BEST OF HIGH POINT MARKET FALL 2017, PART 1
HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Rug companies are reporting positive results from last month's High Point Market despite pre-market jitters in the aftermath of hurricanes in Texas and the East, and forest fire devastation in Northern California.
Celebrity licensing deals whipped up excitement for rugs in general, and buyers and designers lined up to see much-anticipated debuts of rug collections from Christopher Guy (Nourison), Rachael Ray (Kaleen), Libby Langdon (KAS), Erin Gates (Momeni), Patina Vie (Karastan) and Anthony Baratta (Capel). But beneath the hoopla, retailers found solid rationales for the premiering programs, and well thought-out designs targeted to the licensor's furniture partners and fan bases.
RugNews.com surveyed a broad range of rug vendors at the October 2017 market to ferret out their best-sellers. The results showed a healthy retail appetite for bold fashion colors to update traditional designs, and continued strength in contemporary abstracts.
In Part 1 of this exclusive feature, we present the top sellers at companies from Amer Rugs to Jaunty. And don't miss Part 2 for buyers' top picks at companies from Kaleen to Trans-Ocean by Liora Manne.
Amer's High Point best seller, the Manhattan collection, brings the company's quality and high-end styling to the machine-made category.
High Point Market shoppers gave Amer Rugs positive reviews of its premiering Manhattan collection, which maintained its standing as the company's top seller through the entire market. "Manhattan was our best seller," said Joe Barkley, vice president of sales and marking for the company, adding that the line, made in Turkey of polypropylene, was shown at market to test customer reaction.
"We put Amer's styling and quality direction into a promotionally-priced product. This was a soft launch and the line was well received. It's fun, the colors are what is hot and happening right now, and Manhattan will be a new introduction in January ending up with 10 to 12 designs," he said. "Initially people didn't think of Amer offering machine-made products. But machine-mades have changed. They are really cool now: Manhattan has some great colors and great textures."
Long-haired Afghan wool colored with vegetable dyes impressed High Point shoppers, making the Marrakesh collection a best seller at Art Resources.
Principal Eddie Simantob said Art Resources tailors its assortment in High Point to the tastes of market shoppers, which differ significantly from those of buyers at its other fall show, The Rug Show at Javits. "I did very well in New York with Moderns, but kilims are really popular here," he explained. Among the company's best sellers in High Point were Moroccan looks: "The Marrakesh collection was a standout in terms of sales, because no one else has anything like it," Simantob said. "It's like the really, really old Gabbehs - made with the very long hair of Afghan wool and it's vegetable dyed." Always best sellers in High Point, the company's Navajo designs performed well again this fall. "A lot of people make Navajo patterns, but ours are closer to the originals," he said.
Contemporary abstracts were the overall best sellers for Bokara Rug at High Point Market, with this new Canvas Art design earning Best of Market.
At Bokara Rug's Historic Market Square showroom, David Lew told RugNews.com the company's contemporary abstract looks were its best sellers in High Point. The company's Himalayan Art 5000 collection was a big hit, he said, and the Canvas Art series hand knotted of wool and viscose was the market's top seller because, "It's interesting -- different. Customers liked the fact that we use wool in the pattern and viscose for the ground in this collection, and they still favor neutral palettes with silver," Lew said.
Capel Rugs' reports strong response to its Americana-themed rugs in the Anthony Baratta collection, which debuted at High Point Market.
"Retailers loved the clever combinations of materials, colors and textures," in the new Anthony Baratta collection for Capel Rugs, according to Cameron Capel, the company's vice president of national accounts. "Because many of the designs have a nautical or resort theme, the line was particularly well received by customers who are located near the coast, but it also did well with retailers in the Midwest and cities like Chicago and Denver." The launch included indoor rugs and an in-out collection in Baratta's signature Americana themes in bold bright colors.
Buyers loved the classic design of Agra multi in Company C's distinctive fashion palette.
This market, Company C exhibited its rugs at its first InterHall showroom, and the company's products were also on view at the Design Studio on the top floor at SAMS, as well as at the Norwalk Furniture showroom. Denise Meyer, director of marketing, said response was strong to Company C's introductions, including Diamond Lattice, and the new Rhapsody, which was a TrendWatch feature. The rug maker's top sellers in High Point included Agra Multi, a multi-level design of 90 percent wool and 10 percent viscose, hand-tufted in India ($1195 in 5x8).
Kingsbury in steel blue and ivory from the Calinda collection was a Couristan High Point Market best seller.
"Our Calinda collection received a ton of interest," said Couristan's Larry Mahurter at the company's premiering High Point showroom in the Showplace building. A blend of 50 percent heat-set Courtron polypropylene and 50 percent polyester, the line of face to face Wilton woven vintage-inspired designs features a special high low effect that scored with buyers. Also on the best seller list were Couristan's new Gypsy collection and sneak-preview outdoor broadloom introductions, which will officially debut in January at the Surfaces show. The company's rug offerings ranged in price from $99 retail 5x8 to $999 retail 5x8, Mahurter said.
