danced.

Meet Zu Insider Christina Khoo, designer at Geyer. Christina is (self-proclaimed) obsessed with design and food and was excited to immerse herself in Salone del Mobile Milan for the first time. This is the round-up of her Italian experience.

Which product by a KE-ZU brand is at the top of your wish list? 

The Aballs table lamp by Jaime Hayon for Parachilna is currently at the top of my wish list. It’s a light with a playful personality that would look mighty fine in my new apartment.

Which new piece by a KE-ZU brand are you looking forward to specifying for clients? 

The Kaiak chair from ENEA is part of a great family of chairs and its oak curves and interchangeable legs make it flexible for a variety of spaces from formal dining areas to casual breakouts.

I’m also loving the new colours for ENEA’s Ema chair. Whilst the original bold colours are great for certain jobs, such as education projects, it’s exciting to see deeper, richer tones coming through, which will give more occasions to specify Ema in a wider breadth of projects.

What was one of the main trends you noticed at the fair?

There was a definite revival of retro glamour with several brands, such as Moooi and Gufram referencing their past collections. Gufram went 100-per-cent 1970s disco, recalling round edges, patterns and geometry. There were also rich and warm colours – tan, terracotta and wine – evident in several textiles and exhibitions at the fair.

Did you meet any product designers?

Briefly, in passing. It was great to see Rafa García from Sancal again, having previously met him in Valencia two years ago on Kezu’s trip to Spain. It was lovely to hear that Australian designers really love Sancal as a brand, so there are lots of great pieces always heading our way.

What were your favourite installations?

Sancal’s ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ was super fun! Sancal always knows how to stand out at the fair, and this time with their jungle-themed stand.

Caesarstone x Snarkitecture Altered States was an interesting take on the kitchen island through an immersive installation within an amazing space.

Brera Design Apartment ‘Souvenir Milano’ invited 12 designers to create a souvenir that tells a story of Milan from their point of view. It was curated by Raffaella Guidobono who explained in detail the different directions each designer had taken for the souvenirs. Each had its own individual story and each souvenir was also available to take home.

How many days were at the fair and how many kilometres did you walk?

I spent four days in Milan – two being a tourist and two for the Salone. I can’t even begin to fathom how many kilometres we walked and danced. I averaged about 21,000 steps a day!

What was the best place you ate, grabbed a coffee or had a drink?

I was told to swing by Luini (near the Duomo) for a tomato and mozzarella panzerotti (a warm fried parcel of deliciousness, similar to a calzone). When a bakery has a security guard and a line you know it’s going to be good. For only €2.50 it was a steal!

Pasticceria Marchesi was the best place for a shopping pit-stop for an espresso and a croissant. Espressos were a necessity during the week and I averaged about four a day!

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