It was a highly anticipated exception that had been announced in Milan for the beginning of September: To replace the two editions of the “Salone del Mobile” that had failed due to corona, there was to be a “Supersalone” – with a new concept and changed omens, but but as a long-awaited meeting of an industry that had not suffered too much economically from Corona. In fact, a lot was different on site this time than usual at the world’s largest furniture fair: instead of twelve, only four exhibition halls were opened, and instead of setting up stands the size of two tennis courts, all brands had to be content with a narrow strip of shop window for the presentation. Magnificently staged living worlds fell flat, and with some of the major manufacturers the product show looked quite sober without an opulent backdrop: sofa, chair, little table – that’s it. A number of important companies such as Vitra did not even appear at the Supersalone, and many Scandinavian and British companies (and journalists) were also absent. Other brands only exhibited in their showrooms around town. It has been no secret for years that there are more exciting productions to be seen in the palazzi, backyards, galleries and other exhibition spaces than in the exhibition halls. It is not for nothing that the “Fuorisalone”, as the city program is called, which takes place parallel to the trade fair, has grown into a veritable design pedestrian zone in some quarters. At one of the few cocktail receptions there, some rumored that the exhibition hall might have had its day. But it won’t get that far, because hardly any other industry is so dependent on touching, feeling and trying it out as interior designers, architects and stylists. After all, what use is the sofa as a virtual idea? The bright spot for the party atmosphere, which was inhibited by the constant wearing of masks and proof of vaccinations, was the personality of Maria Porro: the 37-year-old had been elected as the first president of the Salone two months earlier and presented herself as a pragmatic innovator at the opening. Porro is the offspring of an Italian furniture manufacturer, but has specialized in stage construction. So she should have a few suggestions for improvement for the next exhibition concept. There is not much time, the next regular salon should take place in six months.