by Bianca FelicoriSep 10, 2021
"Our goal is a strong, united, inclusive, sustainable and creative Salone del Mobile," says Maria Porro, the newly elected President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, and the first woman to be appointed to the role.
Born in 1983 in Como, Italy, Porro was the former President of Assarredo, the trade association for Italy’s furniture manufacturers, again, the first woman to do so. The Federlegno Arredo Eventi Board of Directors has elected Porro to helm the 59th edition of the world’s most celebrated design and furniture fair, following the resignation of the former president, Claudio Luti, in April this year.
Porro became marketing and communications director of the historic Italian design brand Porro S.p.A in 2015 and went on to become a Board member of the Altagamma Foundation in 2019. After serving on the Executive Board at Assarredo, she was unanimously elected President in September 2020.
Graduating cum laude in Set Design at Brera’s Academy of Fine Arts, Porro spent a decade working in the theatre, arts and major events as a designer, organiser and curator, working on events around the world before devoting herself wholly to design. She has also worked as the marketing and communications director of design brand Porro, which was founded by her great-grandfather. She maintained her ties with the family business, working with her father Lorenzo Porro and architect Piero Lissoni on style-led research, developing new products, and being part of the firm’s Salone del Mobile presence.
“The decision to invest in a young, driven President is part of a strategy to consolidate the event’s leading international role during a period of profound change,” says Gianfranco Marinelli, President of Federlegno Arredo Eventi, the board that owns the Salone del Mobile brand. “Maria Porro may count on the support of the entire Federlegno Arredo Eventi Board as, with determination, she continues Salone del Mobile.Milano’s journey along a pathway of growth and renewal,” he continues.
Porro, along with Federlegno Arredo Eventi’s Board members, will focus on outlining a successful, inclusive event that will take place this September, for which Italian architect Stefano Boeri was announced the curator. The "recovery edition" will commence in a hybrid format that unites the physical and online presence, outlining new strategies that “respond to the upheavals of the present day” and reconcile the needs and aspirations of exhibitors, the public and international stakeholders.
"I grew up with the Salone del Mobile. When I was a kid, my grandfather Carlo used to take me along to the pavilions at the old venue. I followed when the Fair moved to its new site in Rho, and I was thrilled to be able to attend the Shanghai Furniture Fair. Today, I am honoured to take on this role at such a vital and transformative time," Porro states after being elected.
"I would like to thank everyone who supported me. I hope to prove myself worthy of this event and its fabulous, successful heritage. I and the entire Board of Directors will be working to ensure that, as a unique and indispensable design showcase, the Salone rises to meet future challenges regarding sustainability, digitalisation, research, innovation, creativity and inclusiveness, as ever maintaining the highest quality,” she adds.
Know more about the upcoming 59th edition of Salone del Mobile here.