The 7th edition of the Italian Design Day was celebrated in grand fashion at SKY51, EQ Kuala Lumpur, on 16 March 2023, with an esteemed guest list comprising high-level personalities from the local business sector, members of the entrepreneurial community, affluent Malaysians, and media representatives. Spanning over 100 cities worldwide, this vibrant event was organised by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency, serving as a global benchmark to reflect on the capabilities of Italian designs while encouraging innovation with a sustainable approach.
The event carried on from the success of the previous year’s edition, conceived by Ambassador Massimo Rustico, and witnessed the presence of industrial experts from world-renowned Italian brands. The event’s theme, “The Quality That Lights Up. The Energy of Design for People and the Environment,” showcased the ability to create quality products that fulfil aesthetic and functional needs while using environmentally-friendly production processes.
Eminent speakers from renowned Italian companies graced the occasion, including Maserati, Roberto Cavalli, Agusta, Roberto Coin, Icona Design, and Lightcraft. Fincantieri, the world’s largest shipbuilding group for cruise ships, mega yachts, and military vessels, was also represented.
The event commenced with a warm welcome by Ambassador Massimo Rustico and his co-host, Kavita Sidhu, a Malaysian actress, model, and influencer. The first speaker to take the stage was Franz Cerami, the “Ambassador of Italian Design” in Malaysia, a virtual artist and a university Professor. He spoke about urban regeneration and his unique design method, which intertwines classical painting, digital painting, and video mapping. The highlight of his presentation was unveiling his extraordinary work on “Pink City Kuala Lumpur,” a potential virtual aesthetic for Kuala Lumpur’s vertical city.
Klaus Busse, Head of Design for Maserati, took the audience on an exciting journey of Maserati’s newest addition, the Maserati Grecale. Roberto Cavalli’s Brand Manager, Anna Cordini, followed by Senior Vice President, Arnaud Bazin, shared the iconic fashion brand’s origin and history. Manuela Barbarossa, Head of VIP/ Corporate and Services Marketing of Agusta, shared several videos about their helicopters’ excellence, a global leader in the industry.
Roberto Coin himself shared his story and love for the world of art and fashion, followed by Enea Colombo, General Manager, and Teresio Gigi Gaudio, Chairman and CEO of Icona Design Group, who shared their innovative techniques and visionary designs. Sherreen Ho, Project Director, offered a passionate presentation of Lightcraft, a local and leading lighting company, and the iconic Italian lighting brands it distributes in Malaysia.
Fabrizio Ferri, Head of the APAC Region of Fincantieri, shed light on the company’s shipbuilding prowess, which takes three years to build a mega ship from the time the contract was signed until the final delivery. Chef James Won, the owner of Shin Labo, also shared his experience working with Italian products and designs such as Mepra and Pininfarina, the latter being a globally-known player in luxury designs, especially for cars.