ICFF Delivers Despite Economic Toll
The four-day-long affair always manages to please, showcasing emerging innovators, hot new products, unmatched industry networking, and an endless supply of cocktails.
Laurel Petriello -- Interior Design, 5/25/2009 12:00:00 AM
Artemide; photo by Sheila Kim
The Big Apple lights up each May as thousands of designers, architects, retailers, and enthusiasts flock annually to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and the after-hours festivities each night following the tradeshow hustle. The four-day-long affair always manages to please, showcasing emerging innovators, hot new product finds, unmatched industry networking, and an endless supply of whistle-wetting cocktails. This year’s event delivered as promised, albeit noticeably scaled down and missing a few key manufacturers due, most likely, to a cautious economy.
Blu Dot; photo by Sheila Kim
Eliminating the expense of ICFF, a number of top European manufacturers chose to forgo exhibiting at the show and opted to stay close to home by launching new products in the financial comforts of their Manhattan showrooms. For example, American furniture company Desiron, avoided the foot-grinding Javits Center display and held an unforgettable party to debut their new Candy seating collection by David Rockwell on the show’s opening night. Complete with a luscious dessert spread and pop-song cover band, the new collection will surely stay top-of-mind in the design community.
David Rockwell's Candy for Desiron, the launch party's sweet spread; photos by Laurel Petriello
Stand-outs of the 21st annual ICFF, however, were independent, emerging designers and academic exhibits from schools like the Rhode Island School of Design, Pratt, and Philadelphia University for Wilsonart. The young designers are always a show highlight, giving professionals a glimpse at a new generation of design. Seattle-based Graypants, for example, was an ICFF highlight exhibiting the Scrap Light series, a collection of cardboard lighting pendants.
Graypants Scrap Lights, the Imperial chair by Julianne Magliaro for Wilsonart; photos by Laurel Petriello
Jumping on the ICFF bandwagon, we cannot exclude efforts by the Meatpacking District (MPD) to expand the reach of Design Week to the southwest end of Manhattan. With the completion of Andre Balazs’s latest hospitality venture, The Standard New York, the MPD’s event lineup was more refined than ever.
Kartell; photo by Sheila Kim
While there is no denying that the globe’s current financial state had an affect on this year’s design festivities, most designers and members of the trade walked away with inspiration, new ideas, and a hunger for some über cool products from the show. Check out a few of our favorites in the slideshow below.
Related coverage: 2009 ICFF Editors Awards Announced