NEW YORK -- The 29th edition of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair reported a record number of area rug exhibitors showcasing their most modern looks, and illustrating just how important the category has become to the design community.
In the mix of more than 25 area rug stands were long-time area rug vendors, young design studios, luxe international brands and some industry newcomers, all hoping to catch the eye of the thousands of designers and architects looking for what's new and next.
This year's event consolidated the entire fair onto one floor, so many exhibitors found themselves in new spaces. Held in early May at the Jacob Javits Center, the seminal New York City design fair proved a revealing showcase of the major directions high-end designs are heading in. This exclusive review highlights the best contemporary designs picked by RugNews.com editors at ICFF 2017.
Apadana Fine Rugs debuts the tweed-look Boho rug collection in fashion neutrals of wool and bamboo silk at ICFF.
Connecticut-based Apadana Fine Rugs brings a range of subdued looks to the 2017 edition of ICFF and debuts its Boho collection. The new range, crafted in India of wool and bamboo silk, is available in 70 colors with custom options. Boho features a solid design, but with a vintage aesthetic. Apadana's Mike Alidadi says his customers have been asking for solids, stripes and vintage styles so that is what he brought to ICFF. "This is one of our better ICFF shows," he said. "We brought what everyone is asking for: simple elegant, with vintage-aged look."
Brooklyn rug studio Avo debuts at ICFF, presenting its In Context hand-painted cowhide designs and its new leather floor tiles.
Avo, a Brooklyn design studio, debuts at ICFF 2017 to showcase its contemporary hand-painted cowhide rugs, accessories and wall coverings, and introducing its new In Context collection to ICFF attendees. The young brand also is expanding is assortment to include an inaugural leather floor tiles collection.
Participating in ICFF for the first time, award-winning UK atelier Ayka Design's limited edition 'Beauty' rug was a head-turner.
London-based interior designer K. Michelle Evans brings her hand-crafted, intricate rug designs to the ICFF for the first time. Evan's studio, Ayka Design, which won a 2017 Carpet Design Award for Best Traditional Design at Domotex, showcased its collection of award-winning bespoke rugs, including Belem, a finalist at the NYCxDesign Awards (read full story).
BOKARA RUG CO.
Bokara brings a range of contemporary designs to ICFF 2017, including a new minimally patterned hand-loomed collection.
New Jersey-based Bokara Rug Company returns to ICFF with a selection of new contemporary designs and a range of new Moroccans. "ICFF is more about getting our brand recognized and making new friends," said Jonathan Soleimani, vice president. The company showcased the clean looks of a new hand-loomed collection made in India of wool, viscose and silk.
Artist Carol Benson-Cobb's painterly abstract carpet design for Creative Touch were on show at ICFF.
Repeat ICFF participant Creative Touch returns to the fair showcasing its new Carol Benson-Cobb artist collection, and fresh Patchwork and lustrous Sari Night designs. "Traffic is better this year; the show is better with beautiful vendors," said Baki Ildiz, general manager at Creative Touch. "It is one of my favorite shows in the U.S."
Premiering in the U.S. at ICFF were new designs from the Inspirations collection by Luxe French rug atelier Edition Bougainville. Pictured hanging from left, Fjord Ochre from the Inspirations collection and Mazarin Vintage Tears from the Renaissance collection.
Already providing rugs in the U.S. through Grange furniture showrooms here, French couture rug house Edition Bougainville came to ICFF with an eye toward additional distribution. "We are showing two main collections: one is Renaissance based on classic French style rugs that we try to make trendier with contemporary colors. The other is Inspirations, that's more contemporary. But, custom-made is the core of Bougainville. We can adjust the sizes, and change the color and the pattern, too," said Oliver Charles, grandson of the founder of Bougainville of Le Connet, France.
Eliko adds the new Illuminated Shapes collection, shown in center of display, to its series in collaboration with New York artist Brigita Krasauskaite at ICFF.
Eliko, known for its antique and vintage rugs, continues to grow its assortment of contemporary designs, showcasing them at the ICFF. During the show, New York artist Brigita Krasauskaite was on hand to walk designers through her latest designs for Eliko. "For every market, we bring out a new contemporary collection, and working with someone like Brigita gives us a lot of unique and different designs," said Eliko's Ariel Basalely. "She offers a whole new perspective on rugs. We are happy: The show is definitely busier this year than last year."