Dalyn drew attention with a display featuring three of its collections cross-merchandised in the same colors and yarn system.
A magnet for retailers at the Dalyn showroom was its display of three collections all made from the same multi-tonal space dyed wool: the popular Calisa and Reya lines, and a High Point intro called Targon. Buyers liked the cross-merchandising of different texture options in the same color story so that consumers can easily envision the rugs in various spots in an open plan layout. Targon, the brand-new hand-loomed introduction was a hit with buyers for its flatweave low profile (and backing for substance and stability). The cross-tufted Calisa offers another level of texture, and the coordinating Reya collection comes in a plush pile.
Due Process Stable Trading Company
Modern meets tradition in this High Point top seller at Due Process Stable Trading Company.
An under the radar source for private label rugs to a range of high-end home furnishings companies, Due Process Stable Trading Company said customers reacted positively to a debuting contemporary design rooted in tradition. Aaron Ward of DPSTC said the company uses a very traditional Persian knot to create the line in India of wool and bamboo silk. "We're taking a traditional design and giving it a vintage worn out look, while still being all in one pile height. We did that with the depth of color as well as the yarn content. Plus we did a borderless design to give it an updated contemporary flair. Buyers liked that we gave it a traditional backbone, but updated for today's interiors," Ward said.
The Reflections collection, among Exquisite Rugs' newest introductions, was a High Point top seller for its lustrous contemporary motif.
Exquisite Rugs' debuting showroom in IHFC attracted High Point shoppers anxious to see what the low-profile Los Angeles-based company had on offer. What they found was a broad range from fine hand-knotteds to super plush shags, and a luxe assortment of lustrous new handmade collections in viscose or viscose and wool blends. Top sellers were abstract designs and updated traditionals in the company's new Roset, Antolini, Reflections and Koda collection, the latter selected for a TrendWatch display in Market Square.
Feizy scored points with buyers for the hand-knotted Doshi range, a Limited Edition Collection popular for its subtle abstract designs and vintage looks.
Feizy made a splash with an entire new showroom devoted to its OAK collections (one-of-a-kind rugs) directly opposite its main space in Historic Market Square. In programmed collections, the company reported a number of October market hits, according to Jaclyn Scion, senior manager, marketing communications. "We received rave reviews on Odell due to its combination wool and viscose pile and desirable colors. Also, it is well-priced and on-trend for our Lifestyles Collections division."
Scion explained that the new Kaelani series was popular due to high luster jute and rustic styling, and that buyers gave the nod to three new Limited Editions Collections (Adira, Doshi and Lor), which were best sellers for their artistry and trending designs, introduced in a range of subtle abstract motifs and vintage looks.
HRI - Harounian Rugs International
HRI's Melody collection, launched at summer markets, continued to build steam at the High Point show.
At Harounian Rugs International, the showstopper was the sophisticated but Boho-chic Melody collection at a market that was "surprisingly" better than the spring edition of the High Point show. "It didn't feel as busy as it actually was: When we punched all the numbers, we saw a 20 percent increase in accounts we worked with compared to the April market," said Greg Jordt, vice president of marketing.
"One of our hottest collections was Melody," he continued. When asked what buyers responded to Jordt said, "The price, look, colors, all those things that make something do well." Handmade with a solid New Zealand wool ground and sari silk motifs, the Melody collection is offered in four SKUs with the 6x9 retailing at $1,699.
Jaipur Living launched its Made to Order program with the five best-selling colors in each of three solid color collections: Basis, Konstruct and Yasmine (shown in mineral blue).
Michael Callaghan, vice president of sales at Jaipur Living, says the company's focus on themes paid off with a great response to its eco-friendly story and to the recently introduced Made to Order program. "Made to Order offers three different collections in custom sizes delivered in 6-8 weeks. The reasoning is that lifestyles, rooms and furniture sizes are changing, requiring more customized quick turnaround rug solutions." He also said a display showing the process of creating a rug from unfinished woven piece to the finished product went over very well because it explained details of rug-making in a way that buyers and designer rarely see.
This abstract modern design with lustrous pattern from the Cambria collection was among the High Point Market top sellers at Jaunty.
At Jaunty's IHFC showroom Kami Navid said traffic was very good starting Friday, and continuing through Monday. "Most of our appointments showed up and a lot of customers told us they came because we don't sell online. Designers and stores have come in telling us they are tired of being shopped online. We've had very good traffic -- everyone wants to come to to the IHFC building." Navid pointed to abstract modern designs from the company's Cambria collection and the textural transitional motifs of the Soho range as best sellers.