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by Michael Christie

The Rug Show Delivers With An Outstanding New York Show

opening morning of the rug show and each stand already has customers

Opening morning of The Rug Show and each exhibitor already has customers

On Saturday September 10, 2016 The Rug Show opened its doors to a lively and energetic crowd of buyers eager to see the selections offered by the over seventy exhibitors who had converged on New York’s Javits Center for this autumn’s installment of the now perennially favorite show. Whether they were eager to see carpets from first time exhibitor Rug Star, returning favorites such as Wool and Silk, Art ResourcesTamarian, Sahar, Momeni, and Robin Gray, or if they were keen on taking advantage of the end of the Iranian rug embargo by purchasing from Werner Weber, Zollanvari, or Nasiri, no one was disappointed as The Rug Show lived up to its promise of returning excitement and impressive selection to the show circuit.

opening day afternoon at the rug show

Opening day afternoon at The Rug Show

Foremost are congratulations to the organizers of The Rug Show for their assemblage of rug and carpet companies across a wide breadth of quality and price points. Buyers don’t just purchase high-end designer carpets, but also the more accessibly priced carpets that make up a large portion of the market and by offering both, The Rug Show has turned itself into a veritable one-stop-shop for those seeking to maximize their return. A keen buyer with an agenda could easily find everything they need to fill their showroom over the course of a one or two day visit to the four-day show.

Creative Touch was front and center showing the their latest introductions and time tested patchwork carpets, as was Banu Home with their vibrant and attention grabbing carpets. Constant foot traffic could be seen at Sahar as buyers sought the latest iterations of design from the long time favorite. Next door at Edelgrund, North American buyers continued to express renewed interest in Iranian made kelims and were further please to learn of Edelgrund recently joining Wool and Silk, Sahar, and Creative Matters as members of LabelSTEP.

andrea pahl - wool and silk and sasan salari - salari fine carpets
 Wool and Silk's Andrea Pahl with Sasan Salari, Salari Fine Carpets

the staff of kush rugs in portland oregon making selections at Werner Weber
The Staff of Kush Rugs in Portland Oregon making selections at Werner Weber

While traditionally styled carpets of a variety of origins still possessed a profusion of neutral easily utilized palettes, beige and gray were no longer in the majority as virtually everyone showed color meant to wow and which accurately reflected the general positive mood expressed by buyers and exhibitors alike. Speaking of the former, Kristiina Lassus reminded why Scandinavian styling is so endearing by showing beautiful texture and soothing patterning in calm colors, while Rug and Kilim presented their award winning collection of mid-century inspired kelims. On that note, flatweaves are very hot in the marketplace at the moment. Whether reflective of one of the inevitable whims of fashion or perhaps as a lower price point alternative to a decorative pile carpet, exhibitors and buyers alike were all but gushing over the selection of flatweaves.

Rug Show party

The Rug Show's signature kick-off party was held at NY's The Refinery Rooftop.

Sunday night welcomed the much anticipated show dinner where buyers, exhibitors, relatives, and the press all mingled over libations and dinner presented small plate style. As the burgeoning tradition dictates the dinner was held alfresco at a rooftop venue aptly named: The Refinery Rooftop. Discussions of the day’s business, the general course of the industry, and the latest trends ensued and as the glow of the Empire State Building loomed overhead, the crowd continued to grow more jovial throughout the evening.

buyers eager at tamarian during the rug show

Buyers eager at Tamarian

taline isberian - anahid isberian - and stephan isberian (isberian rug company) with aria momeni and hadi sattari (momeni)

Taline Isberian, Anahid Isberian and Stephan Isberian (Isberian Rug Company)
with Aria Momeni and Hadi Sattari (Momeni)

Returning to the show proper, it did not seem as though there was any one particular style or theme that struck a chord with buyers, save that of diversification in offerings. Showrooms owners want product that resonates with their clients and their ethos, and The Rug Show provided a great opportunity to explore all of the options available. Be it a finely detailed machine made carpet, a suitable-for-hospitality tufted version of your favorite designer carpet, or a readily available in-stock offering from one of the many well stocked New York houses, it was refreshing to see more than one style receiving attention.

