It is that time of year when all of us who are passionate about fashion, design and furnishings converge on High Point North Carolina to see what our vendors have created for us. Trust me, it can be a daunting (but fun) task navigating through the new products and choosing what will excite your particular client.
My top five trends that popped out at me
1) Fabrics, fabrics and more fabrics.
Almost without exception every vendor had a fabulous new array of coverings – velvet was huge and shown in rich and muted tones. Performance fabrics such as Crypton and Sunbrella are impossible to distinguish from couture ones. The hand (how it feels “to the hand”) is rich and soft. Better still they tailor beautifully. The principle of one of our Canadian companies wore a different colored velvet dress every day to show their selection. We saw a couple of vendors with the new washable leather. Creative – it is, after all, about fashion.
2) Furniture that is truly assembled to your specifications and not just what color will you cover it in.
We saw this in several places. Usually you start with the frame, choose an arm style, the back height, foam or down in the seats, leg style, depth of the seat and finally the color. It is almost like going back to the days when Dad had his suit custom tailored. We have bought into this and hope it will be a huge hit.
3) The color blue was so everywhere it almost became blasé!
The Europeans used it more as an accent to the taupe and greys – the North Americans are using it as a main primary color. The hues range from turquoise to blue black. The accent colors are orange, citron, pink and red. I feel when blue is used here it is very strong. The accessories and artwork reflected this “blue” trend as well.
4) The use of technology.
This may seem like a reach for a fashion/design trend but almost every manufacturer has updated their websites and POP to help both the consumer and the retailer be aware of everything from who designed the product to the dimensions to what fabrics work and look good on the frame. High Point even had a “My Market” app. All are offering us better ways of teaching and educating the customer so when they come in the showroom they know what to expect.
5) Back to the 70’s and 80’s “family room comfortable”.
We saw so many sectionals that looked very beautiful and when you sat in them they were incredibly comfortable. Many are modular or offer the ability to move the back around or forward. Seating is catering to relaxation, comfort and family time.
The market was well attended by optimistic buyers and manufacturers undaunted by pouring rain, cold temps and high winds. The market authority put on a wonderful show – the weather they can’t control. As always it was a wonderful opportunity to cement the friendships and partnerships we enjoy.