By David Gill
Even with the economy on its bumpy road, textiles vendors exhibiting at the New York International Gift Fair and the Gift & Home Textiles Market this month are looking forward to the concurrent shows.
As usual, the Gift Fair will take place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and at the Passenger Ship Terminal Piers 92 and 94 in New York City. The Gift & Home Textiles Market will be at the 7 W New York and 230 Fifth Ave. showroom buildings.
An upbeat atmosphere is certainly apparent at the Gift Fair, according to Christian Falkenberg, the show’s director and vice president of GLM, the show’s owner and manager. “On the exhibitor side, we have about 200-plus more booths than in the past, representing 100 additional exhibitors overall,” Falkenberg said. “Based on the growth we’ve had this summer, both in the number of new exhibitors and new retailer registrations, I’d say our customers are optimistic.”
A key part of NYIGF’s enlargement is from international exhibitors. “Groups from France, Japan and Germany have all expanded their participation,” Falkenberg said. “Groups from India and Chile have returned after an absence from the New York market, and we have a number of new countries represented in both New York’s Newest and the debut of Artisan Resource.”
Artisan Resource is the new NYIGF section that will feature vendors of artisanal goods from around the world. More than 60 exhibitors from nearly 20 countries have committed to displaying their wares in the new section.
Chris Collins, vice president and general manager of 7 W New York, characterized the mood of the building’s tenants as “cautiously optimistic” as the Gift & Home Textiles Market draws nearer. “Our tenant base has enjoyed several favorable markets in a row dating back to spring 2011,” Collins said. “The buyers are certainly more optimistic and in a similar frame of mind, which has resulted in favorable trends in the business and very favorable markets.”
Collins said the 7 W tenants’ reaction to the Great Recession helped their businesses as the economy began to move north. “The economic events of the past several years have forced many vendors to make significant adjustments to the way in which they do business,” he said. “I believe that process has matured and many have settled in to their new reality and are now ‘back to business’ and working toward growth again.”
The outlook is also positive with the tenants at 230 Fifth Ave., according to Dennis Keehn, the showroom building’s creative agent. “Our building is almost 100 percent rented, and we have a lot of tenants who are expanding,” Keehn said.
Keehn said the building’s 19th floor should be the busiest during the market. On that floor are high-end brands such as Yves Delorme, Signoria Di Firenze, Indigo Home, Nancy Koltes Fine Linens, Abode, Home Source International and Designers Guild. In addition, Next Creations (room 1404, parent of Raymond Waites Designs) is expanding its space to display two new concept lines. Tenants on all of the floors are readying new collections for the August show, Keehn said.