Issue Date: 2018 JUNE, Posted On: 6/1/2018

06012018 ICFF Exclusive: Area Rugs Steal the Show, Part 1
By Carol Tisch & Lisa Vincenti

NEW YORK -- A staggering nearly 40 area rug exhibitors -- the largest presentation of the category yet -- turned out for the 30th installment of ICFF. 
That had many exhibitors somewhat dismayed to find such competition at this popular contemporary furnishings fair, at which just three years ago RugNews.com visited a meager 22 ICFF rug vendors. For the 2018 show, more than a dozen newcomers signed up to test the contemporary high-end waters and included several young emerging labels both domestic and from overseas, international players new to the U.S. market, and even American rug companies looking to grow their franchise and introduce audiences to their brand and latest collections.
Scoping out design trends across all categories at ICFF, Tamarian's Ryan Higgins and Steve Cibor had a lot of ground to cover.

With such a massive outpouring of the latest designs for the floor there was a comprehensive presentation of the major directions that the upper reaches of the market are moving toward: a return to earthy neutrals, continued infatuation with flatweaves and updated tribals, modern art inspired designs and statement makers.
Follow RugNews.com on the area rug industry's most comprehensive -- and exhaustive -- tour of ICFF 2018 to check out the people and designs that made the show. Below we tour stands from new Spanish brand Abbatte to renowned flatweave maker Nasiri Carpets. Make sure not to miss Part 2 of our comprehensive tour of area rugs at  ICFF 2018, where the action continues with luxe rug maker New Moon to award-winning Woven Concepts. 


Co-owners Miguel Cerezales Rotaeche and Camila Lanzas Goded introduce audiences to their hand-crafted Spanish line Abbatte.

Spanish home textiles and area rug workshop Abbatte, housed in a 12th century monastery just north of Madrid, debuted its elegant line of handmade blankets, throws, ceramics and area rugs -- all crafted in a space located within the ancient building. Owned by Camila Lanzas Goded and Miguel Cerezales Rotaeche, all pieces are made of natural materials. In addition, the grounds boast a specialized botanical garden where natural dyeing plants are harvested.

Housed in a 12th century monastery in Spain, Abbate's all-natural hand-woven rugs, shown hanging, are dyed using plants harvested from an on-site garden.


Brothers Zubair, left, and Jawid Ahmadi, co-owners of Amadi Carpets, return to ICFF to showcase their latest Afghan-crafted Tuareg rugs.

Amadi Carpets returns to ICFF to acquaint show shoppers with its latest Tuareg area rug designs recast for contemporary audiences, Zubair Ahmadi told RugNews.com. The Tuareg rugs are hand woven by women trained in Amadi's own workshops in Afghanistan, set up with the intention of providing hope and change for those less fortunate than the Ahmadi brothers, who sit at the helm of the successful West Hollywood-based rug company.

For the 30th installment of this popular home furnishings fair, which offers show attendees a chance to see the latest interior design trends across a broad swath of products, Amadi shared a space with furniture brand Verellen, offering market-goers the opportunity to experience the designs in room-like settings

LA-based Amadi Carpets showcases its latest Tuareg area rugs, including several in contemporary blue and ivory combos.

Apadana Fine Rugs' owner Mike Alidadi, right, and Zachary Laug bring popular styles in solids, stripes and vintage-looks to ICFF.

Apadana Fine Rugs, based in Connecticut, showcases its latest customizable looks at ICFF. A long-time ICFF exhibitor, the showroom debuted a new striated-type design made of a blend wool, linen and silk. Also on show were new colors of the studios tweed-look Boho rug collection, made of wool and bamboo silk. Finally, another hit among shoppers was the company's reworked vintage area rug featuring a distressed-looking.

Apadana Fine Rugs debuts a striated design of wool, linen and silk in popular color combinations at ICFF.


Armadillo & Co. co-founder Jodie Fried welcomes guests to the Aussie brand's ICFF premier.

With its sights set on the U.S. and beyond, Armadillo & Co., an area rug studio based in Australia, introduces market-goers to its sophisticated but relaxed eco-friendly area rugs, all of which are 100 percent handmade of natural and sustainable fibers using fair trade practices.

The company debuts its new Paragon range from the Heirloom collection. Paragon, crafted in neutral shades belying their complex patterns, features an abrash dyed wool that is hand spun and knotted using traditional techniques.

Armadillo & Co. introduce its sophisticated, but casual, sustainably crafted area rugs to American designers and architects. From left, Nala in natural and slate, Agra in duchess, Seirra weave in chalk and Kalahari weave in natural and pumice.

Aronson's Floor Covering premiers the NY studio's Empire collection at ICFF and wins the 2018 NYCxDesign Award for commercial flooring plus the ICFF Editor's Award for Carpet/Flooring.

