THE HIT RUGS AT HIGH POINT MARKET:
People & Products, Part 1
HIGH POINT, N.C. -- The strong buzz created during winter markets continued at the spring 2018 High Point Market, where a roster of VIPs, showroom openings and on-target area rug introductions heavily tipped the scales toward success.
License programs featuring celebrity designers -- such as Libby Langdon, who added pillows to her area rug collection for Kas, Erinn V. for Creative Touch and Rachel Ray, who grew her area rug assortment in collaboration with Kaleen -- continue to be a draw for retailers shopping the show. Jaipur Living's two limited-edition capsule collections, one by Zoe Bios Creative and another in collaboration with textile bigwig Pollack, and roster full of special events added to the excitement as well.
"Traffic was up 63 percent over last spring and orders written also saw a double-digit increase," said HRI's Greg Jordt. Likewise, Kas Rugs also enjoyed strong sales. "We had our best written spring High Point in many years. Which is great!"
It is no surprise given that area rug importers and manufacturers continued to up their game. They presented new looks in everything from entry-level to high-end from outdoor to Nepali hand-knotted in today's most sought after color combinations from still popular blues, trending orange amd purple, or soothing neutrals, including creams and beiges.
And when it came to styling, the options were increasingly as varied as rug designers experimented with weaving techniques, different yarn types, and new machine-made technologies to create innovative textures and designs. Read on to see the most exciting representatives from many of the rug showrooms at market.
RugNews.com's High Point coverage continues with Part 2, where we cover showrooms from Loloi to Trans-Ocean by Liora Manne.
Amer's Artifacts collection of global motifs and the understated solid-non-solid Heaven range feature sophisticated neutral palettes for market buyers.
Two companion collections, Heaven and Artifacts, grabbed the attention of High Point shoppers stopping by the Amer showroom. Heaven is a wool and art silk blend with a velvety hand. "It's sophisticated without being plain," said Bret Baker, national sales manager, Amer. Artifacts, meanwhile, has ivory and black patterns in graphic designs that are a more transitional play on tribal patterns. It's flat-woven in 100 percent virgin wool with a fringe.
A continuing best-seller, the hand-tufted Laurel collection again racked up big wins with its distressed plaid pattern and contemporary palette.
One of Amer's market best-sellers, the textural plaid Laurel collection is hand-tufted of wool and cotton.
Art Resources grows its hand-crafted Souf collection of cut and uncut wool pile with a fresh design.
Art Resources showed off its range of styles during high point market. And buyers were attracted to the global looks of Souf, which added a new design for market, and to the cool flatweave graphics, especially in blue and grey colorways, of the Swedish collection.
Art Resources reports strong designer interest in its Swedish flatweave collection.
COMPANY C - NORWALK FURNITURE
Celebrating their new combined High Point IHFC showroom, Company C principals Chris and Walter Chapin cut the ribbon with Norwalk's Dixon Bartlett and Caroline Hipple.
Strengthening its partnership with Company C, Norwalk Furniture has expanded its showroom to 10,700 square feet to accommodate the move of Company C's main showroom into 3,000 feet of the newly combined space. Company C showed its colorful new rugs, pillows, fabrics, draperies, bath, bedding and linens in their space, and rugs were coordinated with Norwalk Furniture throughout.
Company C area rugs are integrated with color coordinated Norwalk Furniture in their shared High Point showroom.
Couristan's reversible Outdorables, which features two distinct patterns and colors on either side, impressed High Point buyers.
In an innovative spin on the outdoor rug category, Couristan introduced its Outdorables line. These indoor/outdoor rugs are completely reversible, with each side featuring different colors and a different pattern. The polypropylene rugs are $129 at retail. Another highlight from Couristan is Aurora, a collection of oversized florals and geometric patterns in a palette of navy, blush pink, and ivory. The one-million-point polypropylene area rugs have a lustrous, silky hand.
Coutistan's Aurora collection in a palette of navy, blush pink and ivory was right on target.
Creative Touch's new collaboration with L.A. designer Erinn Valencich, of design studio Erinn V. Design Group, received a warm reception among High Point shoppers.
