MARIA PORRO ON BEAUTY, PATRIARCHY, AND TASTEby Felix Burrichter
After two dire pandemic years, Milan’s Salone del Mobile is back in full force for its big 60-year anniversary. Billed the largest design trade show in the world, the annual design bonanza extends from the main fair (the Salone fiera) outside Milan to hundreds of smaller showings inside the city center (Fuorisalone). By deciding to show in June, rather than the usual month of April, Salone’s newly minted president Maria Porro bet on beating Covid-related travel restrictions, attracting much-needed business from Asia and the Americas. Porro may only be 38, but as the scion of the Porro family and CEO of the family-owned design company from Brianza (just north of Milan), she is well acquainted with the politics — good and bad — of Milan’s tight-knit design manufacturing industry. With new focus on renewable materials, young design talents, and the social alchemy of the city of Milan, Porro is poised to breathe new life into the post-pandemic fair industry. If the hundreds of thousands of people pouring into Milan this week is any indication, the city’s status as the world’s design capital will remain unscathed. For PIN–UP, the mother of three sat down to reminisce about her idea of beauty, the end of the patriarchy, and what hiking in Burma has taught her about heritage.