|THE STARS OF DOMOTEX - PEOPLE,
PRODUCTS & TRENDS, PART 1
HANNOVER, Germany -- Domotex this year was a study in contrasts. From designs crafted using centuries-old techniques, to those born of state of the art machine weaving technology -- and from Himalayan wool and raw silk to metallic yarns crafted of recycled candy wrappers -- the 2018 event offered area rug innovation and fashion for everyone and every budget.
The layout of the Hannover fair itself was new, as was the keynote theme: Unique Youniverse. Extending throughout exhibit stands in every hall, but particularly evident in Hall 9 where it commingled with luxury rug exhibit stands, Unique Youniverse distilled to its essence the global trend to personalization and customization.
Bold signage announces the Unique Youniverse theme at Domotex 2018.
Customized design is nothing new to the rug industry. Neither is storytelling. Both were on steroids at the show and in demand more than ever before at Domotex. At Jaipur Rugs, for example, new collections translated familiar elements of traditional rural architecture in India to lavishly textured carpets with contemporary appeal.
Designer Lila Valdan transformed her exhibit space into a classic Persian courtyard with a jaw-dropping water feature as backdrop for Iranian classically woven carpets in thoroughly modern designs and color schemes. And M.A. Trading of California designed a Framing Trends exhibit to conjure the atmosphere of an underwater cave. Adorned with watery blue swatches suspended in air, the display took storytelling to a new level as it cleverly illustrated every step of the rug making process.
In Part 1 of our exclusive coverage of the Domotex show, we people-watch and tour the stands of companies Ariana through M.A. Trading for the newest products. For Part 2, which covers Mc Three Group through Zollanvari, click here.
Gorohov Sergey of Carpets Gallery in Moscow and his associate review an array of hand-knotted designs spilling out of the Ariana Rugs exhibit with Alex Ahmadi of Los Angeles-based Ariana.
Design trailblazer Alex Ahmadi of Ariana Rugs brought a varied range to the show, from the almost-traditional to borderless repetitive patterns in an impressive mix of styles and colors. Ahmadi goes for a unique look, which was obvious in new additions to the award-winning Barchi collection crafted in Kabul, Afghanistan, as well as the finely woven traditional designs Ariana updates in pale ivory tones, often with hints of blue.
Jack Simantob, Max Moussavi and Eddie Simantob, all of Art Resources in Los Angeles, proudly show off their 2018 Carpet Design Award for the Best Transitional Design at their Domotex stand.
Winner of the 2018 Carpet Design Award for Best Transitional Design at this year's Hannover fair, Art Resources' Domotex stand was a meeting point for retailers and designers throughout the event. (Read about all the Carpet Design Award winners here.)While their award was for the Blue Star design inspired by Islamic art, the company showcased a variety of on-point abstract art motifs in colorways from vivid and bold to icy pale neutrals.
Paige Albright of Oriental Rugs, Birmingham, Alabama, with Rob Leahy of Fine Rugs of Charleston, South Carolina, and Roz Rustigian of Rustigian Rugs in Providence, R. I., pose in front of a vibrant abstract design at the Art Resources' Domotex booth.
Battilossi and Lapchi
Maurizio Battilossi of Galleria Battilossi in Turin, Italy, and Nathan Tucker of Lapchi, U.S., in front of a rug from the Italian studio's Pattern Mix collection, woven in Pakistan.
Exclusive to Lapchi in the U.S., rugs from Galleria Battilossi's Pattern Mix collection designed by Draga Obradovic were showstoppers in Hannover, with one design shortlisted for a 2018 Carpet Design Award. The line offers a refined viewpoint on pattern and perspective, with juxtaposed geometrics and an organic look and feel.
Equally impressive were the Battilossi collections Series 1 and Series 2 rugs developed in collaboration with Lapchi, and hand knotted in Katmandu. Lapchi's Nathan Tucker explained the nuances between the two lines: "S1 has a thicker, ribbed feel with a heavier pile, while S2 is a lower pile and more refined: Most of the S2 designs have foundations of wool, but we're using a lot of different textiles for the accents. Some off it is sari silk, some raw Indian silk, or smooth Chinese silk. It depends on the effect we wanted to achieve."
Unveiled at Domotex from the Series 2 collection, this transitional rug's blue-gray colorway and new soft construction with low sheared pile was among the favorites of shoppers at Battilossi's stand.
Gabriel Vaknin and Jonathan Soleimani of Bokara Rug in Secaucus, New Jersey, which returns to Domotex after a nine-year hiatus.
"We came to build brand awareness," Jonathan Soleimani, vice president of Bokara Rug, said of the company's return to Domotex. Bokara introduces new designs monthly according to Soleimani, and the exhibit space was brimming with premiering rugs in both new and existing collections - with blue and grey colorways preferred by Hannover shoppers followed by a new combination of golds with blue.