Creative Touch debuts the new Erinn V collection, created in collaboration with L.A. designer Erinn Valencich, and reports a strong response from High Point shoppers. The company's partnership with artist Carol Benson Cobb -- also on show at High Point -- has become a Creative Touch best seller since its premiere last year.
Artist Carol Benson Cobb's area rug collection by Creative Touch, which adds a tufted construction, is a best-seller.
The hand-tufted Korba line by Dalyn features a tone-on-tone effect and different loop heights.
Dalyn's Korba line, first seen in January, is "placing well," said Bryan McIntosh, director of marketing at Dalyn. This hand-tufted wool rug collection has a tone-on-tone effect with varying loop heights to distinguish the pattern. A new line also popular at High Point, was the machine-woven Fresca. Crafted of polyester, it includes 18 styles, with patterns ranging from traditional and antique looks to more contemporary designs.
Dalyn's new Fresca collection includes a broad range of styles, including traditional looks, with a plush construction.
DUE PROCESS STABLE TRADING CO.
Due Process Stable Trading Co.showcases its hand-knotted one of a kind designs, a High Point first for the company, alongside program collections.
Due Process Stable Trading Co. changed things up for the spring edition of High Point Market by showcasing one of a kind hand-knotteds in addition to its newest program designs crafted of a wool and bamboo blend in India and priced between $15-$18 a square foot.The striking new designs sparked interest immediately once buyers learned the price, said senior vice president Aaron Ward. "We checked a lot of the boxes for people looking for price point."
Ward said that a new Nelpalese series called Elemental, introduced earlier this year at Surfaces also appealed to High Point shoppers. "We are really pushing the envelope with this construction -- it's wool and silk in varying diameters to create different pile heights.
Hersel Bani-Esraili of Exquisite Rugs, left, shows Mollie Riley, Cindy Classen, Alexis Kryger and Elizabeth Ambrose, all of Mollie Riley Interiors in Homer, New York, the latest looks.
Exquisite Rugs, which opened a new High Point showroom last fall, offers buyers affordably priced rugs without compromising material or construction. The Abstract Expressions collection was a popular option during the spring High Point show, said Hersel Bani-Esraili, president. Made of bamboo silk and hand knotted, the range comes in a variety of patterns, from abstract and contemporary to more traditional.
Feizy's Angel Moore (left) and Pam Williams of Raleigh Design Associates pose in front of the rug maker's hand-knotted wool and viscose Norah II collection, a big draw at Market.
Beautiful hand-knotted looks were showstoppers throughout the Feizy High Point showroom, including a limited edition series, Norah, which is hand-knotted of wool, and Norah II, hand knotted of wool and viscose. But new machine-made collections, including Micah, also caught the buyers' eyes. Micah rugs are woven in black, silver and taupe yarns, with a flash of metallic. "The metallized polyester plays incredibly well in the light," noted Leighton Lloyd, visual merchandiser for Feizy.
Another market hit, the Breel collection, is made of raw silk and wool, with the silk woven in a high pile for a very textural effect. The hand-knotted rugs are in a palette of pastel and muted neutrals: pale yellow, taupe, and soft blue.
Feizy's recently introduced, metallic inflected Micah collection, detail above, continued to impress buyers with its luster and machine-made affordability.
HAROUNIAN RUGS INTERNATIONAL (HRI)
The Salt Lake City, Utah-based Alice Lane Home Collection team of designers and buyers are crushing on HRI's new Intrigue collection. From left: Kim French, Holly Okubo, Annie DeSantis, Suzanne Hall, and Jessica Bennett.
Harounian Rugs International continues to roll out new transitional styling innovations and High Point Market was a showcase for several new collections including the well received Intrigue collection.
"It's got a raw silk effect," said Greg Jordt, vice president of marketing and sales. The hand-knotted rug, crafted of wool and silk, comes in three colorways and offers a multifaceted, textural look.
Harounian Rugs International debuted scores of new collections at High Point, including the market hit Intrigue, featuring a pure silk pile and woven wool foundation.
Jaipur Living introduces its Pollack and Zoe Bios Creative capsule collections at a meet and greet event. From left: Rachel Doriss of Pollack, Li Kurczewski of Jaipur Living, Susan Whalen of Pollack, Asha Chaudhary of Jaipur Living, Minh Nguyen and Caitlin Dinkins of Zoe Bios Creative.
