LOS ANGELES -- Rug Show Los Angeles 2017 brought together an international group of luxury rug companies and prospective West Coast clients, as well as designers and retailers from across the United States and Canada. Held April 6-8 at the city's downtown Convention Center, exhibitors and attendees alike told RugNews.com that a big draw -- in addition to the exclusive cache of rugs -- was the opportunity to network with colleagues and make new connections.
George Haroonian from The Rug Warehouse in Los Angeles catches up with Sammy and Soheil Mehraban from L.A.'s Mehraban.
Such was the case for Alan Pourvakil, from Toronto, who has launched his new namesake company after a hiatus from the wholesale business. Networking with old pals was a key reason for his attendance. I thought this would be a good soft opening," he said. "This will give me an idea of what the market is until next September at The Rug Show in New York.
"This gives me a little bit of a jump start, to get the word out, to set up accounts." Formerly a co-owner of Woven Arts, wholesaling from 2000 to 2004, Pourkavil focuses on ultra-luxurious contemporary carpets and sells internationally through dealers. "Right now I'm fully fledged, at a smaller level, with a brand new collection no one has ever seen"
Sanjay Purohit, CEO of Zollanvari USA, was pleased with attendance. "It was a decent turnout for L.A. The buyers were serious and we managed to sell some rugs." He noted that new designs introduced earlier this year at European fairs, Domotex and Maison et Objet were particularly successful in L.A. "Our Persian production and the gabbehs were both popular; buyers were anxious to see the new Grafitti collection and silk Rapture, which was our award winner at Domotex," Purohit said.
Max Moussavi of Art Resources in Los Angeles was showing a striking abstract design in the Indigo collection that featured watercolor effects in shades of blue, and turquoise made in Pakistan. "We sold the rug at the show," Moussavi said. "We were happy with the show, we did really well." He said his sales are on a modest upswing that he attributes to his quality and price point. "That's what I think," he noted. "A number of our buyers think so, too."
Alan Pourvakil, from Toronto, launched his new luxury area rug collection at The Rug Show in L.A.
Andrea Pahl, owner of Wool & Silk in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, also brought award-winning rugs to L.A. "We make only our own designs. We've won a lot of awards. That's helpful for our dealers -- so then they can say 'this is an award winning rug.' Customers always like that."
One of her rugs, "Summit" won an award in January. "I sell that everywhere: All over the world; All over the country. Some markets sell more of one color than another. Generally our top sellers are our top sellers. For us the market is very strong," Pahl said. "We do a lot of custom: a lot of custom sizes, a lot of custom colors - so that works well for us."
The company sells in three markets (West Coast, East Coast and Europe) and so attends The Rug Shows in Los Angeles and New York, and Domotex in Hanover, Germany. Each market is about 30 percent of the company's business, and Pahl said all its best sellers sell equally regardless of geography.
Abdul Sattar Karimi of Andkhuy Rugs in San Francisco said that his results from the show were moderate. "I'm happy," he said. He does more than 50 percent of his production in rugs made by Turkmen weavers in Afghanistan; a design on display was a Caucasian Kazakh pattern.
Business in San Francisco is booming thanks to the economy and Andkhuy's product line, which Karimi said is riding a wave of fashion. "I think because the trend is changing and people want more colors now and more tribal designs," he said.
Indeed, a wide array of fashion choices and artistic statements were on show, from handmade Persian design silk rugs at the booth of first-time exhibitor in L.A. Kenneth Xing of Yilong Silk Rug Warehouse, in Chino, California, to Atlanta-based Anadol's Berber rug designed to tell a climate change story. The rug, based on photographs showing a diminishing Antarctic glacier as seen from space in 2002 and 2012, was among several designs seen at the L.A. show depicting modern interpretations of the earth's surface, geology, meteors, waterfalls and more.
Debuting in Los Angeles, a plush berber-style Anatolian wool rug by Anadol depicts the climate change story of an Antarctic glacier.
