Direct from Market: New York
Bessie Nestoras -- Casual Living, February 4, 2013
The New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) is in the midst of transition, one that will shape the future of the East Coast market for years to come. As of this August, NYIGF will become NY NOW, the Market for Home and Lifestyle. The New York market will also reorganize all exhibitors into complementary divisions and sub sections to better serve buyers, and construction will be complete in time for this August's summer show.
At the recent winter market, which took place, January 26-30, it was still business as usual as the Jacob K. Javits Center flooded with buyers from all over through all levels, looking for something new.
RabLabs is expanding its product offerings to include lamps. There are two styles available-an agate and an amethyst. The company also added Lucite trays to its 2013 collection. The trays feature chrome handles and have agate in the center.
Known for its fun and quirky gifts, The Sarut Group continues to intrigue with a new scented bag line. Clutches, cosmetic totes and more in the shape, and scent, of chocolate bars and macarons. Also new is a collection of figures made from recycled flip flops. They come in various animals, including a rhinoceros and an elephant.
Juliska is getting into baking. The company offered a breakfast/baking collection which includes a measuring cup, mixing bowls, batter bowls, a bread baking dish, pastry stands and more in its famous Berry and Thread pattern.
Jonathan Adler introduced a new bath and body collection called Be Body. The line includes gift sets of body wash and body lotion, hand wash and hand lotion, and soap on a rope. Scents include Fig, Grapefruite and Tomato.
Newcomer Deborah Shavlik of Studio DKS exhibited at the New York International Gift Fair for the first time. The designer offers a collection of hand-felted pillows featuring edgy images, such as smoke, a skull, "happy" pills, a swallow tattoo, red lips and more. The images are "drawn" on the fabric using a needle and wet felting process.
And from Ohio comes Little Korboose by April Nemeth. The design and illustration shop creates screen-printed T-shirts for kids, pillow pals, and melamine plates, bowls and trays and more featuring fund and playful images such as bunnies, cats, bicycles and robots.
Around the World
There was no shortage of international vendors at the NYIGF. Bone Collection
Bone Collection's flash drives are fun and functional. The Taiwanese company offers a selection of drives in a variety of characters, including a ninja, penguin, the Queen's guard and more. And it's not just flash drives, the company also offers gear for the iPhone, iPad and iPod, including cases, a Horn Stand, whose design is reminiscent of a bugle on a phonograph (the stand can amplify sound up to 15 dB) and more.
London-based Black + Blum's Polar Bear ice cube tray is shaped like a polar bear. Simply fill the vessel with water, it features a small hole at the bottom letting you know when you've filled it to capacity, then put it in the freezer. When the ice cubes have formed, give the polar bear a shake-or a bang on the table-and take them out from the bear's snout.
Black + Blum
Belgian company Tamawa offers a collection of decorative objects and jewelry made from the same material as billiard balls. The line includes watches, coat racks, table lamps, salt and pepper mills and more. The designs are young and modern in bright fashion-forward colors.
The Pokket Mixer allows one to be a dj at home. Simply connect two audio devices to the Pokket Mixer, connect that to a sound system, and mix your beats. Made in Berlin, the Pokket Mixer does not need batteries or electrical power.
From Saint-Tropez comes Marinette. The French lifestyle company made its debut at the NYIGF and offers everything for the home-from tabletop to textiles to clothing to decorative accents in various themes, including light and airy looks, a country theme, romantic motifs, as well as beach looks.
The Male Factor
Men's gifts is a growing category. More and more manufacturers are adding a men's line, and there are more male-specific companies in the marketplace. Kalencom introduced Parsons Gray a new bag line for men. The pieces are made from wax canvas and trimmed with leather. The collection was designed by Amy Butler's husband. Butler also has a collection for the company.
Würkin Stiffs introduced a new collection of RFID wallets.
The men's personal care category is continuing to grow all around. Lothantique expanded its men's bath and body line, which debuted at the August 2012 NYIGF, with soaps, candles and more. The sleek, black packaging is appealing to the male audience, and buyers have been ordering it up. The company's Herve Gambs collection has also been popular for men. Also for men, Ireland's The Handmade Soap Company, distributed by Cie Luxe in the U.S., launched its vintage shaving kit, complete with apothecary designed packaging for the man with an old soul. Mine Design Home added some new candles to its collection, including Cleo, decorative green jars with male- and female-friendly scents like Bourbon and Orange. The Men's Soap Shop
Spitfire Girl had a crowd building around to check out its old-world style soaps; each is mixed, poured, cut and packaged in a Boston factory. All come in classic tin containers. French soap makers, La Lavande recommends its new Sandalwood scent for men, while Blithe and Bonny who are moving to package more in glass, launched a woodsier Cedar Sage collection. Spitfire Girl launched new wood-inspired flasks with vintage printings on each.
