ATLANTA -- While some of the area rug industry's big names were noticeably absent from the halls of AmericasMart's Building One this summer, market shoppers had plenty to see in the way of innovative designs and constructions, vibrant colorways, and on-trend motifs.
RugNews.com queried 16 Atlanta exhibitors to find what garnered attention this summer, most agreeing that their shining stars are certain to inform the designs they will introduce and highlight this week in Las Vegas and in High Point come fall. Indeed, two exhibitors -- Tamarian and French Accents each showcased a wall filled with sneak peek samples of collections officially set to debut at The Rug Show in New York in September.
Printed rugs stole the show, with plenty of pattern, and stunning abrash effects. In counterpoint, wool returns in flatweave looks at slightly higher price points. Above all, texture continues to top retailers' shopping lists, and the plush, soft Hygge look has made its way into more showrooms than ever before.
Here's a look at the product highlights and sure winners at the summer 2019 Atlanta Rug Market.
A traditional design from Amer Rugs' Arcadia collection.
A highlight in the Amer showroom is Arcadia, a machine-made rug with a plush pile and lots of detail in the traditional, bordered patterns. "Rust and navy are colors that people are looking for now," said Anupriya Choudhary, director. Arcadia joins a few other brand-new introductions in the showroom. "Venice is a machine-made line that people can't believe is such high quality," says Choudhary of the hit collection. And Hamilton features a mosaic effect accented with very detailed, high-low textures. Finally, Winslow is an innovative patterned range made of New Zealand wool and art silk. Buyers were intrigued that Winslow's various shades of grey and ivory are created by the undyed, natural colors of the sheep.
A Charise collection rug at Capel.
There was no doubt what the big highlight in the Capel showroom was: The eight rugs in the company's new Charise collection were front-and-center on the walls and floor of the showroom's entrance. The all-wool rugs are hand-knotted with space-dyed yarn, in patterns that lean toward traditional in feel. As for color, they are a muted palette of rust, charcoal, beige, and moss green. Said Cameron Capel, president-sales and marketing, the rug collection falls into price point that occupies an underserved space between low- and high-end options. At $499, "it's a great price for a hand-knot," said Capel. She said that the rug makes a good addition to a good-better-best assortment for a retailer. Based on its success, Capel said the company has the opportunity to expand the collection.
Contemporary design and vivid colors scored at F.J. Kashanian.
Asked what he expects to resonate with designers at summer markets, Jonathan Kashanian of F.J. Kashanian replied, "Modern, Modern, Modern." The company's Atlanta star, a lavishly textured rug punctuated with pastel and bright colors, is a prelude to new looks on deck for Vegas and beyond.
Dubbed "new age modern traditional" another selection updates classic motifs with unexpected pattern placement and ahead of the curve color palettes.
French Accents offers a sneak peek at its newest Mid-Century Modern designs.
Brilliant color and Mid-Century Modern designs from geometric and linear to graphic abstracts were attention grabbers at French Accents. According to Danny Shafiian, the samples on show were just a hint of a full collection to be introduced at The Rug Show in New York in September. "We believe in Mid-Century Modern. Designers want timelessness and longevity to their interiors which is not possible with the abstract designs that have been flooding the market."
Jaipur Living's first printed range, the Boehme collection.
Steve Sorrow, director of product development for Jaipur Living, is particularly proud of the company's Boehme collection -- its first-ever printed rugs. "They emulate hand-knotted rugs so nicely, at the price point of a machine-made rug," he said. The launch consists of seven designs, made of cotton and polyester. Patterns are Moroccan-inspired with a vintage look with a color palette heavily leaning towards oranges and rusts.
"We'll definitely be building on this" at future markets, said Sorrow, pointing out that printed rugs are a growing category overall. "It gives you a look that's hot with high-end designers, but at a price point that everyone can afford." In this case, a 6x9 rug will sell for around $299. Sorrow said the rugs are durable enough for high-traffic areas, and, "if it gets a stain, it already has that vintage, worn-out look!"
