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imm cologne 2012: Lifestyle labels from Italy head the list of international exhibitor groups

(Foto: Kartell)
The renewed focus of leading Italian lifestyle brands such as Kartell on Europe's large furnishing trade show sends a clear signal and is resulting in more and more Italian brand names returning to Cologne. (Photo: Kartell)

Italian design is at home in Cologne. From 16 to 22 January 2012 the designer nation’s furniture and interior design culture will once again be out in full strength at imm cologne under the flag of Italy’s leading lifestyle brands. With still half a year to go before the trade show, appearances by 60 Italian exhibitors, including top brands B&B Italia, Cierre, Desalto, Driade, Living Divani and Kartell, are already certain. They will present their ranges and innovation in the “pure” design segment.

Kartell’s repeat showing at imm cologne after last year, says Managing Director Dr. Claudio Luti, is mainly due to the location’s economic importance: “From an historical viewpoint, Germany has always been a key overseas market for Kartell. The presence at the trade show and the opening of six flagship stores in recent years are a sign of our commitment in striking deep roots in German soil and on the German market. In fact, Germany is not just a primary market for Kartell, but also its principal gateway to the nations of Eastern Europe. We believe that it’s crucial to appear in Germany at reputable trade shows such as imm cologne.”

Spanish design conveys Mediterranean flair somewhere between indoors and out

Gan Rug. (Foto: Gandia Blasco)
Gan Rugs. (Foto: Gandia Blasco)

Josè A. Gandia-Blasco, owner and art director of the company that bears his name, is convinced that the visit to Cologne was well worthwhile – not only for the exhibitors from Spain but for the public as well: “Once again, my impression of the imm cologne was very positive and I was very surprised both by the new trends shown and the new products. The fair presented a good mix: there was something interesting and well worth seeing for all kinds of tastes.” In Cologne, Gandia Blasco, Viccarbe and Vondom were demonstrating various forms of Mediterranean flair with new-found self-confidence: a mix of café, patio and living-room.

The Spaniard per se seeks out closed, cool rooms to escape from the midday heat. Yet contemporary design is currently winning Europeans over to snug solutions for the space between indoors and outside: furniture and accessories that turn patios, courtyards and cafés into lifestyle-savvy living space. At the same time, designers like Mario Ruiz, Javier Mariscal or JM Ferrero are using both purist and organic aesthetic vocabularies to create furnishing elements for modern and fresh interiors. Companies like Gandia Blasco, Santa&Cole, Resinas Olot or Vondom have succeeded in making a name for themselves in this segment. Vondom, for instance, one of the leading Spanish design brands, has specialised in outdoor furnishing and lighting items made of synthetic resin; at the international interior design fair imm cologne, it was again presenting several new outdoor collections, including Tri-Turn by Harry & Camila and new products from the FAZ family by Ramón Esteve.

imm cologne 2011 exceeds all expectations: exhibitors and visitors thrilled with dual trade fair

imm cologne 2011On 23rd January 2011, the imm cologne and LivingKitchen in Cologne drew to a close with an excellent result. Including estimates for the final day of the fair, the dual event drew around 138,000 visitors to Cologne – an increase of 38 percent. “What’s been happening here over the last few days is unbelievable. What trade fair can announce such marked double-digit visitor growth? That’s a great signal for the consumer goods trade fairs in Germany during the course of the year and convincing confirmation that trade fairs are a highly efficient marketing tool,” sums up the trade fair’s visibly satisfied commander-in-chief Gerald Böse. “We have all become part of a success story called imm cologne and LivingKitchen. Cologne is the absolute focal point of the furniture industry again, especially when it comes to the business side of things, as well as home to the international kitchen furniture industry,” adds the CEO of Koelnmesse. Dirk Uwe Klaas, Chief Executive of the Association of the German Furniture Industry (Verband der Deutschen Möbelindustrie), came to a similar conclusion: “It was by far the best furniture fair we’ve had in the last 10 years: more visitors, more contracts signed and an excellent mood. An excellent start to the 2011 furniture year for our national furniture industry and a huge success for Koelnmesse.”

The unique combination of furnishing and kitchen worlds convinced both trade visitors and the general public. The excellent reception the event met with from visitors during the entire week of the fair ensured beaming faces on the manufacturers’ side. 138,000 professional buyers and consumers from 128 countries flocked to the exhibition halls of the imm cologne // LivingKitchen – 38 percent more than attended the previous event (imm cologne 2010). There were significant increases amongst trade visitors, not only from within Germany but above all from abroad, most notably from the Netherlands, France, Italy and Switzerland, as well as Eastern Europe in general and Russia in particular. In addition, more buyers were registered from important export markets like Asia, the Near East and North America. All in all, the trade fair drew increased numbers of visitors from almost all countries. “This result is convincing proof that the diverse activities and high level of commitment we put into attracting national and international visitors were successful and have definitely paid off,” says Gerald Böse.

Clear double-digit increase in the number of visitors creates positive mood in Cologne

Cologne is once again the capital of the global furnishing industry. This is confirmed not only by the many innovative products from exhibitors, but also by statements from enthusiastic visitors. The positive mood in the exhibition halls is also reflected in the first summary by Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse. “We have seen a clear double-digit increase in the number of visitors and – what I find especially pleasing – we have also been able to make significant gains abroad. That’s what I call a perfect start to a promising trade fair week.” The new international kitchen event LivingKitchen, which celebrated a successful premiere yesterday and generated additional interest among visitors and the media, is also responsible for this result.

