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10312016 Novogratz by Momeni Rugs Launches to Fanfare at High Point Market

By Carol Tisch

Cortney and Robert Novogratz await the opening night festivities at the new Momeni showroom in High Point devoted exclusively to their debut rug collection, Novogratz by Momeni.

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Fans of husband and wife design team Robert and Cortney Novogratz turned out en masse for the official trade launch of the 15 inaugural collections of Novogratz by Momeni area rugs at a High Point Market opening night party on Saturday, October 22, 2016.

Displayed in a dedicated Novogratz by Momeni showroom (IHFC G-369) opposite Momeni's existing space, the rugs were well received during market, Reza Momeni, CEO, Momeni, and the Novogratz told RugNews.com in an exclusive interview.

"One of the best parts of the launch was the delight it inspired in everyone who came into the space. Time and again we heard that the showroom evoked happiness and a sense of fun -- a freshness that had been lacking in the marketplace. Designers and buyers were inspired by the unique vignettes, the vision and creativity that went into the rug designs and the new qualities we unveiled," said Momeni. 

Noting that the indoor collections resonating most with furniture store buyers were Bungalow, Retro and Delmar, Momeni said the overall reaction was the line offered the right price points and qualities, and enough diversity to appeal to a broad range of customers. "Their enthusiasm was well reflected in orders placed," he added.

The decision to partner with Momeni was an easy one, Cortney Novogratz explained. "My husband and I have always really wanted to do a rug collaboration, and we had heard through the grapevine that Momeni was a great company, with incredible people, and that they were very family-based. When we first started meeting the Momeni team, we realized that they were the right fit, because they are everything we believe in, which is family."

Dubbed the "First Family of Design," and best known for their Bravo TV show, 9 By Design, starring the designing couple and their seven kids, the Novogratz designed the rug collections in close collaboration with the Momeni team, headed by lead designer Katy Repetto. "They are big on family, so we have that in common with them. And Katy is a genius: she and the principals at Momeni really get us and our aesthetic. It was a pleasure working with them," said Robert Novogratz.

The Momeni and Novogratz families celebrate the new rug collection at the High Point market launch party. From left: Reza Momeni, Robert and Cortney Novogratz,  with Momeni's Katy Repetto, Ali Momeni, and Aria Momeni.

"We were super-excited by the response to our rugs. Everybody from designers to retailers were really going crazy about the collection - in a good way. It is very different from the things they've seen: It's very happy; very playful. And more importantly they are putting in orders. It's one thing liking it, but they've got to love it and they've got to buy it. So the response has been overwhelming," Robert Novogratz told RugNews.com.

The dramatic showroom, designed by Robert and Cortney Novogratz features a gallery-like setting.

Novogratz said the rugs that were hits of market lined up with some research the couple had done on their own before the launch. "The ones that we had tested a little bit on social media seem to be the big hits: that is, the skull rug. The military Morse Code rug, and the family rug -- people liked that one.

"And I think everyone really appreciated the quality of the rugs. The outdoor doormats were a big hit. I've done rugs before [for interior design projects], but I am new to the rug business. It's surprising to me how big the outdoor rug business is," he said.

From left, Cortney Novogratz; Heather Novak French of French & French in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Jeff Fenton, Reside Home, Santa Fe; Chris Martinez, Reside Home; and Kendra Henning Reside Home, Santa Fe.

Designers from Reside Home in Sante Fe, New Mexico, told RugNews.com they were impressed by the originality and freshness of the collection. "We are big fans. How exciting to see what the Novogratz have done, and how inspiring for us as a new design firm. I particularly loved the indoor-outdoor rugs -- they were so colorful and a little Bohemian," said Amy Leary of Reside Home.

Fun and colorful rugs at the Novogratz by Momeni showroom.

That echoed the response at a preview for select customers and media in September at the Novogratz castle in Los Angeles (read full story). "We had a party for Momeni in Los Angeles and they brought in some of their key buyers. We layered the rugs everywhere and set up vignettes throughout the house," Novogratz said.


Aria Momeni and Jeff Hallman of Momeni flank Aimee Concepcion of Lulu and Georgia in West Hollywood, Calif., at the High Point launch party for Novogratz by Momeni. 
"I think it's very important for all of us in design to see how a design actually works in someone's real home. People really understand the concept and the designs more than they would from an image or on a rug pallet. Buyers really understood what we were trying to achieve, and the story we were trying to tell."
The Novogratz are not new to licensing. They have been with Doral furniture for many years, and have a bedding collection with Divatex. "We have a major collection with the Shade Store and we've been with CB2 for four yearS," Novogratz explained. 
Although the Momeni rugs coordinate with some patterns in the Shade Store program, he said, "Going forward, the rug collection will be the leader of new design."

Hits at High Point Market included the Novogratz by Momeni collection's indoor outdoor doormats, many adorned with messages (above) and the Morse Code military rug (below).
Set up as a gallery with rugs hanging on walls and displayed on floors alone and in vignettes with furniture and accessories, the inaugural collection in many cases reflected the "First Family of Design's" love of family and children. But Novogratz cautions: "The majority of rugs are not juvenile -- but we definitely have juvenile rugs within the collection."

Colorful and graphic, the Novogratz by Momeni  collection features a playful designs, including the Skull rug which was a hit with market shoppers.
"Even with our own kids' rooms, we never want to get too kiddy," he said. "The look is a little more sophisticated, so that a design could just as easily be in a parent's room. For instance, the military rug: We've heard comments from buyers and a lot of moms are buying it for their husbands - or the husbands are buying for themselves -- of course that rug could go into kids' rooms as well -- but it's not just for kids."

A bedroom vignette shows the sophisticated approach to kids' rooms (above) Below, the ballerina rug design takes a more playful approach to a girl's room.
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