Jaunty highlights texture in the Evolution collection.
The Evolution collection was a highlight from Jaunty at the Atlanta market. The rug is made of a blend of wool, polyester, and viscose, designed to minimize the chance of shedding. Hand-woven in a grid design, the rug features subtle neutral colors and a high-low effect. Odyssey Fog is another pattern that the company was promoting, with a 3-dimensional effect and parts of the foundation exposed beneath the hand tufting. "For High Point, we'll mostly be promoting transitional patterns and contemporary, modern looks," notes Kami Navid, vice president of sales. In terms of color that will be seen in fall introductions, Navid said he's seeing that greys are finally dying down, with accents of golds, greens, and blues taking the front seat.
Kalaty introduces the 2 million point Kingsley collection.
A stunning new product from Kalaty was Kingsley. While the company specializes in hand-knotted rugs, this option is machine-made using a 2-million point construction that highlights an intricate, highly detailed traditional pattern. Made of acrylic and silkette, "This rug is designed to mimic a high-end hand-knot," said Kamran Kalaty, company spokesperson. A hand-bound edging with deliberate imperfections furthers the rug's handmade look.
Two hot off the looms intros will be shown in greater depth in Las Vegas: First, the Persian weave Ankara collection with elegant borderless Oushak designs and fashion colors; and second, dramatic new abstract designs debuted in Kalaty's popular Soumak collection as Kalaty tests the market's appetite for rich, bold colors.
KAS steps up machine-mades with the wool Ria collection.
While the company's big product launches will be seen in Las Vegas, one highlight that made an appearance in Atlanta was Ria. This machine-made wool range is "getting some nice attention here," noted Wendy Reiss, vice president of sales and national accounts, KAS. Made in China, the rugs have a vintage, traditional appeal with muted colorways of slate blue, ivory, taupe, coffee, and ivory and patterns of center or repeated medallions, with detailed border and corner patterns.
Ria fits a midrange price point, higher than synthetic machine-mades. "You're seeing a lot of wool offerings at a slightly higher price point, but in flatter weaves, not tufted." Reiss said the company's strategy going forward is to be more selective with product introductions. "We'll have a narrower collection but a deeper inventory," she said.
Loloi adds six new constructions to its Rifle Paper Co. assortment.
The Rifle Paper Co. license has proven to be a hit in Loloi's showroom, and it continues to garner attention with the six new rug constructions seen in Atlanta. "They're fabulous and fun," said Austin Craley, vice president of sales. The license is only about nine months old but Craley reported that customers have responded, and the collection's fresh look and unexpected color combinations are top sellers. The collection is ideal "for that store that wants a fresh pop of color," he said. New this market, Loloi added pillows to the Rifle Paper program which are rich with embellishments and embroidery. For the fall, Loloi plans to grow all four of its license programs with new introductions.
LR Resources solidifies its leadership in Naturals with new textural designs.
"I'm really excited about the newest additions to our Naturals collection," said Mike Thompson, direct division and general manager for the company. "We took some successful colors that were already doing well, and put them in new designs." For instance, there's a new rug featuring the company's popular shade of spa blue, and another that consists of a subtle mix of colors. Based on a request, another rug is a solid, neutral, natural hue. Going forward, "We will always add new designs and colors to our Naturals collection," said Thompson. "It's pretty much our franchise at this point." Thompson, who oversees brick-and-mortar retailers, estimates that about half of his business is in the jute-based rugs, which now consist of more than 40 design and color combinations.
A best-selling abstract design from Nourison's highly textured Prismatic collection.
