The juiciest bites from the Editor at Large news desk from new funding for online ventures to designers making good on a podcast host’s alleged theft.
1 | Design schools tap industry leaders In the newly created role at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Galerie editor in chief Margaret Russell will observe classes, advise students, review portfolios and help students land design internships. Ellen Kravet, executive vice president and co-owner of Kravet, has taken the reins as New York School of Interior Design’s board chair after serving as a trustee for the last five years.
2 | Dering Hall announces big hires and raises $2.8 million in new funding Michael Boodro, former editor in chief of Elle Decor, recently joined the digital interior design resource as chairman of editorial strategy and special initiatives; and after a stint as president of Luxe Interiors + Design, Alan Blaustein has been named the company’s CEO. These additions follow new investments from Hearst Magazines, Jennifer Gilbert, Cary Kravet and John Edelman.
3 | Wayfair and HomeGoods get higher-end sister stores, Amazon breaks into furniture In the land of retail, Wayfair’s luxury website, Perigold, made its official debut in the fall after a soft launch last spring. The new site is home to a roster of more than 300 designer-favorite brands, from Arteriors to Lexington Home Brands. TJX Companies, which owns TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, entered the high-end market in the United States, opening four locations of Homesense, its popular European and Canadian brand, in Massachusetts and New Jersey. And Amazon launched two private-label furniture brands, Rivet and Stone & Beam, each with 30-day return policies and free shipping for Prime members.
4 | Designers rally for nonprofit impacted by James Swan scandal Six days after Laurie Laizure, founder of the online group Interior Design Community, posted on the group’s private Facebook page about the James Swan nonprofit scandal, the members—and the industry at large—had already raised nearly $18K to benefit the Boston children’s organization that was allegedly scammed out of funds by the “Million Dollar Decorating” podcast host.
5 | Magazines search for millennials In an effort to reach a younger audience, Architectural Digest earlier this year launched Clever, a new online platform that focuses on small-space living, renovation tips and DIY solutions to everyday design problems. With the same audience in mind, the Hearst Design Group released its second issue of the relaunched Metropolitan Home, an iPad-sized issue that seamlessly integrates editorial with native advertisements and is on stands only in Whole Foods stores.
6 | Furniture startup raises $3.5 million in seed funding Brooklyn-based furniture rental company Feather raised $3.5 million in seed funding after completing Y Combinator’s summer 2017 class. Kleiner Perkins and Bain Capital led the round of funding, which will go toward expanding Feather’s engineering, marketing, merchandising and design teams. The startup, which officially launched in April 2017, offers three-month to yearlong rentals on furniture, giving customers the flexibility to move or change styles without the constraints of ownership.