Design Dispatch from NYIGF


“Key trends on display at the New York International Gift Fair”

NYIGFLast week we spent five days in New York exploring stores, checking out what was new in the apothecary world at Elements Showcase, and walking the eye-poppingly expansive NYIGF at the Javitz Center and Pier 94. This has become a twice annual pilgrimage for us, sourcing and stocking for space519.  Before attending my first gift show I pictured aisles and aisles filled with greeting cards, mylar balloons, beanie babies and tender moments figurines. There is plenty of that for sure.  But the show also focuses on personal accessories, home furnishings, apothecary lines, furniture, books and some just generally cool stuff. The brands represented range from the uber tragic to the uber chic, and everyone has their Sunday best out on display for the 30K attendees. And we saw some key trends to watch

There was A LOT of Individualization/Monogramming. Whether in the form of giant Italian Metal Marquee Letters which spell your name (pictured top of the post) or hot stamping gilded initials on your bag or wallet, it seems the monogram trend is making a big come-back. We were so captivated by all this cool stuff that we decided to launch a “The Monogram Shop at space519″ this spring.

NYIGF TopsSomething which we also saw a lot of in Paris during last Fall’s Fashion Week, was Trompe L’oeil (in french, literally “deceives the eye”). The layered rugs pictured right offer a perfect example.  They are not woven or hide, but are in fact photographs of rugs and hides reproduced on PVC. What a fun addition to an office or a playroom? This trend is especially visible in fabric and wall paper this season (for an especially amazing example check out Bibliothéque from Hermès).

My personal favorite was the Urbane Prepster. Gone are the overly toiled and alligatored Muffy and Biff and in their place are a whole new generation of folks who love everything equestrian, plaid and wood paneled.  But this time around the plaid is a little brighter, the wood a whole lot lighter, and the horse themed regalia is in chrome (note horse head bookends above).

The Everything Foodie wave has certainly made it’s way from restaurants and reality TV shows into the world of gifts and home furnishings.  Think luxe wood cuttings boards (shown), fashionable butcher’s aprons and lots of cookbooks about Meat. You used to give dad a tie for father’s day, now he wants a Green Egg Smoker and a hand forged Japanese Knife.

Rocks and Geodes abounded. Don’t worry, these weren’t the silly pet rocks of the 70s, instead they were huge interesting mineral specimens (like the Mineralized Moss version shown) which look oh so sexy a top a pile of art books.  We saw Geode Finials, Pyrite Bookends and lots of cool decorative rocks which had been cracked open like dinosaur eggs.

Statement Floor Coverings, like the tiled natural cowhide rug shown, also impressed. I love the subdued style here – but the hides also come in bright neons and with metallic spatter paint. It seems that the bold striped flat woven rugs first brought to the Park Ave set by Madline Weinrib have distilled down in versions from lines like Dwell Studios and Dash and Albert.

a perfectly kept houseAnd right now I am loving the prominence of a new genre of books, which I am coining The Scrapbook Memior.  These books tell a life story through text and pictures. They often include pages laid out like scrapbooks; featuring mementos, swatches, keepsakes – and notes in the author’s own hand.  Pictured above is “Grace,” a gorgeous example from Vogue’s powerhouse editor Grace Coddington. Last season saw Carine Roitfeld: Irreverent.”  The first time I had seen this done well was with 2010’s “A Perfectly Kept House is a Sign of a Mispent Life” by Mary Randolph Carter (wife of Graydon) and The Selby is in your Place” by Todd Selby.  These titles all remain strong sellers at our store, a signal that this genre is here to stay.

It was a productive trip, one also filed with many amazing meals (see my Torissi post). And look for all of the items pictured at space519 this spring.

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