Issue Date: 2019 AUGUST, Posted On: 8/19/2019

08192019 Dueling Design Fairs: Rug Trends at Shoppe Object and NY NOW
By Carol Tisch

Rugs from classic to avant-garde were on show at NY Now and Shoppe Object, New York's competing design fairs running simultaneously last weekend, with everything from antique importers to crafty boutiques on the exhibitor rolls.
NEW YORK --The competition got heated in the design show business last weekend with overlapping dates for two dueling fairs in Manhattan: the fledgling Shoppe Object and the established NY Now. 

After debuting August 2018 in two locations with 250 brands on show, Shoppe Object doubled its presentation to more 450 brands all under one roof at Pier 36 from Aug. 10 -12. Rug exhibitors at the summer edition included Amadi, Domada, Leah Singh, Egypt-based Kilim, and Tantuvi. 

Zubair and Taz Ahmadi of Amadi Carpets make their second appearance at Shoppe Object, following a successful February 2019 showing at the year-old fair.

NY Now, held Aug. 10 -14 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, hosted over 2,300 brands including rug exhibitors Bokara, Eliko, F.J. Kashanian, Mastour, Orientalist Home, Pappelina, Rug and Kilim, S&H Rugs, Tibet House, and Turquoise Mountain.

While the numbers of big exhibitors in the area rug category have been contracting at NY Now, the show has taken some serious measures to bring in and keep better and higher-quality vendors, according Ori Wilbush, president of the New Jersey-based S&H Rugs, who reports that show organizers have improved NY Now's lecture series with "more important and influential speakers".

Celeb designer Steven Favreau turned heads at NY Now's Transcend Design space with flamboyantly colored rugs and furnishings featuring his trademark Favreaulous style.

Indeed, a big draw at the summer Javits show was the Transcend Design space in the Retail Renaissance section, with displays by guest speakers who in most cases were celeb designers. Included in the Transcend Talks lineup were designers, Beth Diana Smith and Kiyonda Powell representing the Black Artists + Designers Guild. Their Transcend display space for the organization, which featured three Nourison rugs, won the IFDA New York Chapter's "Innovative Booth Design" award.

Above and below, designers Kiyonda Powell  and Beth Diana Smith earned an Innovative Booth Design award from the New York Chapter of IFDA for their NY Now space 3862 for the Black Artists + Designers Guild. Below, Nourison's Radiant rug RAD04. 

Color was key at both fairs, with warm spice tones and bold primary colors prominent at rug stands, though pastels held their own everywhere from gift to décor to area rug exhibits. Bold graphics in black and white, many inspired by African Kuba cloth, commanded the spotlight at several rug maker booths. And the sustainability mantle was carried by everyone from Pappelina of Sweden's recycled plastic rug to Domada's innovative update of vintage Turkish carpets cut into trompe l'oeil cowhide rug silhouettes.

Here's a glimpse of the latest rug colors and fashion at summer's Big Apple shows:



Los Angeles-based Amadi Carpets showcases its new Kuba collection at its second appearance at Shoppe Object. Below, a detail of the hand-knotted in Afghanistan rug from the collection, which is inspired by Kuba cloths from the Democratic Republic of Congo. 


Domada had Shoppe Object shoppers doing double takes with its clever new cowhide rug look, theirs featuring new and vintage Turkish and Moroccan rugs cut out and bound in the shape of real hides.


Egypt-based Kilim introduced its new hand-woven Palm rug made from Egyptian cotton, part of the new saturated color collection which also includes the Stratus and Demi Luna rugs.


Leah Singh uses cotton and wool for playful geometric rugs (and accessories) crafted with traditional Indian weaving and embroidery techniques in trend-right color palettes. Shoppe Object stand above; Madrid rug below.



Eliko showcases its curated collection of antique and vintage rugs at NY Now along with fresh new samples from its contemporary line of graphic and geometric designs, some fresh takes on Kuba cloth.


On show at FJ Kashanian's stand was a range including one-of-a-kind traditional designs in fashion colors, and new modern looks as well as the company's custom color program for designers.


Sweden's Pappelina celebrates its 20th anniversary at NY Now, and introduces the Effi collection, a three-color blended solid program in the company's signature eco-friendly plastic yarns and a new fashion palette.


NY Now shoppers got to see the newest additions to Rug & Kilim's celebrated Scandinavian designs, and the understated recently launched Texture of Color collection of textural solids.

S&H Rugs gets its expected strong traffic at NY Now, where the company showed its latest hand-knotted designs featuring classic patterns in updated colors as well as fashion abstracts in shimmering pastels.

New York interior designer shops the S&H booth during NY Now with the company's Maria Vasquez. 

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