One of the most important weeks held in Milan each year is the Salone, also known as Milan Design Week.
Established many decades ago to acquaint insiders with design and furniture products, it has expanded to a much wider audience in recent decades, even as it has spread to the entire city and far beyond the fairgrounds.
Today, the Salone has become one among many events of something much larger that goes by the name of Milan Design Week and that includes several urban districts, which host various events parallel to and outside the Salone, which takes place in Rho, in the pavilions of the Fiera.
Have you ever heard of Fuorisalone? That’s right: old industrial spaces, downtown stores, showrooms and wonderful, unknown and often disused places in Milan are opened for about a week.
A vocation for design
It is not surprising that On Running was at Milan Design Week this year: after all, design is in its DNA. From the time it was born, it has always shown special attention to the aesthetic cleanliness of its shoes, first, and its clothing, later.
We were there, and in talking with its managers, we were able to understand what is the spirit that has always guided them and their expansion plans, among which one cannot but read their presence in Milan as an important piece.
For a design-driven brand like them, being there-we said-was almost obvious. The occasion was also the presentation of the brand new Cloudsurfers (which we reviewed here) but there was also a desire to tell their story, to make themselves known and open up to Italy. After all, On is in a strongly expansive phase: as Nicolas Martin – head of Spatial Exploration and retail – confirmed to us, and as we verified with our own eyes recently in New York, their brand is consolidating a great deal in the U.S. and is also very strong in Germany and China.
Evidently their originality is appreciated and recognized: the unmistakable logo and the characteristic tubular through-hole midsole make their shoes unique. Their clothing-true examples of athleisure (i.e., garments that are practical and sporty in cut but also stylish and fit in a variety of contexts)-is equally popular.
All this to reiterate that finding them at Spazio Maiocchi’s Capsule Plaza was a congruent experience with a brand that sits perfectly between the finest design and public and sales appreciation.
All – it should be remembered – in relatively few years of life and starting from an idea exchanged among friends and carried out with calm, determination and intelligence to the point of being noticed by a very famous compatriot of theirs: Roger Federer. Who decided to fund them and recently launched them into the tennis world as well with a specific line of shoes. A good story within the story.
In an ever-changing landscape that has greatly accelerated in recent years and is offering more and more products and endless technical innovations, On’s style emerges as original yet dense with research and intelligence. In short, it speaks a language that fits perfectly with that of Milan Design Week but is understood by a great many people.
And that it still has many pages to write.