It’s now been a week since my rushed departure from Metro Market Week (I had to return home on Wednesday afternoon for a meeting on Thursday, and thus missed some fun parties.) and I’ve had time to contemplate the carpets, the show, and the good and the bad. Instead of going on about a singular topic, I am going to list what are my highlights of the show. Enjoy!
Sahar – Designed by Haynes Robinson and distributed by Behrouz Sarlak of Rug Alliance. The new collection of Sahar, which is an evolution of the best of the original Sahar is simply stunning. The designs were lauded by a well respected rug dealer before the show , and I am pleased to say they did not disappoint. Superb colour variation, texturing and use of materials.
RugMark – It was nice to see the presence of RugMark at the NYICS and their sponsorship of the reusable (and I’ll point out, ethically made) bags for the show. Cyndi Janetzko and Scott Welker’s presence during the show, helped to bring the RugMark message to the forefront, and hopefully bring more importers into the RugMark program. It should be noted that I am an avid supporter and proponent of RugMark, and have previously consulted to them. Also, Wednesday night saw the premier of the Faces of Freedom photo tour at the Odegard New York Showroom which can also be viewed online.
Kooches – Spectacularly sophisticated design, with a great sense of not taking oneself to seriously. Great colours and very friendly people. For the record, I think the silkscreened(?) “k” logo is sublime.
Monday Night Reception – This was an event featuring the who’s who of the world of rugs. Of course, offering free food and an open bar is one sure way to lure people in. Richard Habib was there with a client (See This post of The Ruggist) who was thoroughly enjoying herself and all the free food, drink, et cetera the night had to offer.
New Moon – One of the strengths of any successful rug company is maintaining its own aesthetic over the years. It is not to say this aesthetic cannot evolve, but rather that a carpet is easily identified as one from a particular company. New Moon, and the designs of John Kurtz, still have that singular aesthetic (and quality) and continue to evolve, and for me is one of the reasons I continue to appreciate their work.
The Show – After praising the concept of the New York show for years without ever visiting for myself, I am pleased to report (while acknowledging it’s self serving) that I can stand by my opinion that Metro Market Week and the NYICS are great ideas and the best show going in the world of rugs. Hats off to the organizers of MMW and Dennis Dodds for the NYICS.
Halvai – I made the trip down to SoHo to see Bill Ward’s new showroom (Have you noticed how all references to Halvai include a mention of Bill Ward?) and the space in really coming together, and looking sharp. A clean departure from the typical “rug showroom”, the atmosphere was fresh and energetic, if not a little dark for my taste. The carpets/rugs are of course top notch and are being well received by showrooms from my understanding. Although I missed the thursday night opening, I hear, ironically, it was not to be missed.
New Moon (Again) – As reported in Rug Insider (See Article Here) New Moon is “reinventing a lot of its old designs and incorporating two new color directions; the softer palette is filled with taupe, ivory and sea foam, while the bolder palette explores intense color combinations like fuchsia or tangerine unexpectedly mixed with earth tones.” My friendship with New Moon Sales Director Ned Baker aside, after seeing their new offerings at Nazimayal I must report that some of their colour choices, particularly in the latter category mentioned above are off the mark and need to be refined before coming to market. With such competition in the Tibetan arena, one cannot afford too many missed steps. That being said however, I will say it was refreshing not to see something offered in pale blue and brown.
Rug Insider – Again referencing the article above, I can’t help but wonder who wrote the copy. Of course, Rug Insider (and Rug News) are known to pick up press releases and post them on their websites verbatim, so I’m not quite certain of whom to call “bad” at this point, but I can tell you what is “bad”. “…reinventing a lot of its old designs….” is to put it politely, not the best marketing copy I’ve read. Designs should never be old, old designs don’t sell.
Afghani and Pakistani Production – Enough with the neutral colour. I am fully aware neutral sells, just look at the selection of neutrals in broadloom, but we’re not in the broadloom business. Perhaps I should rescind my previous “bad” comment on New Moon colour.
Ebisons Harounian – This was going to be its own post, but it gets grouped here instead. The Ebisons Green Label reads “Ebisons Harounian Imports, Green Label, An Eco-Friendly Product, Made of 100% Biodegradable Raw Materials.” Presumably this label is an attempt to certify a carpet as “environmental friendly” (their language) yet falls short in my book. Any labeling scheme has to be verifiable amongst other things. They get a perfect ten (10) out of ten (10) for trying, but the fact that their is no verification of their claims (mainly, what makes it “Eco-Friendly” and according to who?) makes the label meaningless to the educated consumer.
The ORICA Dinner – A shuttle bus to New Jersey for a buffet dinner with belly dancers… A shuttle bus to New Jersey for a buffet dinner with belly dancers… A shuttle bus to New Jersey for a buffet dinner with belly dancers… You see where I am going with this.
Attendance – Although I don’t have firm numbers on attendance, I will note the following: The most successful (and arguably most admired) showrooms were well represented at the show and were buying. Likewise, those perhaps not doing as well, or just getting by were not at the show, and thus not buying. If a showroom is going to survive and thrive, it must continue to attend markets and follow trends, even if buying levels are reduced.
Samples – Remember Susan Powter? “Stop the Insanity!” Not every company, and not every line needs to have samples. Of course there is a little hyperbole in my statement, but there is also truth. This is a topic of particular interest to me at the moment, so I’m going to go on about it more in a future post. Look for an update shortly, but just know, I don’t think every company needs to have samples…
Full Disclosure – While in NYC I disclosed to several colleagues the answer to “What kind of carpets do I have at home?” (See This Post of The Ruggist) Before it gets around, here it is. I own three Odegard carpets, and am working on a custom runner for my new home from New Moon. There is also soon to be a one off Romanian piece from Robin Gray Design.
Lapchi – It is disappointing to note that Lapchi was not present at the show. However in their defense, their sales model is not that of the pile sale nor the “unbailing” technique currently popular with several vendors.
Likewise CariniLang’s presence (and one could argue a reason for Lapchi to exhibit) was pure marketing and see and be seen. Joe Carini continues to produce wonderfully intricate and labour intensive designs for clients out of the mainstream.