Gabriel Vaknin added, "The majority of our booth here -- 80 percent of the goods -- are wool and silk. We are trying to keep it high end." He said the response to new additions to the Canterbury and Windsom collections were well received.
Bokara Rug introduces Domotex audiences to its high-end collections of handmade designs from best-selling and premiering collections.
Ayush Choudhary and Vimal Choudhary of Choudhary Exports, pose for RugNews.com in front of Chand LC Champagne, part of the winning Best Collection in the Carpet Design Awards at Domotex 2018.
Choudhary Exports earned top prize in this year's Carpet Design Awards for Best Collection at Domotex with Chand LC, a line designed by renowned young Indian architect Ashiesh Shah. The collection's five unique-dimensional styles are inspired by the iconic mid-century municipal buildings designed by French architect Le Corbusier in the city of Chandigarh in India.
"We also run a retail brand in India called Cocoon, with three stores that cater to the interior designer and architect community in India," explained Ayush Choudhary. "Chand LC was developed in collaboration with Ashiesh Shah for Cocoon. The rugs are hand-knotted of over-twisted handspun highland wool and natural handspun silk, and the detailing is very interesting. Some have fringes only on one side, and the fringe is overdyed to give a cool urban touch to the rug."
The unique look of the city of Chandigarh's building facades and grid system is reflected in Chand LC Charcoal, the rug displayed in Domotex's 'Framing Trends' section to represent the winning collection.
John Feizy introduces RugNews.com to the inventive weaving capabilities of Gaziantep, Turkey-based Covtex-Feizy, his production house for machine-made area rugs.
Showing at Domotex since 2002, Covtex-Feizy is more than a supplier of all machine-made production for Feizy Rugs in the U.S. In fact, it distributes to 25 countries and further expansion is planned, according to principal, John Feizy.
This gives Feizy a unique perspective on international trends. "Decorating tastes differ in the U.S. versus those of customers in Covtex-Feizy's other global markets," John Feizy explained. "It's always been different. The European and Central American markets typically follow the U.S., but they're always somewhat different," he said. "Sometimes we may develop similar designs, but in those cases we protect our dealers. Covtex will not sell the designs we have in the U.S."
Covtex-Feizy showcases a range of designs machine-made in Turkey, including these abstract modern and transitional designs which caught the attention of buyers.
Yogesh Chaudhary, Jaipur Rugs, poses with sisters Asha Chaudhary of Jaipur Living in the U.S. and Kavita Chaudhary of Jaipur Rugs, in front of a new Kumhalaana rug with Michael Pourvakil of Weavers Art in Toronto.
For its 10th consecutive year at Domotex, Jaipur Rugs took a new approach to its mission of bringing rural craftsmanship to the global stage with three collections created to blur the barriers between urban design attitudes and the charming simplicity of village life.
The collections include: Kumhalaana (a group of rugs symbolizing the beauty and charm in decaying or aging exteriors of rural homes), Jharokha (an architectural feature of classic Rajasthani construction), and Kadava, a collection named for a Gujarati word that translates to "mud" in English, and is an abundant resource used for traditional construction. All rugs in the debuting collections are lavishly textured and hand knotted of wool and bamboo silk.
Hand knotted of wool and bamboo silk, this design from the Kadava collection by Jaipur Rugs conjures the mud exterior walls in rural homes in India.
Lila Valdan recreates a Persian courtyard replete with water feature as a setting for her highly personalized area rug designs.
Lila Valdan, known for contemporizing classic patterns and weaves, was the recipient of two Carpet Design Awards at this year's Hannover fair: One for Best Modern Design Superior for her Chaos rug and another for Best Flatweave Design for a moody midnight blue flatweave carpet called Vague Harmony.
Visitors to her dramatic Domotex stand found an irresistibly alluring recreation of the courtyard of a Persian home, with rugs integrated into the interior landscape.
Winner of two Carpet Design Awards at Domotex 2018, Lila Valdan created the ultimate display in keeping with the fair's 'Unique Youniverse' theme.
M.A. Trading / MAT
A Domotex attendee visits with Ibrahim Ansari of M.A. Trading at the company's Framing Trends exhibit, 'Dive into the Big Blue', which showcases the rug making process.
Selected for a coveted Framing Trends exhibit in Hall 9, M.A.Trading presented, 'Dive into the Big Blue' with tie-dyed effect blue carpets illustrating the rug making process in a cave-like display. "The different shades of in the rug designs really flow from dark to light just like water," explained Ayub Ansari back at the company's Hall 8 stand, where all new designs were on show.
M.A. Trading, based in Redondo Beach, California, showcased new looks from its various brand collections, including MAT Basics' modern and high-end rugs, more affordable MAT Orange collections and MAT Vintage collection's antique style rugs made of recycled wool.
At M.A. Trading's exhibit stand in Hall 8, Ayub Ansari points out a new tie-dye motif of a debuting 2018 wool rug. Emulating the flow of water, the same pattern lined the walls of the company's 'Dive into the Big Blue' display.