MIFF 2023: Come Out Swinging
The largest brand of the coalescing Asia Furniture Show Circle punches above its weight class and posts record sales numbers.
Easily considered the heavyweight in the growing Asia Furniture Show Circle of southeast Asian trade shows, the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF) has the tale-of-the-tape to back up the claim of being the region’s largest design industry trade event. After four days in early March (and first out of the gate in a string of back-to-back-to-back shows in Vietnam and Indonesia), MIFF boasted ground-breaking sales hitting US$1.21 billion, a 19 per cent increase from its pre-pandemic peak of US$1.01 billion in 2019.
Returning to a full-scale event spread across two trade show venues, a scale-tipping record of 673 exhibiting companies were on hand to welcome 19,275 trade buyers, with nearly a third of them from outside the region and 40 per cent as first-time visitors. Interestingly, top sellers were furniture for the dining room, bedroom, living room, upholstered furniture/sofa, and kitchen, showing that the evolution of “resimercial” that we are seeing in full swing here has migrated to Asian markets.
The undeniable anchor in the show’s X-Ordinary Pavilion, a curated gallery to promote emerging creative talents in Malaysia’s furniture industry, Flatpak is a design-to-make company focusing on digital carpentry and panel-based products, with the goal of making furniture design accessible to all. At this edition they unveiled a new Kids line of two chairs (Kuki and Rusi) and a table, scaled to a child’s dimensions.
A good example of a local brand that sees clients’ interests shifting to the growing “resimercial” trend, Fuku Studio presented the new Kayu Collection which blends elements of Gustav Stickley’s protomodern design with influences from Japan’s wood design element, along with the traditional Malaysian kampung home stairs railing. The actual ‘kayu’ part of the collection is made with local Semangkok timber, sourced from a sustainably managed forest in Malaysia.