Tens of thousands of fellow design enthusiasts descend on the five boroughs each May for what is now branded as NYCxDesign, a nebulous “week” of showcases, talks, studio visits, presentations and parties. And yes, even dashing from one fete to the next can be work! But from daytime at ICFF in the cavernous Javits Center to the Saturday cocktail frolics in the jewel box boutiques of Soho, we have become seasoned vets—from our scanning eye to our comfy Esquivel brogues.
News In the Works
First stop: Manhattan site of WantedDesign. But before we walked the long Terminal Stores building to hunt for new resources, we met up with organizers from IDS Vancouver and the LA Design Festival to finalize the details of our partnership event during the latter’s fest June 20-23 featuring Canadian designer Lukas Peet and New Zealand’s Simon James at A+R. (Definitely do not want to miss it!).
WantedDesign always serves up insight into what fledgling designers worldwide and near are imagining, and while not all of it fits A+R’s aesthetic, we are stimulated by the creativity on show. Not everyone there is new to the arena, and we zeroed in on a brand from my native Spain that has long been crafting outdoor furniture and lighting with a modern style all its own. Suffice it to say—stay Calma and carry on—as we finalize introducing the line stateside.
Very Good & Proper is based in London, but taking in Ed Carpenter’s newly expanded collection at ICFF, we teased that he was clearly California dreaming. With its laidback sensibility and bold color accents countering the natural wood, this cool collection seems right a home—or in a free-form workspace—according to the tenets of life in the Golden State. Who can resist?
How else to describe what would happen upon spotting the statement side tables in the Ferm Living “apartment” showcase at ICFF? The Danish design house with a distinctly feminine edge didn’t corner the market, mind you, but these examples (along with much of the entire brand) certainly have us expanding our offerings of the line this summer.
That adage that luxury is using the good stuff every day thankfully appears to be more than lip service for some designers, and the following will be arriving at A+R very soon.
Niels Bendtsen is that rare no-nonsense individual who delivered one of our favorite examples in the new Stax from Bensen. This gorgeous stacking chair crafted in Italy boasts a solid wood frame (ash, white oak or walnut) and a removable seat cover (leather or woven strips).
Another standout was James Lounge—swathed in baby blue leather—part of Stellar Works new collection by George Yabu and Glenn Pushelburg. The Shanghai-based furniture maker celebrated the collab at the stunning Yabu Pushelburg studios in SoHo with a delicious party catered by Mission Chinese.
Still marveling over the marble-lidded glass cylinders—that charge a mobile phone while providing an ambient light. Pablo Pardo’s Carousel is functional luxury epitomized. And can’t wait to score one for the house.
The revival for crescent club chairs, love seats and sofas show no sign of waning, and whether the reference is Art Deco or postmodern, rounded backs, arms and edges are on trend. Perhaps these elegant hugs of furniture are a response to the uncertain world outside our doors?
Deco-inspired pouf from Ferm Living
Andy + Rose chill at the Menu Apartment
We always mix business with pleasure. And it was a treat to not only chat over a cocktail with some of the international designers and reps we work with at A+R, but to also see our newly relocated senior design advisor Conor Ford. Seven years in at our LA base, Conor recently set up in Brooklyn to be closer to our east coast business. The three of us did the rounds at Saturday’s SoHo parties–at Flos, Lee Broom, Tom Dixon (Conor seen at Dixon’s lavish temple) among others–and capped the eve at our old local fave, Bar Pitti, where we ran into the duchessa of New York, our pal Debi Mazar.