By Alex Rosario
Exhibitors saw positive responses to new and existing collections at the Summer New York International Gift Fair, which closed last week at New York's Jacob Javits Center and Pier 94.
The Show recorded attendance gains, with a 5% increase over summer bringing nearly 35,000 attendees to market. Attendees came from all 50 states and 80 countries with especially strong attendance from Japan, Australia, South America and Canada.
“Anecdotally, exhibitors reported strong sales and order-writing,” said Dorothy Belshaw, NYIGF director and GLM senior vice president. “Despite negative economic reports, buyers were optimistic, and the resulting energy on the show floor was palpable.”
“It was a strong show,” said Andrew Seedock, director of sales for Pine Cone Hill. “Attendance seemed to be down because of the rain, and the market isn't as strong as it used to be, but the people who came were looking for good quality.”
“At least people are purchasing again,” said Karen Messick of Leitner. “They're buying product, not just swatches, which is a good sign.”
Bella Notte Linens sales associate Becky Bay noted that this is a “historically slower time for us. I would say the fair was just middle of the road this season.”
“We didn't have as many decorators this time around, we were working with more serious retailers,” said Laura Kreuzkamp, also of Bella Notte Linens.
One of Ankasa's new neutral and silver pillows
Trends that exhibitors noticed at the fair included a more transitional look, as well as neutral colors and simple, clean lines. “Big sellers for us are our neutrals with pops of silver, and our new collection featuring mustard yellow is doing really well,” said Katie Konigsberg from Ankasa.
“Definitely pared down looks with cleaner lines and neutrals are doing well,” said Kreuzkamp. “Our Homespun coverlet and Madera sheeting did great.”
Bella Notte's Homespun coverlet and Madera sheeting
“I think everyone is playing it pretty safe,” said Seedock. “I'm noticing a more transitional trend, between traditional and modern. It's not any particular color, just an aesthetic.”
Messick agreed that there is a big middle ground this year. “People are not super contemporary or super traditional.”
Response to new collections was enthusiastic, with fair exhibitors seeing great feedback on new looks.
Bungalow 5's new Shanghai mirrored cabinet
“Our new Shanghai collection is selling very well,” said Leila Stalh-Yohalem, a sales associate from Bungalow 5.
Lead designer for Bungalow 5 Luca Rensi agreed that buyer interest was keen. “People like to come to us for the flashy and glam stuff.”
“All of our upholstery is selling very well as well as our new Soho lamps,” said Julian Chichester sales associate Shannon Coleman.
The next New York International Gift Fair will be held in winter 2012, from January 28 to February 2.