J. J. Martin Announced as Guest Editor of Whitewaller Milan
Ciao, tutti! Welcome to the Salone del Mobile, the best design week in the world. This is the time of year that Milan has traditionally awoken from its weird, provincial slumber, rising to global heights, swaying with all-day news and excitement, and swarming with cool people, pop-up food, ambitious events, and really great design. The funny thing, of course, is that Milan is now officially awake all year long. It’s no longer just during the Salone that you feel a buzz, see the jazz, meet international people, and take in a wave of edgy haircuts and blocky footwear walking by.
When I first moved to Milan from New York 17 years ago, it was a different place. There were no edgy haircuts. No cool kids. I was grumpy about everything that didn’t work, wasn’t organized, wasn’t fast, and wasn’t gluten free. I got over the culture shock a few years later and finally relaxed into a soft, sweet love affair with this cozy, lovable, pretty-on-the-inside city. It is now my home as much as Los Angeles, where I grew up. I can even get my morning celery juice to go.
Of course, the Salone was always the apex moment of the year here, and still is. I used to cover the fair for Wallpaper* magazine, where I was an editor for eight years. Now with my own fashion and lifestyle brand, La DoubleJ, I’m on the other side of the Fiera walls, presenting creative projects and collaborations to the international press, buyers, designers, and style hunters who flood the city for the Fuorisalone events. This year we are unveiling a brand-new bedding collection along with vases, plates, and printed table linens in our showroom on Milan’s Navigli, a neighborhood we share with our good friends with niche design studios, Atelier Biagetti and Luca Cipelletti.
My favorite part of this week starts the weekend prior when private homes and small galleries are flung open for the start of miart, the contemporary art fair. The smaller and more curated, the better for me. I love walking down the tiny cobblestone streets in 5Vie or in Brera and visiting all of my friends’ galleries.
Each year I always head to Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci’s Dimore Studio, Fanny Bauer Grung’s and David Lopez Quincoces’s Six Gallery, and of course Nina Yashar’s Nilufar Depot. New spots I want to check out are the gallery Palermo Uno and my beloved Bar Cucchi—the place I used as my unofficial freelance-journalist office for 15 years—which has gotten a design makeover by Cristina Celestino.
As for the Milan streets being torn up with signs saying that construction will be ending in 2028? Well, just ignore it. No one’s perfect. Have fun!