2015 saw the first deliberate inclusion of children during Salone del Mobile: Kids Design Week, an area of Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia, was dedicated to child-play. This year we see brands turning this young audience into a business.

Italian furniture company Kartell launched its first children’s collection, Kartell Kids, aimed at three- to eight year-olds. Designs include Japanese studio Nendo’s transparent H-Horse rocking horse and Smile stools; French designer Philippe Starck’s Airway swing; and Italian designer Ferruccio Laviani’s Clip Clap games table.

WEB Kartell Talking Minds
Kartell Kids collection
WEB Smile by Nendo
Smile stools by Nendo for Kartell Kids
WEB H Horse by Nendo for Kartell Kids
H-Horse by Nendo

“Our products are intrinsically playful, fun and engaging,” said Claudio Luti, Kartell CEO. “That’s why I chose to recover a project belonging to the history of Kartell in order to create a new line dedicated to a market segment we had not yet covered.”

The design and aesthetic not only speak to the young audience, but also to the parents—the ones making the purchase. Italian architect and designer Piero Lissoni’s toy vehicles include a tractor called Testa Calda and a race car called Discovolante, which have a nostalgic cardboard box-car aesthetic.

WEB DISCOVOLANTE TESTACALDA by Piero Lissoni
Discovolante & Testa Calda by Piero Lissoni for Kartell Kids

Italian design company Magis added several designs to its Me Too (Magis Kids) range. Designs include Little BIG chair by Big-Game, a chair with adjustable height that allows it to “grow” with the child.

“As a first chair, it is definitely an object that creates emotional ties,” said Augustin Scott de Martinville, co-founder of Big-Game. “We wanted it to have the qualities of an adult chair, but for children.”

WEB Little Big 2
Little BIG by Big Game for Magis

Design companies are turning their attention to this young market, noticing parents are willing to spend for their children on products that also resonate with them. “It is a huge market with very high potential, and many offers in terms of furnishings and toys,” said Luti.

The Innovation Group is currently at Salone del Mobile in Milan. Read more coverage from Milan Design Week: The Restaurant by Tom Dixon and Caesarstone.

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