International Contemporary Furniture Fair Exhibitors Focus on Directional Designs

Carole Sloan, May 24, 2010

Directional, but not far out design, and a more conservative approach to materials were the clear signals sent at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair here last week.

While the exhibition is heavily furniture driven, there were many home textiles and rug exhibitors showing including a large contingent from the United Kingdom and a host of designer/producers from the United States. Many of the latter group were emphasizing product that was domestically produced, while others were touting the eco-friendly elements of their products.

With many of the repeat exhibitors noting the weakness of last year's ICFF, they reported that the strong interest and results this year, more than offset last year's performance.

Interior designers topped the list of customer segments that shopped the home textiles/rugs exhibitors, with major retailers seemingly absent from their list of shoppers.

For Bill Kerr, owner of U.S.-based Funquilts, this was the company's 11th year and again it was a strong show in terms of interest and attracting new potential customers. Similarly, Robert Segal, co-owner of U.S.-based Unison, a bedding and decorative pillow supplier the show provided them with new prospects.

Longtime ICFF exhibitor, U.K.-based Anne Kyyro Quinn called the show “very good,” in the view of product manager Rachel Jones, while third-time exhibitor Lee Drury, owner of Miss Print said “we made very good contacts,” — a significant objective of many of the off-shore companies.

Barbara Barran, president of New York-based Classic Rug Collection called the show overall good but broke it down by days with the first day “uneven,” the second day “pretty good” and the third day “terrific”. The last day, she commented is generally slow.

For U.K.-based Morag MacPherson, “after six years we felt ready to come here, and we found very good interest,” said designer Emaoke Ukeleghev Ma(Rca) while U.S.-based Balanced Design, called the show “wonderful” in the words of sales and marketing manager Dede Monbayed.

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