Jaipur Living had a bustling High Point Market with a range of events including presentations, meet & greets, and even a henna happy hour. Big draws were new capsule collections by Pollack, a top designer fabric brand, and another by art resource Zoe Bios Creative. Execs from both collaborations stopped by the Jaipur showroom and shared the back stories to their new limited-edition collections of area rugs.
In addition, buyers found plenty of Jaipur Living curated trend stories designed to inspire, including one vignette that featured the popular indoor-outdoor Polaris collection, with designs from classic medallions to transitional motifs in lightweight polypropylene that featured a hand-made look.
Jaipur Living's head-turning Polaris indoor-outdoor collection with designs from classic medallions to transitional motifs in lightweight polypropylene, was difficult to distinguish from the company's handmade lines.
Tony Martin of Jaunty, Robert Amendolara of Robert Amendolara Associates, and Kami Navid of Jaunty pose in front new Horizon collection designs.
"Horizon Fog has gotten a lot of attention," noted Kami Navid at Jaunty's High Point showroom, explaining that buyers responded to the simple grid motif and multi-dimensional colors. The rugs are hand-woven in a blend of wool and viscose with a high-low texture.
A detail of the tailored-look and high-low design of the new Horizon Fog rug by Jaunty.
Kaleen's Blake Dennard shows the line to Hope Bass of Carpet Impressions and Gunilla Abt of Abt Designs, both of McLean Virginia.
Kaleen focused the Spring 2018 edition of High Point Market on tufted designs -- a category that performed strongest for the company earlier in winter markets. In response, the company presented new tufted designs in its nascent Rachael Ray collaboration.
"Rachael Ray continues to be a big part of our plans," said Blake Dennard, senior vice president. For market, the company translated a successful existing pattern to the foodie celeb's line and the resulting new Agora collection features loop and cut pile in a thick yarn with a hard twist, creating designs with lots of definition. Comprised of 10 designs, the Rachel Ray rugs have a retail of $400 for a 5x8 size.
Kaleen's debuting Rachael Ray Agora collection adds a new tufted design in space-dyed wool with a borderless updated traditional look.
KARASTAN - MOHAWK HOME
Karastan's Kelly Moore, left, and John Huff flank Janice Burns of Janice Burns Studio in Greensboro.
Karastan and Mohawk Home grabbed market shoppers' attention with its Simpatico program for designers. It's company's first line to combine Smartstrand and wool and offers a highly versatile assortment of 41 sizes, plus custom options. "It makes it easy for [designers] to work with on their projects and find solutions," said Kelly Moore, vice president sales, Mohawk Home. Simpatico comes in six designs and four colorways.
Another hit in the showroom was the company's printed Prismatic collection. The rugs are made domestically with an EverStrand PET yarn base and mounted on a recycled felt backing for better weight and grip.
Karastan's evocative display for its new Simpatico collection stopped designers in their tracks.
Designer Libby Langdon, a KAS licensing partner, introduces her first pillow program with KAS including indoor and outdoor groups.
With a special presentation by licensing partner Libby Langdon, and the designer's launch with KAS of decorative pillows in patterns complementing her area rugs, traffic was buzzing at the rug maker's High Point showroom. Among new KAS collections, Grant and Papillon were in the spotlight. These rug lines are both machine woven of polypropylene. Grant is a frieze style construction, while Papillon has a fringed border. The rugs come in designs ranging from traditional to contemporary, some with distressed effects. "It's a lot of look for a great value," said Wendy Reiss, vice president of sales and national accounts.
Introduced by KAS Rugs at High Point, the Grant collection (hanging below), and Papillon (against the wall) promise excellent value for the price.
Luxe bedding and soft textile brand Lili Alessandra presents its inaugural area rug collection at High Point Market.
Lili Alessandra president Sandra Hernandez Yedor, showed off the luxury bed fashions and soft textiles brand's first area rug collection at the company's space at the Codarus Product Partners multi-line High Point showroom. The line includes hand-knotted and hand-loomed rugs in wool and wool blends, as well as machine-made sisal designs with applique effects.
Hand-knotted in Nepal, the Skylar rug is part of the debuting rug collection by Lili Alessandra.