Flowers for Mom
In the bath and body category, some new additions made big noise. MOSAIQ an artsy, decorative line of candles and diffusers fashioned with white, frosted glass vessels gained some of the most attention-and even picked up the Best of Show Extracts award. Each box is designed in a colorful collage of florals and opens up for gift givers to write inside-and use as a keepsake. It is perfect for Mother's Day gifting, as well as any time of year; the company also has a winter holiday collection. Mother's Day was also big on the agenda with new hand and fragrance sets specifically designed for the holiday from MOR. NEST even debuted its White Narcisse scent, which will be launched in time for Mom's Day, while the Soap and Paper Factory also launched three new scents in eau de parfum, body lotion, soap bars and bubble bath: Tuberose, Neroli and Marine. Each scent is packaged in colorful vintage apothecary-style jars with complementary, bright labeling.
Soap and Paper Factory
More flowers were in the jewelry department. Calamarie brought something new to the New York market: roses made as pieces of jewelry from orange peel and vegetable dyes, They are made in Columbia.
Abhana also introduced its British collection of perfumes, including a new fragranced jewelry line, featuring necklaces and bracelets that hold mini scent buds. Designer Carsten Jorgensten is stepping into more "jewels" and scent as well with Serene House. Diamonds is a white scent pod shaped like a chocolate bar from which a piece can be broken off and placed on a decorative dish. For scent, essential oil scents can be dropped on each "diamond" for hours of fragrance in home. Rosy Rings also shared with Gifts and Decorative Accessories that it will be launching its Peacock Parfumerie line this summer, a collection of jewelry that holds scented buds. The company also had its new Wax Sachets hanging from a tree like ornaments. Each rectangle scent slate features dried flowers and herbs sourced from around the world and fragrances can last three to six months.
Travel-based items were also sprinkled throughout the show. In addition to its new Belle Farm gourmet food collection, featuring, honeys, jams and nuts, Rosanna added more to its Voyage collection for the jetsetters, including new travel bags in portico designs, large decorative travel wallets big enough to hold a passport, luggage tags and more. Pinch showcased its emergency travel kit of all the grooming essentials complete in flashy little pouches. The Allasis collection by Chesapeake Bay Candle also made sure to add travel tin versions of all its scents for people on the move, while Serene House also added a travel compact and car and computer scent plug ins for fragrances on the go.
Metal-made goods from America were also big at the show throughout all levels. Caliber is an elegant line of jewelry made from reclaimed gun parts; a portion of the sale of each piece goes to the Gun Amnesty Buyback program of Newark, NJ. In the Handmade Designer Maker section, it was hard not to see some decorative pieces made of metals, from NELLESS' copper-accented elephant and pig figurines and banks to pieces at Blackthorn Forge, Mullanium and Metal Yardbirds. Black + Blum also showcased its new sideways cast iron tape
dispenser. Manuel Ferreiro had a booth full of buyers gazing at his handmade bronze sculptures. Each takes Ferreiro up to six weeks to create, with no two pieces alike-including his glasses, bicycle and more. He has more than 50 designs in his collection and ships directly from Mexico.
Vintage looks continue to be popular. Marc Vidal through The Sarut Group is a French line of vintage toys and games.
Aladdin's Mason jar tumblers are double insulated and dishwasher safe, they're the perfect addition to a backyard barbecue. The company's recycled glass tumblers also have a vintage diner look to them, and the best part is they can be recycled again. And speaking of diner looks, Aladdin introduced a diner mug, albeit slightly larger than the one you might see at an actual diner, the shape is the same. The company also introduced the Heritage collection featuring the original Scottish plaid that was used in the 1950s and 1960s. The lunch kit includes a lunch box, thermos, cups and containers.
More antique and vintage looks were spotted at Jamie Young. The designer offered a selection of French antique hat molds, as well as a new cut glass collection of lamps with a retro feel.