By Jolene Turner
Day six of NYIGF marks the close of winter New York International Gift Fair. In the Handmade Division, artisans showed off their innovative designs, including much home décor and eco-friendly pieces. In Accent on Design, six were spotlighted by design bloggers for urgent, odd and delightful design.
A larger-than-life organic vessel featuring bright red daisies and a deep lilac underlay was the biggest draw for Amanda Brisbane Glass (www.amandabrisbaneglass.com.) “People have been loving the colors; the lime was also a huge hit,” said the company’s Michael Ruvo.
Minimal impact pieces with a nice design aesthetic were the focus of interior designer and shop owner Kelly van Patter (www.vanpatterdesign.com.) “I only buy pieces that are beautiful and good for the environment— from the product to the packaging— and I prefer the pieces be made in America. I am noticing more companies are doing such pieces that are homespun with a modern, high-concept mix,” said van Patter. “I love the recycled felt pillows from Alexandra Ferguson (www.alexandraferguson.com.) “Sassy designs for us are in. The pillows feature hip colors and funky designs with words such as ‘Bang’ and “Be Nice or Leave.”
The Aura collection featuring bright blossoms of orange on iridescent pewter by artist Janna Gilson Weinstein of Tilson Design Works (www.tilsondesigns.com) was a popular line in the tabletop category. “I prefer allowing different shapes to work together and being more modular. It’s about mixing it up and I love that,” said Weinstein.
Design bloggers recognized design-focused gift, home and lifestyle products in Accent on Design, each selecting one product from 200+ companies who they felt were the most representative of the “next big thing.” Urgent, odd and delightful design were among key criteria considered by the judges, who included Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan of ApartmentTherapy.com, Ami Kealoha of Coolhunting.com, Rain Noe of Core77, Danielle De Vita of Design-Calendar.com, Heather Clawson of Habitually Chic, and Marissa Marcantonio of Stylebeat.blogspot.com.
“Design bloggers are the first to herald emerging design trends,” said Dorothy Belshaw, NYIGF director and GLM senior vice president. “We’re delighted to tap into their trend-savvy and design-expertise to identify products that will resonate with consumers.”
1. Umbrellas by BRELLI®
“Totally functional, environmentally responsible and delightfully beautiful. This umbrella turns heads and I was glad to find the source. I believe it will be very popular in 2010.” — Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, Apartment Therapy
2. Miller Goodman Playshapes by neo-utility
“An inspiring marriage of art and science for a gorgeously-designed plaything that appeals to children and nostalgic adults alike.” — Ami Kealoha, Cool Hunting
3. Baskets, bags and jewelry by neó
“They took a material that was typically used in scuba diving – neoprene – and transformed it into a product that can be used every day. After talking to the designers, I learned that each piece is handmade in Italy (it’s the first time they are showing in the U.S.) and the company is led by three women – bonus points!” — Danielle DeVita, Design-Calendar
4. Table Manners Set by Funfam
“This children’s cutlery set made of laminated bamboo struck me as both a handsome concept piece and eminently practical on a daily basis.” — Michael Cannell, The Design Vote
5. Style de Vie
“Style de Vie’s booth at the NYIGF made me stop in my tracks! The table was piled high with vintage blueprints and French school posters while the back wall was filled with framed vintage art. The maritime blueprints and nautical charts were my favorites. I’d love to be able to spend time trolling flea markets and tag sales for unique art for my clients but when I can’t, I’m going to turn to Style de Vie to do it for me!” — Heather Clawson , Habitually Chic
6. Children’s Chair by Oly
“Children love to feel grown up. This mini version of an adult size Louis XV chair is girly, sophisticated and charming. It moves away from disposable-chic kids stuff and fuses good design with function. An original concept well executed.” — Marisa Marcantonio, Stylebeat.blogspot.com