Speaking of New York, no discussion of a rug show in New York would be complete without a mention of a few hometown dealers, importers, and wholesalers who, in one way or another, still act as a metaphorical keel to the industry. While styles may have evolved from what I remember some twenty-years back, Samad and Shalom showed impressive updated collections, just as Pasargad and HRI both added to the ‘locals’, allowing buyers to perfectly round out their showroom mix. This evolution of design remains imperative, if the industry is to adapt to the ever-increasing demands of home fashion. Thusly, the renowned Feizy and ever fashion forward and style conscious Loloi brought their considerable experience and selection to the show adding to the aforementioned breadth of forward thinking offerings at a variety of price points.

sarah nadolny (driscoll robbins fine carpets) - juergen dahlmanns (rug star) - driscoll robbins (driscoll robbins fine carpets)

Sarah Nadolny and Driscoll Robbins of Driscoll Robbins Fine Carpets
with Rug Star's Juergen Dahlmanns (center)

Claude Abbot (lapchi) Michael Pourvakil (weavers art) Nathan Tucker (lapchi) Kristen Wolfe (lapchi) John Tracy (lapchi) at the Lapchi stand during the rug show
Claude Abbot (Lapchi), Michael Pourvakil (Weavers Art), Nathan Tucker (Lapchi),

Kristen Wolfe (Lapchi) and John Tracy (Lapchi)  

Discussions with dealers revealed an eagerness to work together, sharing ideas with other showrooms across the country to best serve clients, whereas exhibitors remain prepared to adapt to the ever-changing needs and tastes of the industry. Lapchi best illustrated this adaptation by presented ‘Battilossi for Lapchi’, a new collection designed by famed antiques dealer Maurizio Battilossi in collaboration with the firm. For those familiar with Lapchi’s Texere collection the new work seems oddly familiar with impressive refinement, while for those who only know their Nepali production are in for a remarkable surprise. Subtle, sophisticated, and en vogue, it is just this manner of innovation that drives the industry toward continual improvement.

Both Atlas Showroom – an upstart purveyor of Moroccan carpets, and Ayka Design presented wonderfully textural carpets of varying pile heights, while French Accents once again reminded us that they know Tartans and Plaids. Morandi Tappeti showed some very appealing colorations while first time exhibitor Vartian from Vienna showed equally as colorful carpets produced solely in limited editions of twenty-nine. Tissage continued it annual tradition of showing precisely on trend colors, while industry giant Tufenkian showed equally as impressive color backed by their stocking program.

three generations of Kurtz at New Moon - josephine kurtz green - Erika kurtz (holding Isabel Lily) - Ellen Kurtz

Three generations of Kurtz at New Moon: Josephine Kurtz Green,
Erika Kurtz (holding Isabel Lily) and Ellen Kurtz

the rug show attendees enjoy the turquoise mountain and label step cocktail reception during the show

The Rug Show attendees enjoy the Turquoise Mountain and LabelSTEP cocktail reception during the show

Without enumerating every exhibitor suffice it so say that The Rug Show New York 2016 was a resounding success with so much to be seen, it was hard to fathom it all. Like a smart buyer optimizing their time, I too had to gauge where to spend the most time and where to just pay a quick visit. Whether at the LabelSTEP / Turquoise Mountain Cocktail reception in the sponsored lounge, or the GoodWeave Reception sponsored and hosted by Bespoke Tibetan Carpets, or just casually chatting with friends and future rug dealers at New Moon, we were walking the floor trying to keep our finger on the pulse of the industry. We’re happy to report the consensus is: the pulse is strong but cautious given the current election year.

Join The Rug Show in Los Angeles, April 6-8, 2017 for their West Coast Edition and then September 10-13, 2017 back in New York at the Javits for another outstanding show. For more information visit www.therugshow.com. RUG INSIDER will see you there!

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