Twice a year, every year, NYC is host to the New York International Gift Fair.
Twice a year, every year, NYC is host to the New York International Gift Fair. This fair is so huge, it can’t be contained to one venue and sprawls across Piers 92 & 94 as well as the Javits Convention Center. This year’s fair ran from August 18-22 and included a huge range of vendors displaying new products and lines for the upcoming year.
The Gift Fair just has to be experienced in order to have an idea of the magnitude of the event, but I can tell you, I was like a bat out of hell at this year’s fair! There’s such a crush of people, all wanting to be the first to spot that must-have, hot item or trend. Everyone from designers to retailers flocking from vendor to vendor so that I had to suppress the urge to yell at everyone to get out of my way because I had some serious looking to do. It’s a lot of contagious energy, creativity, and enthusiasm for the incredible world of design that just permeates the atmosphere and inspires you to see and experience everything!
This year I stumbled across some really great things at the Gift Fair. Some of the first vendors to catch my eye were Michael Partenio and Stacy Kunstel with Dunes and Duchess. What I love about their line is that they focused on an idea and let that idea evolve. Dunes and Duchess creates these stunning candelabra pieces, all made in Connecticut. Used as-is or with a shade, the pieces are substantial with great shapes and a beautiful, high lacquer with so much sheen. The colors are beautiful, but they can customize products using your own color choices. They also make incredible tables in almost any size that are practical but very chic!
Another aspect of the Gift Fair I love is that it’s a great source for pre-made pillows. There are a lot of great designs without having to go the custom route and sometimes a bit of instant gratification is really nice! I found some wonderful pillows from Design Accents and their sister company NBR Home. From Design Accents, these cowhide pillows with a hint of gold really present well in a room. The quality is good and the metallic hint is subtle enough to avoid being gaudy.
NBR Home offers a more upscale product with some very cool designs and colors.
I definitely went a little lamp happy at this year’s Gift Fair. Mr. Brown, a division of Julien Chichester, has these lamps with a mid-century vibe, just really stunning pieces. I’m a big fan of the turquoise lamp. It has a Kelly Wearstler, high-impact feel to it. I also love the standing lamp. It looks like a piece of sculpture and would make a great choice for ambient light.
As for furniture, I saw some pieces I love from Design Legacy. They have a transitional kind of furniture that is really unique. I am head over heels for the secretary desk. It has great height and scale and a geometry on its face that I love. With storage and a flip down desk, it’s a wonderful piece. I also really like the table and the chair with a nod to one of my favorite designs, the Greek key. These pieces are an ideal way to freshen up a space.
My last find at this Gift Fair actually involves a search that started a year ago. While at the New York Gift Fair last August, I found a product that I knew would be perfect for a client. I was so excited about it, but I somehow misplaced the information and could not find it anywhere. This year, I went to the Gift Fair with a mission. I was determined to find this one product again, even while knowing my search amounted to looking for a needle in a haystack. I knew this product would be in an area of the fair with everything from tabletop items to Christmas decor, from kids’ stuff to books. I made my way as closely as possible to where I remembered seeing this particular product last time and finally found what I was looking for! It was the best moment of the Gift Fair for me! What I’d been looking for were these amazing frames from Wexel Art. Made of plexiglass and magnets, the frames are a contemporary way to display art or photographs. Changing the art in the frame is a quick and easy process, making it particularly suited to displaying kids’ artwork or family photos. The frames come in all sizes, including custom measurements. I can’t wait to use these to create a whole gallery for a client. This time, I absolutely won’t lose the information!