New York flooring showroom Aronson's Floor Covering premiers at ICFF with its inaugural bespoke collection of handmade area rugs portfolio called Empire. At the same time, the 150 year old company introduced its first designer collaboration with New York-based interior designer Ghislaine Viñas. Part of the Empire range, Viñas' In The Hood collection is inspired by the Empire state's namesake city of New York and incorporates neighborhood elements, architecture and local spots into each of the four abstract, geometric designs (Vestry, West Side, TriBeCa, and Freeman Alley).

Each rug provides a playful complement to the basic Empire collection, standing together as a cohesive line with an unmistakably modern color palette and unique, design-forward shapes. In fact, the Empire Collection x Ghislaine Viñas' In the Hood won a 2018 NYCxDesign Award in the Commercial Flooring category. 

Aronson's Floor Covering premiers at ICFF with its inaugural designer collaboration called In the Hood by Ghislaine Viñas.


The young Bespoke Tibetan Carpets focused the show on its finely crafted, luxe contemporary take on Tibetan area rugs.

Tsewang Lama, founder of two-year-old Bespoke Tibetan Carpets, introduced ICFF shoppers to his expertly crafted Tibetan carpets. "Traffic has been very good," Lama said, adding that "everyone likes the quality of my rugs; that is the thing we focus on."  Bespoke Tibetan's contemporary rugs are all handmade in Tibet. Lama added that he tried ICFF because he felt it takes a holistic approach to interior trends, offering shoppers a cross-category presentation of major design directions.

Innovative textures in neutral colorways grabbed the attention of designers visiting the Bespoke Tibetan Carpets stand.

Bokara Rug Company takes two adjoining separate stands at ICFF 2018 to spotlight its range of hand-crafted contemporary and transitional designs.

New Jersey-based Bokara Rug Company returns to ICFF with a selection of new contemporary designs and also highlights its Moroccans. On display were contemporary designs from the company's Canvas Art Select collection of Himalayan 5000 area rugs, which are hand-woven in India of viscose.

Bokara debuted at ICFF in 2016 and continues to participate in the show to introduce shoppers to its brand.

Bokara Rug Company highlights its Canvas Art Select Himalayan 5000 abstract designs at its third exhibition at ICFF.

CC-Tapis' Patrizio Chiarparini and Daniele Lora, creative director, pose in front of the Milan studio's Rotazioni rug designed by Patricia Urquiola.

CC-Tapis, which debuted at ICFF in 2015 and took a short break from the fair, returns with a booth shared with furnishings maker 3x3x3. The Italian company, which produces contemporary hand-knotted rugs in Nepal, showcased its cutting-edge Bliss design by Dutch designer Mae Engelgeer. Bliss, inspired by the '80s design movement known as Memphis, toys with both shape and color. The area rug studio also featured Patricia Urquiola's Rotazioni, another design with an unexpected shape.

Cutting-edge area rug maker CC-Tapis showcases the '80s inspired, Memphis-styled Bliss area rug at ICFF.

Ozgur Celikel, commercial attache consulate general of Turkey in New York, stops by the Creative Touch stand to chat with Baki Ildiz.

Creative Touch showcased its growing range of collaborative designs including its just-launched designer series by Los Angeles-based designer Erinn Valencich. The new Erinn V collection rugs, crafted of wool and silk, feature modernist-styled geometric patterns. Also on show were the abstract painterly designs from artist Carol Benson-Cobb, now a Creative Touch best-selling line.

Creative Touch debuts its new Erinn V collection of modern rugs at ICFF by Los Angeles-based designer Erinn Valencich (hanging right).


Bebe, the wire fox terrier, poses on a Bebe & Lenox chair showcased alongside Eliko Rugs' latest designs. On left, the intricately woven round D-Rug, designed for Dandelion Rugs by artist Brigita Krasauskaite, and, hanging right and on the floor, Brigita by Eliko's Illuminated Shapes.

Eliko Rugs, known for its antique and vintage carpets, continues to grow its assortment of contemporary designs, focusing ICFF 2018 on its latest designs from its collaboration with New York artist Brigita Krasauskaite. On display were two new Illuminated Shapes collection designs, woven in India. In addition Krasauskaite showcased her D-Rug, a round design done in collaboration with New York studio Dandelion Rugs, woven in Afghanistan from Ghazni wool.

A richly textured abstract design from Brigita Krasauskaite's Illuminated Shapes range from Eliko shown in detail here and on the right wall in the image above.


Deniz Karyuz, with the Istanbul-based rug dealer Etnik Halicilik, returns to ICFF for a second time with his mostly vintage assortment of area rugs.

Turkish area rug vendor Etnik Halicilik, which premiered at ICFF, in 2017, returns to the fair with a selection of its latest modern and vintage area rugs. Etnik Halicilik, a name more familiar to Domotex and Maison & Objet attendees, is best-known abroad for its vintage rugs and showcased its vintage Turkish hemp flatweaves and modern cotton and wool kilims.