Ummi G. Gunturk of Anadol points out the diminishing 10,000 year old Larsen Ice Shelf as seen from space in 2002 and 2012.
The San Francisco-based Andkhuy team showed off its tribal best-sellers. Abdul Sattar Karimi (second left) said he and Rehman Nazar (far right) were happy with response at The Rug Show.
Andkhuy's business is booming, says Abdul Sattar Karimi, because the trend is changing and people are again interested in traditional and tribal designs in deep colors.
Art Resources sold this abstract Indigo collection rug at The Rug Show Los Angeles. Hand knotted in Pakistan, it features watercolor effects in shades of blue, and turquoise.
Steel blues and icy whites create an illusion of icefields, or perhaps, waterfalls, in this abstract silk and wool design by Art Resources.
Akbar Azad of Azad USA strikes a pose outside his booth at The Rug Show Los Angeles.
Classics from the Traditional collection updated with a sophisticated edge were on display at Azad USA's stand.
Shea Dunigan of Floordesign, David Samad of Samad, Mois Refoua from Caravan Rug Corp and Jonathan Lewis from Ebanista pose in front of Caravan Modern's best-selling Ecstasy rug from the Bamboo collection.
The Creative Touch and Kush teams meet up at The Rug Show L.A. Second left: Baki Ildiz, Creative Touch; Brian K. Robbins and Rebecca Lurie both of Kush Handmade Rugs in Portland, Oregon.
Creative Touch brings its hot new artist collection by Carol Benson-Cobb to L.A. to rave reviews (Coastal's End design shown).
Danny Shafiian of French Accents shows a range of looks in L.A., from the Retro Mishan collection wool rug he's standing on to the contemporary abstract texture on the wall.
The French Accents Highland Plaid rug collection offers nuanced colors and texture.
Murat Ketenci said pale watercolors, in both classic and contemporary abstract motifs, caught buyers' attention at the Ketenci booth.
A cool palette in Ketenci's aptly-named Laguna range updates traditional motifs for West Coast consumers.
Ramin Mobayen of The Rug Show, and owner of Mobayen in Los Angeles, surveys vendors' booths. Behind him is the Ayka Design exhibit space featuring Michelle Evans' Bamboo (left) and Silhouette rugs.
An earth-toned abstract design from Los Angeles-based Mobayen's Terra collection.
Customers attending the L.A. show were interested in the Nalbandian's Persian distressed rugs, particularly for their subdued look and on-point colors.
Alan Pourvakil launches his eponymous wholesale company at The Rug Show Los Angeles, focusing on luxurious contemporary carpets.
Stardust from Alan Pourvakil is hand-knotted the Tibetan weave in Nepal of 70% silk and 30% wool.
RUG & KILIM
Josh Nazmiyal (center) adorns his Rug & Kilim booth at The Rug Show Los Angeles with award-winning flatweaves and flowers.
A contemporary design from Rug & Kilim's Scandinavian flatweave collection in pure wool takes center stage.
Chris Saliga of Tamarian poses in front of the company's Topiary TK Glacial rug.
Tamarian's intricately woven Decked PW Blue of pure Tibetan wool catches a buyer's eye (left) while the dramatic Versailles TK Cumulus (left) makes a fashion statement in black and white.
WOOL & SILK
Louis Tarantino of Carpet Source in Winter Park, Florida and Andrea Pahl of Wool and Silk in Cedar Grove, New Jersey stand in front of the Domotex-award-winning Summit rug.
Wool and Silk brings its intricately woven art rugs to The Rug Show Los Angeles. (shown, Beautiful People).
Kenneth Xing of California-based Yilong Carpet Group shows off the company's pure silk carpets in classic designs and updated colors.
Sanjay Purohit and Reza Zollanvari of Zollanvari, flank Steven Miller of Steven Miller Rug Gallery.
At Zollanvari's booth the new Grafitti collection and silk Rapture, which won a 2017 Carpet Design award, were big draws.