Edit Napoli champions self-producers and maverick makers who pursue quality over quantity

This One's For You, Independent Designers!

By Wava Carpenter

On June 6th, a new design fair, EDIT Napoli, is set to launch in storied, picturesque Naples, Italy. And its exclusive focus will be independent designers—that rising demographic of bold, inspiring creatives who sidestep big industry by flying solo on all aspects of design production, from conception and fabrication to branding and distribution. And we couldn’t be more excited: This is the very subset of contemporary designers that Pamono was originally created to support.

Sometimes labeled self-producers, the type of designer-makers invited to participate in EDIT Napoli favor quality over quantity, and typically specialize in beyond-the-ordinary, handmade furniture, lighting, and objects. Given the challenges that big industry faces today and the limitations that industry places on designers, this of-the-moment branch of contemporary design is forging a vital path toward a brighter design future. Because within this expanding model, designers have more control over their work, and consumers end up with many more individualized options.

While this trend has been growing for some time—since, for example, the Memphis designers banded together in the 1980s to create industry-defying, designer-led designs—never before has a design fair solely spotlighted this kind of work with the aim of supporting the particular needs of designers who work in this way. That changes with EDIT Napoli.

“EDIT Napoli is innovative because it’s passionately independent and very focused,” explains Emilia Petruccelli, the new fair's co-founder, along with Domitilla Dardi. “We intend to offer not only a showcase for beautiful products but also a real service. We are building a link between designer-makers and potential business partners: buyers, retailers, interior designers, and architects. Our selection will forefront reliable quality but also some surprises—all set in a beautiful place for a few fun-filled days. What’s not to like?”

“We are also incredibly affordable as a fair,” adds Dardi. “We are motivated by a strong desire to put our money where our mouth is and truly support designers, design studios, manufacturers, artisans, and producers whose practices are rooted in making. These designer-makers are leading a movement that is changing the industry. EDIT Napoli is dedicated to those with a self-sufficient vision of making; those who are working to keep traditions alive but with an eye on the future.”

In addition to the forthcoming fair, the EDIT Napoli organizers have created a month-long residency program that couples international young designers with skilled craftspeople working in the region around Naples. The goal is twofold: to give new opportunities to budding design talents while encouraging traditional artisanal workers who often struggle against the forces of the contemporary design industry. The first three residents include Amsterdam-based Italian duo Faberhama, Beirut's Khaled El Mays, and Venezuela-born, New York-based designer Reinaldo Sanguino. New designs from the residency program were unveiled in October, and new small-batch, artisanally produced collections will be exhibited at EDIT Napoli in June under the new Made in EDIT label. (Be sure to look for these exciting designs on Pamono after the fair!)

These designer-makers are leading a movement that is changing the industry. "The residency has been a great opportunity to discover the ancient tradition of silk weaving in San Leucio and the local culture,” say Faberhama’s Paola Amabile and Alberto Fabbian, who teamed up with De Negri & Za.Ma. in a Campania-region town where the roots of silk weaving date back to the 18th century. “By collaborating with the silk company, we learned how silk techniques are kept by the people working there and how remarkably deep their knowledge is.”

When asked about his expectations for EDIT Napoli, designer-in-residence Khaled El Mays tells us, “The fair in June is a place where small industries and independent designers will have a voice—a platform to advance what they do through rich exposure that will attract more opportunities.”  We couldn’t agree more, which is why Pamono is proud to partner with EDIT Napoli and will be onsite in June to show our support.

So if you’re an independent designer-maker looking for a new venue to show off what you can do, EDIT Napoli invites you to apply. Just respond to the “Open Call” at editnapoli.com. Looking forward to seeing you there in June!

  • Text by

    • Wava Carpenter

      Wava Carpenter

      After studying Design History, Wava has worn many hats in support of design culture: teaching design studies, curating exhibitions, overseeing commissions, organizing talks, writing articles—all of which informs her work now as Pamono’s Editor-in-Chief.

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