By Ann Sennewald, CORT’s VP of Merchandising
I recently returned from my annual trek to the High Point Market in High Point, NC, which is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, bringing more than 75,000 buyers to the home fashion mecca every six months. One item that always makes it on my packing list is a pair of comfortable shoes to help me get through the 180 buildings, featuring thousands of new product introductions that make interior designers and product merchandisers, like me, salivate.
My advice to anyone going to the High Point Market this fall is to develop a game plan to hit exhibitors you have purchased from in the past. If there is time remaining (and your feet aren’t screaming for a good soaking), stop by new vendor showrooms and check out their fashion goods for your home or your company’s product lineup.
Show Highlights and Trends
At Market, there was still a lot of evidence that the lifestyle trends we have been seeing over the last few years are continuing to develop and stretch across other product categories. The revival of Mid-century modern design that we saw take the home furnishings industry by storm last year continues to be strong, but with a new focus on “Hollywood Glam.” This trend features a 30s and 40s Hollywood art deco feel with fresh, updated materials. Velvets were important during this time period. They are making a comeback, but with a 21st Century twist by adding some shine of silver and/or gold sprinkled throughout the fabric.
The menswear look is still quite popular as well, seen in heavy tweeds with stripes and plaids. The fabrics also have a strong performance story to tell. They can easily be cleaned and maintained, which is important to buyers looking for fashion that’s also functional. Fabrics weren’t the only things that caught our attention at Spring Market. Upholstery and table legs were featured in Lucite rather than wood to give a piece a floating effect. Graceful curves were also highlighted to provide a softer edge to the furnishings.
Upholstery and case goods are being scaled down to accommodate the trend towards more moderate-sized homes. Case goods are being shown in lighter finishes such as greys and white washes over more traditional mahogany or cherry finishes, which often can make a room appear small and dark due to its scale and tone. This neutral wood finish palette is fresh and can be mixed with a variety of accent colors to personalize a space.
Overall, the Spring Market was a huge success for CORT’s merchandise group. It provided us with the opportunity to finalize pieces being added to our product collections as well as some unexpected new ideas for 2015. Stay tuned!