First-time ICFF exhibitor Etnik Halicilik showcases its assortment of vintage rugs including hemp flatweaves and overdyed flatweaves.
Etnik Halicilik, a name more familiar to Domotex and Maison & Objet attendees, joins the lineup at ICFF for 2017 introducing its vintage Turkish rugs to U.S. show attendees. Etnik participated in the inaugural ICFF Miami event last year and now makes the trek to NYC. "Our business is a bit unique," said Deniz Karyuz, with the Istanbul-based rug dealer. "Everything is vintage and we are looking to connect with furniture and rug shops." The company is best known for its vintage overdyes, hemp flatweaves.
FRENCH ACCENTS RUGS AND TAPESTRIES
French Accents brings a modern timeless flair to ICFF, showcasing its Nepalese Bespoke and Scandinavian collections.
French Accents Rugs and Tapestries returns to ICFF in 2017 showcasing its Nepalese Bespoke collection and its new Scandinavian collection of flatweaves. "It's all about making contacts," said Danny Shafiian of the event. "For this show we bring more modern and timeless designs."
Belgian high-end rug maker Limited Edition returns to ICFF with the velvety Flow, hand-tufted of 75 percent wool and 25 percent viscose.
Belgian high-end rug maker Limited Edition returns to ICFF with a booth shared with Belgian furniture label Wildspirit. Limited Edition, which manufactures all its rugs in that nation, participates to showcase its diverse collection of hand-crafted rugs. The 25 year old company was the first company to produce hand-tufted bordered rugs, according to Tom Corthals, export manager with Limited Edition.
LIZA PHILLIPS DESIGN
Nepalese hand-knotted rugs Mountain Stream, Shad Run and Blue Willow on display at Liza Phillips' stand at ICFF.
Nature-inspired rugs showcased by artist and graphic designer Liza Phillips at ICFF each tell a story. Blue Willow is from a photo she took under a year old willow tree; Mountain Stream is based on a small drawing of a hillside landscape, and Shad Run reimagines a pencil sketch of a school of shad swimming upstream. All are hand-knotted in Nepal and offered in custom colors and sizes.
MARC PHILLIPS DECORATIVE RUGS
Marc Phillips returns to ICFF with its newest Scandinavian designs.
Long-time ICFF participant, Marc Phillips Decorative Rugs returns to ICFF showcasing the latest additions to its Scandinavian and Moroccan collections. Marc Partial, co-owner, noted that the company is doing very well with Scandinavian flatweaves and thus has been expanding the range.
Mastour Galleries showcases Tibetan abstract designs in blues and grays.
Mastour returned to ICFF for the third time highlighting its signature line of hand-made rugs from its Modern Couture range, made in Nepal of wool and silk. New designs in soft contemporary neutrals of blues and grays featured abstracted styling, some with high-low details. "ICFF is more branding than business, but traffic has been excellent," said Joseph Mastour.
Nasiri Carpets presents its best-selling Mid-Century Modern collection of modern flatweaves to ICFF. Shown, a vintage Pelas
New York-based Nasiri brings its Mid-century Modern recreations to the 2017 installment of ICFF. The flatweaves, available in any size and texture, are sourced from carpets from the 1920s-1950s, and are the award-winning Nasiri's best-selling rugs, Nader Nasiri told RugNews.com.
Orley Shabahang brings its most popular designs to ICFF including its successful Rain collection, shown is Windows in gray and white.
Orley Shabahang, which returned to ICFF in 2016 after a five year hiatus, focuses the 2017 edition on its best-sellers, including Galaxy, Rain and the Antonia Guzman artist collections, Sheeva Shabahang told RugNews.com. "We want to find wholesalers to work with and this show is great for us and helps us find representation around the country."
London-based Ornate Rugs debuts at ICFF and the U.S., with a selection of contemporary flatweaves, overdyes and patchworks.
Ornate Rugs, a London dealer of area rugs crafted in Pakistan and Afghanistan, debuts to U.S. audiences at the 2017 ICFF, said Muhammad Afzal, business development manager. Ornate displayed a broad assortment of designs ranging from hand-woven contemporary kilims to vintage overdyes.
SAM GLANKOFF STUDIO/PERENNIALS
The Sam Glankoff SGW Collections studio chose ICFF to debut its inaugural collection of area rugs by Perennials based on the artist's oeuvre.
