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Design Miami: The Bad News

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Most of us were too busy slamming orange gin drinks, slumming in tattoo parlors and stalking San Francisco-based industrial designers to care anything about the real reason everyone had converged on Miami for this high-humidity gathering. So, like, did anyone, like, buy anything? The LAT’s Janet Eastman (who is delightful; we met her at Stefan Sagmeister‘s party) says, eh, not so much:

The frenzied buying that many have come to expect at Design Miami never materialized for some exhibitors. Was the downturn in the economy to blame? Have rising auction prices for collectible furniture led to unrealistic expectations here? Was there too much competition from what’s snidely called “artmageddon,” the two dozen other art and design shows, showroom events and museum exhibits within a five-mile radius? Or is the market just beginning to see how few people are willing to spring for a $450,000 Jean Prouve vault ladder?

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Not even Michael Ovitz, who was granted an exclusive audience with designer of the year Tokujin Yoshioka, bought anything. When the Big O doesn’t throw down the AmEx Black, we’re all in trouble, right? Not necessarily: Murray Moss sold two of his five pieces seen with him here, which just so happen to be named Robber Baron: Tales of Power, Corruption, Art and Industry.

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