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new designer Patricia Adler

Milan Furniture Fair

WGSN news service 11.04.00

London-based furniture designer Patricia Adler makes her debut with the multi-functional Qube at this week's Milan Furniture Fair (April 11).

The Salon Satellite section for promising young designers at the Milan Furniture Fair is the most innovative area of the furniture industry's most fashionable trade show. Echoing a growing trend over the last few seasons, Patricia Adler's ultra-versatile  Qube engenders the idea of personal and professional mobility.

"Our lifestyles are changing quickly, which is reflected in our personal environments," explains Adler. "The tendency is moving away from planning years in advance with long-term mortgages and heavy furniture. The younger generation is globally mobile, and has adapted to having no guarantees for what will happen tomorrow. The Qube is robust and reliable, as well as being flexible, just what is needed."

Karim Ladak, furniture buyer for London-based interiors store Habitat, agrees in part with Adler's outlook. He says sales of existing multi-functional products are on the increase. "Space is the 21st century commodity. Everyone wants it and everyone wants to use it to its optimum. People want furniture that will last in terms of quality and evolve with them in terms of their lifestyles. This challenge is not  constrained to a younger generation. Multi-function has no age boundaries.

Ladak hopes to see a move towards luxury and rich textiles in Milan this week. "I imagine Armani styling- simple smooth lines - with a bit of Westwood colouring and curves. Controlled pattern  placement, probably geometric and sometimes intricate."

For Adler and the ten fellow graduates from Kingston University exhibiting with her, Milan is the first brush with real-life industry. Starting a business on her own came naturally. "I come from an entrepreneurial background. I prefer to be responsible for my own future," she says. "To exhibit at the Milan furniture fair is the fulfillment of a dream."

Adler hopes to gain exposure from the fair for her debut product and ultimately, a few select distributors for the European market. She has also chosen the internet as a key marketing tool, having launched  her own internet site (site www.pepper-mint.com) earlier this month.

Inspired by Lego blocks, street furniture, and Tom Dixon, Adler says the Qube embraces the new millennium look. She describes this as being "tactile, light, user friendly, and interactive - experiential and experimental."

Adler's first step towards production was the success of a prototype sold to London-based prop house Set Pieces Ltd. Via the internet and advice from the British Plastics Federation, she soon found a UK manufacturer.

The modular, soft-cornered unit currently available in white or semi-translucent polypropylene focuses on practicality. From seats to tables, shelving or partitions the choice of accessories determines the use. Accessories include glass tops for tables, upholstered seating pads, and screw-in locators, which double as feet.

Adler says: "Qube's beauty lies in the hand of the user."

Prices range from 45/ (plus VAT) per single unit. Prices for special finishes and accessories are available from www.pepper-mint.com
Wholesale enquiries tel: +44 (0)20 7490 3033

Salone Internazionale del Mobile 11-16 April Milan, Italy.
Tel: 39 02 725 941 Email: salone@cosmit.it

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