Sunday, September 3, 2017


Twice a year the Javits hosts NY Now, an event I still refer to as the gift fair. When we opened our shop in a little town in the Upper Catskills the gift fair was the first thing we went to, to stock our shop and fill out our inventory beyond the vintage and antique pieces we pulled from our existing collection.
We developed a cast of favorite vendors, ones with a similar aesthetic to our own and ones that fit into the country lifestyle we were trying to appeal to.
Things changed when we moved to Madison and opened our store on a hidden street of permanently parked cars in a little house with what we thought was great potential.
The aesthetic changed with a slightly more urban industrial look and the vendors at the fair drifted toward our new look.
Once we finally moved away from retail and focused on our interior design work the way we pounded the carpeted aisles of the fair changed to a broader hide and seek with an emphasis on current clients needs for furnishings and accessories but narrowed away from the gifty aisles were we had previously picked out scented candles and holiday fare.
For many years this worked well for us but as other shows seemed to find themselves better suited to shows like ICFF and the Architectural Digest show the vendors with an emphasis on faux fur covered lounge chairs and light fixtures made from hand-blown glass seemed to disappear.
Now the aisles listed as "Home" had a higher percentage of jewelers and felt hats than silver trays and concrete cocktail tables.
Where it took several days to do a complete walk-through of the show in our days of retail purchasing I could now reduce my designated tour time to about a three-hour afternoon. My feet were relieved but my need for a satiated design tour was woefully in need of a pick me up.
What few things I did find were real pearls in a sea of grains of sand.
Bunakara was one of those pearls. There beautiful collection of linens and ticking was rich in hand and subtle in color
I loved their approach to upholstery not even knowing if this was something they offered or were only using for display. If this use of fabric on furniture isn't something they offer I'm stealing the idea and taking off with it
A vendor I hadn't seen before, Roberta Schilling, set up a fantastic booth sprinkled with inventive sofas, lamps and casegoods. They were actually selling off the floor that meant on the day I came near the end of the show almost everything had a sold sign on it
including this great upholstered cocktail table with an attached tray that moved along a track you could slide from side to side
I was surprised to see Mr. Brown and Julian Chichester setting up a booth at the fair. Several of the vendors that have space at 200 Lex had forgone the show and instead held events in their showrooms during NY Now. Since Mr. Brown and Julian Chichester have a showroom there at The New York Design Center I was surprised to see them invest the money in space at NY Now.
I did love this table but I just don't have a client in need right now.
The South came to play and it was well appreciated. I got sidetracked on an aisle in the gift section I hadn't planned on walking down after I had given myself a break for lunch. On my way back out onto the exhibit floor and on to the Home sections I got lucky. One of my favorite New York restaurants is Freemans, a hidden treasure down in the Bowery. This booth had the same appeal. It would have been a definite buy if we were still in the retail business and if I could ever find their business card so I could identify them. If anyone knows the name of this candle vendor I'd love to know who they are. They also have a book out on their store and I'd at the least buy that.
There were still some of my favorites setting up shop. These reproductions of all things vintage are well crafted and for a globe and travel fanatic it required a stop and a drool.
Another favorite and a vendor who probably does very well at the show is V Rugs & Home. I've highlighted them on almost every summary of past shows that I've done and this year is no different. Their line of textiles, hassocks and pillows are impeccable.
New finds are harder and harder to come by but this line of resin tableware was real treat. I've not had many clients who have wanted me to go as far as purchasing their tabletop but if I ever get the opportunity Tina Frey Designs will be at the top of my list.
Then sometimes it's not just the product but it's the display that draws me in. Skeem Design sells matches. I have no idea if they can make a living by selling matches but I really loved the way they set fire to their display.
On the down side there wasn't a vendor there without a mile of shagreen on display. There were small boxes, side tables, credenzas and more. There was so much shagreen I pitied the stingrays that must be nearing extinction due to all the use of their skins on everything that you could glue a hide to
I'm sure I'll be NY Now next February when the next show loads in but I do hope that at least the labeling of sections at the show will be a little more honest and I won't have to waste my time wearing out my sole leather going down aisles marked "Home" but filled with anything but home.
A Stingray and Sailboat in North Sound
David Doubilet, photographer
Represented by Photoby

1 comment:

  1. Still miss your store and I can just picture all the goodies I'm missing.