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weekly feature
Showtime! IMM Cologne kicks off this year’s design calendar
Feb 8, 2017

By Arianne Nardo

Last month, the 2017 trade show calendar commenced with the IMM Cologne and LivingKitchen fair in Germany, and it was clear that exhibitors came to rock da haus.

From January 16 through 19, the Koelnmesse fairgrounds saw more than 150,000 visitors—the first time the show has surpassed that attendance number. Furnishings and accessories in every design category were presented, and like our fashion frenemies, the production value was on point. Editor at Large was on the scene scouting the new intros at this global tour de force, where featured sectors like Pure (Editions, Studios, Talents) offered not only chic, high-end goods, but also a preview for upcoming fairs. It also appears that outdoor furniture has finished competing with its indoor siblings, and has now started earning attention of its own. The future looks good. Here are a few standouts that prove the design season is just getting started.


German brand Rodam had a head-turning booth with their craftsman-first collection, which was impressively devoid of the gimmicky midcentury overtures we’ve seen season after season. The Sigma 14 system (shelf and cabinet) offers a fresh take on the business of storage with a clean shot of mint green. 

B&B Italia

Antonio Citterio’s contribution to al fresco living is the new Erica collection for B&B Italia. The outdoor-ready series includes a chair, sofa and armchair with Italian good looks, thanks in part to the highly resistant, interlaced fabric construction.

Paolo Castelli

Paolo Castelli was putting on the glitz. Entering the company’s booth was a very elegant, tonal shift from the trade-show frenzy into posh Italian surrounds. Among the debuts, the company presented the geometric coffee table trio known as Imperfect, the Socrate bookshelf and Parabolica, a luxury armchair in a choice of polished or matte gold galvanic finish.


The outdoor hits kept on coming. Danish brand Houe has merged color and joy with Click, an outdoor rocking chair that is the design equivalent of childhood summer happiness. Shown in a kicky turquoise, the piece is offered in more than a dozen colors, and it’s utterly irresistible. The company’s outdoor tables, chairs and sun loungers all subscribe to the brand’s pure, simple philosophy. 

Poltrona Frau

Leave it to Poltrona Frau to up the luxe factor. An update on the Italian house’s Suzie Wong bed sees future weekend plans cast aside in favor of staying in one place. New options for the all-leather model include an understated, two-button headboard, as well as a leather quilted version with geometric stitching. 


Bringing the tropical vibes the design world has gone gaga for, Greek brand Set was a surprise discovery at the fair. Groovy, upbeat furniture and accessories with swingy ’60s vibes, the workshop was part of a cadre of other design makers from Greece that were well worth a second look.

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