Friday, October 2, 2015


Twice a year the New York Design Center puts on an event they've titled, "What's New What's Next". The event is still relatively new but with each incarnation the attendance and the importance of the event has grown exponentially.
What happens during the day long event in addition to the showrooms remaining open for designers and clients alike to tour is a series of presentations where showrooms pair up with the publishing community and present a look at different aspects of design trends and topics pertinent to the design community.
This year was my first time actually going and sitting in on some of the presentations. You had to be selective since the presentations were booked in such a way that they overlapped one another. You also had to be committed to attending if you wanted a seat anywhere near the vicinity of the speakers. Hearing what was going on was an issue they still had to work on and due to the size of most of the showrooms they could only shoehorn in a certain amount of chairs for each of the lectures.
My expectations were neither high nor low. These kinds of events are usually more social than informative. I hadn't attended the presentation part of the agenda on previous "What's New, What's Next" events. I usually came for the parties. This won't be happening again. This event is all about networking and there was no better way to get some one-on-one time with the editors-in-chief of the shelter publishing industry than by attending these events. Who knew? This time I hit the presentations and left the parties to those a few decades younger than myself.
The presentations began at two in the afternoon. I held off until three so I missed a panel discussion on social media and how it is shaping the knowledge base of today's consumer. It was held at the Heritage Home Group moderated by Maxwell Ryan of Apartment Therapy with guest designers: Mariette Himes Gomez, Suzanne Kasler and Celerie Kemble.
I did get into a presentation hosted by Clinton Smith, editor-in-chief at Veranda at the Century Furniture showroom. Charlotte Moss, one of my favorite designers, spoke about what has inspired her and for this presentation she focused on her gardens. She used her book, Charlotte Moss: Garden Inspirations as a point of departure into the way designers all the way back to Thomas Jefferson have taken inspiration for their interiors from the gardens that surrounded them.
Having to skip presentations by west coast designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, hall of famer Dakota Jackson and Betty Halbreich of Bergdorf Goodman's I squeezed myself into a presentation titled, Progressive Design, moderated by New York Spaces editor-in-chief, Jason Kontos. In this panel color and design trends were highlighted focusing on the progressive movement. You can go to YouTube and see the entire presentation. After the presentation Jason and I exchanged cards. It's all about working it.
I tried to get into the House Beautiful discussion but it was so packed I had to give up. Instead I ran into Newell Turner in the hall and loosely made plans for an impromptu dinner once we discovered we were virtually neighbors on the upper west side.
Instead I sneaked into a lecture titled Designing Coast to Coast hosted by Pamela Jaccarino of Luxe Interiors + Design with designer Marshall Watson a former actor turned designer who took us for a tour of his international residential design projects and the problems and delights of working in environments where you have no contacts and have to find a way to form new ones or bring your own crews across oceans in order to complete a job.
I felt a little like a pinball after that bouncing from one person from the past and into another. The event is a real who's who in the design industry. I had to bypass opportunities with people like Thom Filicia, Wendy Goodman and Anthony Barata.
But I did run up to Dennis Miller with Kirsten Brant to meet up with Lisa Jasper and an Instagram give-away of fifteen rolls of hand printed wallpaper for Alpha Workshops. I'm just getting started with Instagram but that's a whole different post.
My last stop after having scarfed a cone of cotton candy from DucDuc kids was down to Global Views/Studio A and my friends Sharon and Maura. Domino's editor-in-chief, Robert Leleux was conducting a truth or dare interview with
Julia Buckingham who had just designed several pieces being introduced at the event.
As I was walking out exhausted and not having made it even to the shank of the evening I got pulled into the McGuire showroom on the lobby floor where Dering Hall was highlighting our friend Chris Coleman as he was getting ready to present his new line of furniture.
The event, although filled with professionals, was open to anyone who wanted to sign up. Kudos to the New York Design Center for always being at the forefront of the design industry, always going out of their way promoting its designers and artists. It's a good thing I don't drink. I'd have been blasted by the time I left with all the free booze.

New York Chrysler Building
Luca Campigotto, photographer
Represented by Laurence Miller Gallery

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