French Accents Rugs' Danny Shafiian poses in front a striking Modern Nepalese Bespoke rug in green (NA236C).

French Accents Rugs showed off its design prowess upon its return to ICFF bringing with it a broad an assortment of contemporary and modern looks. For the 2018 ICFF the company highlighted its newest wool and silk additions to it contemporary Nepalese Bespoke range, fresh updates to its popular Retro Classics collection, and its recently released Scandinavian Inspired Modern flatweave assortment.

French Accents Rugs debuts its new Basic Revival collection of distressed styled geometrics and adds to its Modern Nepalese Bespoke assortment (center rack top and bottom).


The stylized sea coral motif of the Let Back rug by Studio Joran Briand for La Manufacture de Tapis de Bourgogne grounds a VIA exhibit at the French Furniture Pavilion.


A hub for presentations at the French Furniture Industry Association Pavilion at ICFF, were displays from a traveling exhibition presented by VIA called "No Taste For Bad Taste, so Starck, so Bouroullec - so le French Design" (read story).

The Balance theme in VIA's exhibit of the best of French design included the coral patterned Let Back rug of hand-tufted wool by Studio Joran Briand Associés for La Manufacture de Tapis de Bourgogne.


Jan Kath turns the heads of ICFF shoppers with this showstopping Erased Heritage collection rug with traces of an abstract motif from the Artwork collection showing through the Persian Kirman ground.

Jan Kath by Kyle & Kath, the New York arm of German area rug maker Jan Kath Designs returns to ICFF after a yearlong break from the fair, showcasing its breakthrough collections. The company displayed a design from its new Common Threads collection, based on works from the archives of the Santa Fe Museum of International Folk Art. Also on show were fresh new works from Jan Kath's popular Erased Heritage collection.

A selection of attention grabbing looks at the Jan Kath stand includes a design from the Common Threads collection (left) and colorful rugs from the Erased Heritage range.

ICFF newcomer KYNC Designs exceeded expectations with sales of its updated traditional designs at the fair.

Turkish wholesaler and manufacturer KYNC Designs, with a showroom in Secaucus, New Jersey, debuted at ICFF showcasing its array of updated traditional designs.


Natural, earthy colorways make the grade at Marc Phillips' ICFF stand were the studio showcases this modern flatweave kilim.

Returning ICFF exhibitor Marc Phillips Decorative Rugs, with showrooms in New York and L.A., showcased its take on earth tones at ICFF 2018. "Designers are going back to earth tones and natural colors," said the company's Justin Goodall, who added that the studios illustrated the trend at ICFF with its popular -- and growing -- assortment of Moroccan designs and modern flatweave kilims.

New York & L.A. rug showroom Marc Phillips debuts a new, customizable super fine quality short-cut pile wool design.

Joseph Mastour returns to ICFF to meet with out-of-town clients and show them his latest bespoke transitional looks.

New York area rug purveyor Mastour Galleries showcases its broad assortment of transitional area rugs at ICFF. On show was a new Modern Couture collection design (#5541) hand-woven of fine bamboo silk in Nepal. "I sold my entire stock of this design [Modern Couture design #5541], 12 rugs, at the show," said Joseph Mastour, adding that ICFF offers him the chance to meet with existing clients from out of town.

Mastour Galleries sold out its entire stock of 12 rugs of this new Mastour Couture collection design (#5541) at ICFF.


A designer gets the details on Nashville Rug Co.'s updated traditional designs.

Nashville Rug Gallery, a Tennessee source for vintage, antique and contemporary area rugs, debuted at ICFF bringing its range of updated traditional designs to the show. Founded 17 years ago making reproduction Turkish Oushaks, the boutique operation now weaves modern carpets in Nepal and double-foundation flatweaves in India. Most recently, the studio began crafting area rugs in Kurdistan and showcased an example at ICFF that had designers wagging.

Nashville Rug Gallery recently began crafting area rugs in Kurdistan and this contemporary take on an Old World pattern is from that range.

ICFF returning exhibitor Nasiri Carpets showcases a striking hand-crafted gabbeh rug featuring a chic tribal design.

New York to-the-trade area rug atelier Nasiri Carpets returns to ICFF with its new additions to its growing flatweave assortment. The maker of artisan rugs premiered the Ricci collection of cushy textural hand-woven area rugs, inspired by vintage Iranian pieces. These innovative rugs are crafted of hand-spun wool and cotton using all natural dyes in Iran. Nasiri also displayed a new gabbeh with a traditional tribal design crafted in earthy colors of brown and cream.

"Interior designers and architects really love this Ricci piece because of its texture and its really soft cushion underfoot," said Nasiri's Nicole Friedman. "[Designer] Jaimie Drake was very excited and wanted a sample sent over."

Nasiri Carpets premiers its latest flatweave collection called Ricci, featuring an innovative texture for a surprisingly plush feel.

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