Friday, May 27, 2011
Another wonderful experience at Blogfest2011 was the opportunity to listen to internationally acclaimed interior designer Barbara Barry discuss her new collection Indochine for Kravet. Barbara's slides revealed the many inspirations she found during her travels in Asia, particularly in Japan. If you have seen any of her previous fabric collections, you know her fabrics are always gracious, understated and calm. Her personality matches completely! The Asian influence is clearly visible; the palette remains soft and elegant. In addition to fabrics, the collection includes trim, hardware, rugs and believe it or not, her own custom tea blend named Citrine. Barbara in the Kravet showroom, showing the fabrics:
Barbara Barry in the Kravet Showroom
Close up shots of several fabrics — I wanted you to see the texture…
Barbara Barry for Kravet
Barbara Barry for Kravet
Barbara Barry for Kravet
Barbara Barry for Kravet "Wind Palace"
Barbara Barry for Kravet
kravet indochine hardware
indochine trim from Barbara Barry for Kravet
What do you think? I think subtle and beautiful, like the lady herself. Thanks Kravet for the chance to meet this amazing talent.
Monday, May 23, 2011
The major highlight of Blogfest2011 for me was Kravet's studio tour. Fabrics, in all their glorious variety, are one of the joys of this business. To see even a small part of the 18–24 month process of creating a new collection was truly inspiring.
As you might expect, at the Kravet/Lee Jofa office there is fabric everywhere!
new releases from Kravet
ready for a party at Kravet Studio
working on design boards for kravet showrooms — each one is different
a new windsor smith pattern before revisions
computer rendering at kravet
kravet carpet — works in progress
new Lilly Pulitzer for Lee Jofa
inspiration from Italy at Kravet
exquisite embroidery on a new Kelly Wearstler pattern for Lee Jofa
With new collections in the works from Jonathan Adler and others, it's definitely an exciting time to work at and with Kravet/Lee Jofa! Bringing these new products to market is a complex and detail-oriented job, with some fabric patterns being chosen thread by thread. Computer aids have expedited the process in some areas, but much is still accomplished by hand and eye. It is fascinating to see a bit of the "inside" work, and enlightening to see everyone who works at Kravet looking so happy and creative. Kudos to the entire team and thanks for the sneak peak into you daily work lives!
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Blogfest2011, the first of its kind event in NYC last week, was the brainchild of Beth Greene and the Kravet/Lee Jofa team. I've always been a fan of Kravet — they are my first go-to on every project due to the depth and breadth of their product line, which includes fabrics, furniture, hardware, carpet and lighting. Add in exceptional quality and amazing client service — they are a company that loves designers and are much loved in turn. Why then invite 120 designer bloggers and designers who write blogs to NYC for three days of design amazement? Because that's how fans are turned into brand evangelists.
Social media savvy Kravet recognizes the reach of design blogs and the influence they have on those who read them. While interior designers are the conduit through which Kravet sells its trade-only products, touching millions of prospective end consumers of their products directly via blogs can only reinforce their brand. When consumers start asking for Kravet products, that's a huge win for both Kravet and interior designers. Kravet's magazine ads are terrific, but now they are taking their message to the streets via "the beat reporters of today" as Newell Turner (editor in chief of House Beautiful) describes bloggers.
the delightful Kravet family
The entire Blogfest2011 event was successful, with only a minor letdown on the first day. I think a lot of the bloggers assumed that lunching with Hearst was the same as being taken seriously by Hearst. The now infamous "fluffy slippers" comment aside, there were some editors who were clearly condescending toward blogging as a medium, while others, if not truly embracing bloggers, acknowledged that the publishing landscape is fast becoming a more level playing field. When anyone can publish to the web, yes Major Magazine Editors, there may be a lot of unprofessional looking blogs with poor editing and writing. But there will also be professionals who train their own teams and produce digital content to rival your own. I felt Hearst missed an opportunity to learn from an audience so dedicated to communication.
All told, a major thank you and huzzah to Kravet for an outstanding event. My favorite part was the studio tour of Kravet, to be shared in my next post.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
As if Brimfield this Friday were not enough to look forward to, next week is the long-awaited Blogfest2011! This 3-day event is strictly for design bloggers or designers with blogs (not the same thing) and sponsored by the wonderful people at Kravet and Lee Jofa. Kravet and Lee Jofa recognized early on the importance and reach of "new media". They embrace social media in its many forms and clearly understand that 100+ bloggers championing your brand and products offers a major return on investment.
The agenda is simply amazing. Monday focuses on traditional design magazines and their evolution in the "new media" world. (Not sure why I still put "new media" in quotes; it's not that new any more.) Attendees will hear from the editors of House Beautiful, Veranda and Town & Country. We will hear from those who create and publish the gorgeous mags that you and I fill our inspiration folders from! I look forward to hearing how these talented folks are navigating the changing media landscape.
Monday evening frankly sounds like a non-stop party! First a sneak peak and tour with (Elle Décor editor-in-chief Michael Boodro) of the Elle Décor Modern Life Concept House. Followed by the #DesignTV cocktail party and TweetUp hosted by Amy Dragoo, Jonathan Legate and Joss & Main.
If we all survive Monday, Tuesday is another action-packed day. Blogfest2011 coincides with both the International Contemporary Furniture Fair and the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse. (Note to self: charge camera battery and bring [stylish] sensible shoes. 2nd note to self: go buy stylish sensible shoes.) We will be attending both if we can walk really, really fast. Followed by lunch and the unveiling of the Lilly Pulitzer collection from Lee Jofa. That already sounds like a full day, right? But wait: let's add Barbara Barry herself previewing her new Indochine collection with Kravet, and then having tea with all the attendees! OMG! At this point, I could pass out a happy, happy girl (probably wearing slippers). No, let's hop on a bus to Long Island City for a cocktail party where Traditional Home and Lee Jofa will present the Heritage Collection via sets designed by design luminaries like Eric Cohler, Thomas O'Brien and Diamond and Baratta. And did I mention, they will be there??!! Full-scale swoon! Folks — it's not even dinner time yet! Back to the city to the Sub-Zero and Wolf Manhattan showroom in the A&D Building for a culinary adventure. I. can. not. comprehend. this. day.
And so Wednesday dawns. Are you thinking "how can they follow Tuesday without a let down?" Oh, I know — let's have breakfast with the amazing Margaret Russell, editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest! Follow this with a studio tour of Kravet, Lee Jofa and Brunschwig & Fils for a glimpse into the world of fabric development. And a guided tour of the New York Design Center. Finally, the sweet ending will be in 1stdibs newly-opened NYDC space.
This post is just the agenda! Stay tuned over the following weeks as I share all the excitement that actually takes place. And my profound thanks in advance to Kravet and Lee Jofa for offering so many of us this wonderful opportunity!