Gucci Kicks Off Milan Design Week with an Acid Green Maze and Iconic Reissues

Creative director Sabato De Sarno's sleek Gucci vision (and budding mythology) is distilled into a Milan Design Week project.

Parola by Gae Aulenti and Piero Castiglioni for FontanaArte. Courtesy of Gucci.

To kick off Milan Design Week, the upper level of Gucci’s Via Monte Napoloene outpost was transformed into a carpeted maze of a very peculiar and specific (and rather fabulous) acid green. It must be the designer’s second favorite color: the tinge has become a motif since Sabato De Sarno took the reigns as creative director.

When visitors turned the rounded corners, instead of a minotaur, they were greeted by items in Rosso Ancora, a kind of sumptuous oxblood red that is the main signifier of the new regime.

Design Ancora” collates five iterations of “iconic” Italian design. De Sarno co-curated this project with Michela Pelizarri, founder of the Milan-based creative agency P:S. Each piece has been remade in Rosso Ancora and reissued in limited-edition and is available online. The deep, glossy nail lacquer red furniture and lighting pieces certainly popped against the green expanse.

The presentation is among the highlights at the annual Salone del Mobile in Milan, an international benchmark event for the design and furniture sectors that runs until April 21 at Milan’s Rho Fiera fairgrounds and around the Italian city at various venues.

an oxblood designer modern 10-drawer dresser is in an acid green maze

Storet by Nanda Vigo for Acerbis (1994, reedition 2020). Courtesy of Gucci.

The Barcelona-based designer Guillermo Santomà helmed the mise-en-scène. “If we had put the objects all together, we would have created a living room,” he said in a statement. “Instead, we decided to remove the boundaries given by how we use these objects and create a sort of limbo. Floating objects don’t have meaning or a function. They are just shape, materiality, color.”

a blood red vase is in a carpeted maze.

Opachi by Tobia Scarpa for Venini (1960, reedition 2021). Courtesy of Gucci.

A rug, vessel, lamp, dresser, and sofa have all been Gucci-fied in a selection that is a moving edit. The timeless Le Mura modular sofa by Mario Bellini for Tacchini, originally created in 1972, looks utterly modern. The ten-drawer Storet by Nanda Vigo for Acerbis is a wondrously sleek addition to any glam residence. The Clessidra rug, Portaluppi Pattern Project by Nicolò Castellini Baldissera from an iconic design of Piero Portaluppi, was hung on the wall like a tapestry.

a blood red designer rug hangs on a wall of an acid green maze

Clessidra rug, Portaluppi Pattern Project by Nicolò Castellini Baldissera (great grandson of Piero Portaluppi) from an iconic design of Piero Portaluppi, edited by cc-tapis (2024). Courtesy of Gucci.

The overall effect was a Design Week home run that coalesced De Sarno’s sleek modern vision, a standout side project for the designer’s brief tenure. “Design Ancora” is a pop-up of memorable aesthetic impact that flexes De Sarno hitting his stride.

“Design Ancora” is at the Gucci Milan flagship at Via Monte Napoleone 7, Milano, 20121, Italia. It’s free of charge with reservation and runs through April 21. 

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