IFDA Honors Industry Leadership

Su Hilty, left, and IFDA NY President Claudia Giselle Tejeda, with Simon Doonan, second from left, and Jonathan Adler.

Su Hilty, left, and IFDA NY President Claudia Giselle Tejeda, with Simon Doonan, second from left, and Jonathan Adler.

Last month, the New York Chapter of IFDA presented its bi-annual Circle of Excellence Awards, recognizing industry luminaries in all facets of the interior design and furnishings business.

This year’s honorees included Charlotte Moss for interior design; the Bard Graduate Center for education; Kravet, Inc. for industry resource & product design; and the Hearst Design Group, which includes Elle Decor, House Beautiful and Veranda, for media. The awards program was created in 1992 to recognize outstanding leadership, vision and dedication in the furnishings and design industry.

Claire K. Coleman, IFDA’s founder, was also honored for her leadership in promoting the role of women in the home interiors field. In 1947, Coleman, fresh out of college and a cub reporter for Home Furnishings Daily, the precursor to HFN, was dismayed over her exclusion from the all-male Drapery & Curtain Club market dinner. It prompted her to start an organization that would focus on encouraging the presence of women in the industry. With her friends, Coleman began the National Home Fashions League, which created and communicated evolving home fashion trends for decades. With a membership that encompassed executives in every facet of design and furnishings, the NHFL was renamed the International Furnishings & Design Association in 1988 and today boasts 15 regional chapters and one in Japan.

The event took place at The Union League Club in Manhattan, where fashion impresario Simon Doonan and designer Jonathan Adler served as the masters of ceremony. A portion of the evening’s profits benefitted the IFDA Educational Foundation, which distributes grants and scholarships for students and professionals in the furnishings and design field.