Modernist artist Sam Glankoff's works are translated into art for the floor by Wendy Snyder, owner of The Sam Glankoff SGW Collections, in collaboration with Sutherland's Perennials, known for its solution-dyed acrylic yarns. The new Tibetan-knot area rugs, crafted from the same durable yarns, are part of Perennials Luxury Performance rugs and the Glankoff designs feature a soft, thick pile that naturally resists stains, fading and mildew.
Samad Brothers debuts its latest luxe collection called Transcendence, shown in a wool and silk blend rug.
New York area showroom Samad Brothers was showcasing plenty of new rugs, all handmade, at the 2017 ICFF, including its debut of the sumptuous erased weave designs of the new Transcendence collection and the new Artists collection, inspired by nature. "ICFF is great," David Samad, co-owner of Samad, told RugNews.com.
S&H Rugs highlights designs in fashion tones of blue, ivory and gray at ICFF 2017. Shown above, rugs from its Modern collection, including Honeycomb hanging left.
S&H Rugs returns to ICFF with plenty of fresh abstract, modern and transitional designs in strokes of blue, ivory and gray. "The show is great and traffic is great," said Ori Wilbush, president of the New Jersey company, who returned to the show with a larger, better-placed booth (read full story). S&H displayed a number of new designs from its Modern and Abstract collections.
SHORE INNOVATIVE RUGS
Hand-woven in London, Shore's award-winning rugs are crafted from pure silicone, and sold as wellness mats and for waterside applications, such as pools and yachts.
London-based Shore Rugs founders Louie Rigano and Gil Muller earned the 2017 ICFF Editors' Award for Material Innovation, presented at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair on May 22 (read story). The company's comfort and wellness mats are hand woven of 100 percent silicone material that feels like a gel shoe insert and is designed to release leg strain and fatigue normally caused by standing on hard surfaces for long periods.
SOHO DESIGN DISTRICT
The Rug Company's Thistle by Vivienne Westwood was in the spotlight at the inaugural Soho Design District stand at ICFF.
The SoHo Design District, an organization created to promote the NYC neighborhood as a premier design destination, exhitis at an inaugural booth at the ICFF to showcase its 30 member brands (read more). The retail-inspired collective booth featured, furniture, lighting, home accessories, and area rugs from top international names including Gan, Nanimarquina and The Rug Company.
Tibetano debuts its striking Crush Works collection designed by Toronto artist Adrienne Jackson. Shown on the wall is Unhinged Wild.
New York rug atelier Tibetano makes a splash at ICFF with the debut of the vibrant Crush Works collection by Toronto artist Adrienne Jackson. "The collection is being received really well," said Jackson, who flew down for the show debut. The new collection is handmade in Nepal of wool and silk (read full story).
WARP & WEFT
Long-time ICFF participant Warp & Weft returns to the 2017 edition with its new Twilight collection.
"We try to keep it simple," said Warp & Weft owner Michael Mandapati. "For us, ICFF is all about branding and meeting our clients." Highlighting the Warp & Weft stand were designs from the minimalist Twilight, a hand-knotted collection featuring 40 blended shades of Himalayan wool in striaed solids and geometric designs. Twilight was a finalist in the 2017 NYCxDesign Awards.
The modernist rug collection called Geo [metry] by Marcia Weese is based on the grid, and made of Tibetan wool with silk accents.
Breaking into the rug business with her Prairie collection of nature-inspired rug designs that were classic yet modern, Marcia Weese introduces her new Geo [metry] collection to ICFF 2017 shoppers. "I wanted to do something architectural. You can't go wrong with the grid, but I wanted to dissolve it and play with it. I wanted to make it less static," Weese told RugNews.com. Hand knotted of Tibetan wool in a cool palette of blues, grays and whites, the rugs feature accent lines of 100 percent silk.
Woven Concepts showcases Emerson in caviar from its Rumi Silk collection, which re-spins and hand-knots the finest remnants of sustainable sari-silk.
Award-winning area rug brand Woven Concepts returns to ICFF with a display of its Galaxy designs and Emerson, part of its Rumi Silk collection, crafted from sari-silk remnants. "We're meeting with both existing and new clients," said Jasmine Hakimian. "While this show is mostly branding, we do business as a result of this show."