"Prismatic is still a top performer for us," said Giovanni Marra, director of marketing. "The collection is a year and a half old and we just keep adding to it." He says that fans like Prismatic's bright colors and highly textured construction, as well as its moody abstract designs. In the wake of Prismatic's success, it's no surprise that Nourison's fall plans including adding even more colorful, painterly abstracts this fall. Also on the docket is more under the Calvin Klein license, based on the success of Pretoria, hand-made of mohair wool in a neutral solid grid-mosaic texture, and Agadir, a hand-woven Berber rug made of wool and Luxcelle.
PALMETTO LIVING BY ORIAN
Palmetto Living by Orian combines abstract design with super soft texture in its market hit Nirvana collection.
Two new collections, Riverstone and Nirvana are expected to be top sellers for summer and beyond noted Brandon Culpepper, chief revenue officer for Orian. Nirvana, a shag, is one of the heaviest products Orian has ever made. Meanwhile, Riverstone, a 16mm high-pile rug, also dense, has a more traditional look and is crafted of a super-soft polypropylene yarn that the company has been working to develop. "It's the softest yarn we've come up with yet," proclaimed Culpepper.
Rolling out a wealth of new products has been a mission for Palmetto Living over the past year, and Culpepper said now the company is monitoring those recent introductions to see what's working. Watch Orian's showrooms in the fall to check out Illusions, a collection that utilizes an entirely different yarn system featuring varying yarn thicknesses. The natural properties of polypropylene -- namely the almost metallic luster effect of untreated polypropylene -- are also incorporated into this new construction.
Safavieh scores with its hand-knotted wool Marrakech collection.
Safavieh expects a number of its Atlanta best-sellers to resonate with Las Vegas Market shoppers, with the hand-knotted wool Marrakech collection among its top sellers. The line's neutral tribal designs, woven in a textured, high-low loop pile, were market hits because of their adaptability to myriad decorating themes.
The company also benefits from a focus on the indoor-outdoor category with new performance collections Montage, Beach House and Bermuda each bringing on-trend designs to popular price points.
The design and texture of Surya's Montclair collection caught the attention of interior designers.
The Montclair collection was a focal point in the Surya showroom, where Satya Tiwari, president, described it as having a "beautiful design and texture." Made of 80 percent viscose and 20 percent wool, the hand-tufted product from India offers an affordable option for designers. "The handmade business - that's how designers can add value," said Tiwari. Going forward, Tiwari said that attendees at High Point can expect to see the company building on textural and higher-end looks that combine both high perceived value and quality, while still focusing on accessible and versatile neutrals.
Transitional rugs with pops of bold color were top sellers at Tamarian.
Designers at Tamarian are pushing the envelope when it comes to color, gradually "keying up color and seeing where the tolerance is," said Ned Baker, key account manager. Case in point is Retro Nightlife, a pattern that features accent colors of copper and yellow in an otherwise safely neutral blue and grey pattern. One way that the company is incorporating brighter colors in a way that doesn't feel too daring for consumers, is by the choice of yarn. Corals and raspberries, for instance are integrated into rug patterns in a variegated yarn, which plays with the saturation of the dye and blends it a little more seamlessly. At High Point Market, where Baker said he's able to connect more closely with buyers, the introductions will continue to focus on integrating slightly bolder colors into designs. In particular: "We are trying to find a really good red, and wield it," said Baker.
TRANS-OCEAN BY LIORA MANNE
Trans-Ocean shoppers got a sneak peek at the lavishly textured Hudson collection made from PET yarn.
The company is playing with new constructions and colors with its recent additions. Case in point is Marina, a woven outdoor rug that has patterns which include florals, abstract stripes, and partially erased medallions. "We can get 17 to 18 colors into a rug, for a textural look," said Dean Smith, vice president, sales. On the other end of the spectrum is the Hudson collection, which plays up multi-levels of plush texture. Only one rug made it to Atlanta, an entirely black and white Moroccan tulu look, alternating flatweave and shaggy stripes. Four new designs are in the line, all $99 for a 5x7 size. The 100 percent PET rugs are hand-woven in India.