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Smeg Kitchen Fashion

Smeg recently held a world premier launch – the first ever outside of the brand’s native Italy – at their Bryanston Showroom in Johannesburg. It was to unveil Smeg’s 2012 kitchen collection. HL caught up with Smeg’s CEO, Vittorio Bertazzoni, out from Italy for the occasion. We discussed kitchen trends and the evolution of the kitchen in the modern home. Vittorio believes that Smeg’s colourful approach to kitchen appliances is more relevant than ever, because the kitchen in the modern home remains very much ‘an open space’. Kitchen appliances are as much part of home decor as the furnishings in the rest of the house. ‘Often you can see them from the living room,’ he says. ‘It is a room you want to enjoy, entertain in, share with friends.’ He adds that in the current economic recession, monochromes and minimalism are too stark. ‘When you go home, you want to see something bright,’ he says. ‘People are fed up with a minimalist approach.’ He also believes that, much like the rest of the home, people want to be able to ‘customise the kitchen area’. In Milan later this month, at Eurocucina, perhaps the world’s most important kitchen fair, Smeg will launch a new concept: a denim fridge. A limited edition of 500 of Smeg's trademark 50s-style fridges will be covered in denim textile. Vittorio believes that it is not just an exercise in style – it heralds a new concept and approach in kitchen appliances: the sophistication of fashion combined with technology. ‘Milan is the world capital of design and fashion,’ he says, ‘so it is the perfect place to launch this concept.’ He believes that it will open the door to a new realm in customised design and the daring use of materials. Appliances, it seems, are destined to join the realm of furniture and hold their own in the design stakes. For more info and to view some of Smeg's beautiful products, visit Text: Graham Wood  Images: Supplied