Oki Sato is in Milan for the Salone del Mobile, and busy working on his cult installations. We are talking about the founder of the Nendo brand, the Japanese citizen of the world who signs his design universe in pure minimalist style.
We meet up to ask him about “his” Milano: “Which I never see, because I go from the airport to meetings, and from there to the hotel in a never ending circle”.
With the same precision that characterizes his design, Oki Sato has calculated that in the space of 12 years he has landed in Milan about 110 times. So, he repeats, no city tours but, to make up for that, plenty of breaks, always in the same venues where he consistently orders the same things: “Which I don’t need to ask for any more. They just bring them. I like that very much. I feel at home”.
The hotel in Brera, his passion for places that are crowded but never luxurious, his sweet tooth and high carb diet (if diet is the right definition).
Breakfast: cappuccino and chocolate filled croissant, at Princi’s.
Meals: tagliatelle with boletus mushrooms are the last word in pasta, otherwise his pizza is a “marinara”.
Aperitif: Negroni and lo Sbagliato, at the Radetzky bar. His favourite? “Both, first they bring me one, then the other”.
Otherwise, if his appointments are in the area of corso Venezia: “A marvellous area for walking and taking a peek at the statues and gardens in courtyards” where a visit to Cova’s for cream filled horns is a must. Always three peices in his case.
The perfect suitcase
Oki Sato spends his life in a plane and along a double track. Always on the move, his suitcase is always ready, or rather, never unpacked.
Not even at home, in Tokyo: “I only stop by for a few days at a time. If there were room for my dog, a suitcase would be my perfect house”.
His transfers are grouped together in a single trip occupying two weeks in a month, often moving from one city to another. “I always carry the same things”.
Not only, Oki Sato has a duplicate of all the same things. An identical rigid black suitcase and identical contents: from his overcoat to his shampoo, two of everything.
A fixed formula for automatic replacement each time he touches base.
15 white T-shirts, 4 pairs of casual trousers, 3 pullovers, 4 black suits “And not much else”.
Hand luggage His computer and book go into a black Tod’s bag.
There might even be room for the dog - a chihuahua/pug named Kinako.