As summer winds down, NY Now marks an opportunity for exhibitors both to show off what they've been working on since design week and to ease back into the swing of things as buyers place orders in anticipation of the holiday season. Last week, from August 16–19, the latest edition of the biannual tradeshow at New York's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center saw a mix of designers, brands, and manufacturers, including a number of our longtime favorites alongside a few up-and-comers.
The standouts continue to explore the tactility of materials in new and interesting ways, typically with a pared-down aesthetic—geometric, sculptural, or both—that emphasizes form and function alike. Beyond Tom Dixon's glistening booth, copper and brass remain popular and versatile in the hands of London-based Beyond Object, who exhibited the newly available Desktop Collection, and Christopher Gentner, whose Chicago-made brass products were among the noteworthy debuts. His counterpart Felicia Ferrone had a similarly strong showing, with new lighting, sconces, and glassware.
Meanwhile, Iittala's new art collaborations (with Markku Salu, Anu Penttinen, and Aalto+Aalto) nicely complemented its imminently affordable tableware, showcasing the Finnish brand's longstanding expertise in glass craftsmanship. Scandinavian kitchenware mainstay Stelton unveiled the handsome new Horizon design for Bernadotte & Kylberg's Stockholm collection of cold-enamel-and-aluminum vessels.
Best known for their cast-concrete stools and ceramics, Brooklyn's Souda has expanded their material palette to include marble, in the form of a new mirror and a mix-and-match tray. Similarly, Rebecca Finell has quickly made a name for herself following the launch of her eponymous brand, Finell, at NY Now in January 2014. From the debut collection of tableware to the origami-like bags, the Austin, Texas-based designer continues to evolve with the launch of the new stacking dinnerware, made from a blend of porcelain and bone china.
And among the countless coasters and trivets—understandably popular among independent designers—the ceramic mug+coaster by another Texas-based designer stood out. Best known for his "shoe pots," Wyatt Little was one of the dozens of talented young designers in the jam-packed American Design Club booth; his new accordion-like coasters are paired with mugs with the same shape on the bottom such that they mesh together (either can be used on its own).