The “furniture year” traditionally begins with the leading international trade fair imm cologne. Up until Sunday, nearly 1,200 exhibitors from around the world are presenting new furnishing trends in the completely booked exhibition halls. It is the innovation show with more than 100,000 items of furniture. This year the fair once again features the kitchen industry. The three exhibition halls inspire the desire to cook and offer everything having to do with kitchen furniture, built-in appliances and accessories.

Interior Innovation Award 2011 – award-winning products are being exhibited at imm cologne

As part of the opening ceremony for imm cologne, the Best of Best in this year’s Interior Innovation Award were announced on 17 January 2011. In addition, the three best international up-and-coming designers were presented with the Interior Innovation Award. All award-winning products are being exhibited in special shows at imm cologne.

The large Boulevard of Innovations award exhibition along the northern boulevard presents the products that the jury awarded the “Winner 2011” label as well as those from this preliminary selection proclaimed the 15 Best of Best 2011. The award-winning work of the three best newcomers together with around 30 prototypes from international up-and-coming designers can be seen in the [D3] Contest exhibition in Hall 3.2.

D3 Alumni – new platform for D3 Design talents launched

The assembled talent of the design scene at a glance: the Koelnmesse-sponsored website presents participants who have taken part in the D3 Design talents format between 2004 and 2011 – together with the product or installation they exhibited. The potential is staggering: so far 206 colleges and 390 designers and studios have taken part in the “D3 Professionals” forum and 335 graduates in the “D3 Contest”.

Participants in the forerunner projects Future Point and inspired by cologne will of course be integrated as well. In compact form, the site presents all the products and faces that have featured in the imm cologne’s newcomer forum over the years. Participants in the D3 Contest, the D3 Professionals and the colleges from D3 Schools can post their profile and D3 contribution along with their contact details. To make the extensive data easier to navigate, the entries can be sorted by the categories Product Area, Participants, Type of Organisation and Year.

imm cologne and LivingKitchen: The furnishing year 2011 is kicking off with a double sensation

The furnishing year 2011 is kicking off with a double sensation. Parallel to the international interior design fair imm cologne, the new international kitchen fair LivingKitchen will also be opening its doors in fully booked halls from 18th to 23rd January. And so, in the third week of January 2011, Cologne won’t just be the design capital of Europe, it will be the gourmet capital as well. At the imm cologne 2011 and LivingKitchen, over 1,200 companies from 49 countries will be presenting more than 100,000 pieces of furniture and even more interior design items on a space of approx. 300,000 m². Around one third of those products are totally new.

“Cologne is a talking point in the international interior design sector again,” says CEO of Koelnmesse Gerald Böse. “In view of the huge interest from professional circles and the media, plus the fact that the number of exhibitors who have registered to take part exceeds all our expectations, we can already say that the dual event imm cologne and LivingKitchen, which presents the entire spectrum of interior design in one location, is going to be a total success.”

Pure Village: bilingual web platform for information about interior design

The success of Pure Village has shown that the increasing overlap between the various product segments and the growing importance of co-ordinated interior design concepts is creating the need for a special forum. At the international interior design fair imm cologne, this need is met by Pure Village. And so that the discussions can continue between the fairs held at the start of every year, the webpage is intended to provide a bilingual web platform for information about interior design. provides a multitude of varied content on design issues relating to furniture, home furnishings, architecture and interior design. Pigeonholing is passé: Anything that influences the quality of interior lifestyle and design can be presented.

A design dictionary helps users expand their basic knowledge; regular news about exhibitors, new products and trends as well as reports on aspects such as colours, materials and sustainability ensure the Pure Village community is always up to date. Company profiles provide interesting insights and give a face to the furniture.

All in white – Jab Anstoetz presents its new collection

photo: Jab Anstoetz.
photo: Jab Anstoetz.

It continues to be a megatrend in the textile sector and a genuine all-rounder that can be combined with anything: the colour white. It stands for purity and weightlessness and adds a sense of freshness and light. But it is also multifaceted. Textile specialist Jab Anstoetz (hall 11.1, stand D021 C020) is even dedicating an entire collection for the spring/summer 2011 season to it: White Passion. 48 items are to be launched in 49 different nuances of white, sometimes presenting the colour as subtle, elegant or pure, sometimes as playful and nonchalant. A mix of different patterns, materials in various shades of white.

Jab Anstoetz describes its Rixa fabric as nothing short of spectacular. Closely spaced, embroidered semicircles on a background of Bobinet tulle are meant to evoke countless slats. The fabric with the lengthways design is only available in snow-white. Elvis, a decorative fabric featuring fine, irregular stripes with different thread counts, seems to fluctuate between transparency and opacity, conjuring up a play of dancing light and shadows in the room.

Themed children’s wallpapers from Esprit: dreams of pink ponies or astronauts in outer space

photo: A.S. Création.
photo: A.S. Création.

The new Esprit for kids collection is the fourth collaboration between wallpaper manufacturer A.S. Création (imm cologne, hall 3.2, stand D014) and fashion label Esprit. Besides a number of typical Esprit motifs like flowers and stripes, it also includes a variety of themed worlds for children.

Esprit for kids features a total of six richly detailed children’s worlds for boys and girls on non-woven wallpaper: the selected motifs are taken from nature (baby elephants, farm life and ponies), the world of fairy tales (princesses and dragons) or outer space (space ships, astronauts and stars). Highlights like pink metallic print and glitter or fluorescent stars and Esprit flags are designed to kindle the young target group’s enthusiasm. Plain wallpapers in matching colours are also available.