A Welcome Resource

Hospitality buyers look to AmericasMart
By Jessica Harlan

A growing number of buyers for hotels and restaurants are shopping AmericasMart, seeking trendsetting looks and pieces that will set their spaces apart from other commercial establishments.

“Today, both hospitality buyers and consumers follow fashion, culture, and lifestyle closely,” says Monica Porter, Certified GREENleader for Montes Doggett. “They are in sync and will ultimately have an eye for the same look and feel when choosing items, whether for a home or a [commercial] project.”

Montes Doggett

Among the trends she’s seen in hospitality design are simple, clean and oversized statement pieces and new interpretations of familiar, everyday shapes. Porter adds that buyers are gravitating to items that can stand on their own, rather than collections. Meanwhile, Leslie Thompson of Up Country Home, believes the hospitality trade leads in design, and consumer trends are more likely to follow that sector. Right now, she says, “there is a big trend in creating spaces for communal dining.”

Bigger and Better
Mac Cooper, president and CEO of Uttermost, sees an emphasis on texture and color with natural hues, rather than busy patterns. He says furniture pieces have a softer look with curvy lines rather than sharp angles. And hospitality buyers are often drawn to products that have connectivity features, such as USB ports in lamps.

Pasha Furniture, Inc.

Cooper says that rather than cookie-cutter spaces, hospitality designers aim to create unique experiences. “They are seeking eye-catching, one-of-a-kind designs that fit the narrative of the hotel design,” he says. “In the larger, bigger-budget properties, the art is almost exclusively local, with exotic public area pieces.” Sam Kural, CEO of Pasha Home, agrees. He says oversized statement pieces and custom orders are what draw hospitality buyers to his showroom. While retail buyers are choosing from the designs on the floor, his hospitality clients, “have a vision of what they want. You might go from one of your existing designs and modify it, or you start from scratch,” he says. They’re looking for bold products, tall pieces that can make a big impression, and modular shapes that can be arranged and used in a number of ways.

One of the most popular items in the Pasha Home showroom for commercial spaces, is an oversized round ottoman. Because of its size, too large in scale for a home but perfect for a hotel lobby, “It tells hospitality buyers that we can do what they’re looking for,” says Kural.

Custom Rules

Matouk

In bedding and textiles, it’s a slightly different story. Eugene Paceleo, director of hotel sales of John Matouk & Co., notes that hospitality buyers who frequent his Atlanta showroom are looking for trendsetting textiles that can be adapted to the wear and tear of commercial use.

“We do a lot of delicate, high thread count bedding,” says Paceleo. “These might be applicable to presidential suites, but for the most part it’s at a price point where it may not be the optimal purchase for hoteliers. But we can change the base fabric to a lower thread count percale or sateen, and fade-resistant cotton tape.” This achieves a similar look but with a more durable fabric that can withstand frequent washings in commercial machines.

Thompson of Up Country Home echoes the idea that hospitality-geared items must have more durability than something destined for a consumer home. “A chair must withstand thousands of impressions, or wallpaper must be able to be washed. If a product isn’t durable then it won’t be considered by an experienced hospitality designer,” she says.

Paceleo says that while white bedding has been the standard in hotel bedding—a trend that’s also translated to retail—a new, younger breed of hoteliers is pushing the envelope with touches of color and other elements of differentiation. “A duvet cover might be made of a heavier fabric,” he says. “There might be a bright throw or runner, or a satin stitch in a contrast color. They’re trying to achieve something a little different in the rooms, something that can be a hotel’s signature.”

As with Pasha Home, Matouk sees a lot of custom business, which the company can nimbly address with its factory in Fall River, Mass., which keeps rolls of fabrics on hand that can be cut and sewn to order with no minimums. “If you have a suite and you need a silver cotton coverlet in a specific size, we can do that for you, there’s no issue with minimums and reorders,” says Paceleo.

Broad Choices

Uttermost

With vendors that can accommodate custom needs, or which have the kinds of bold statement pieces that hospitality buyers are seeking, AmericasMart is an increasingly important resource for commercial properties. Thompson says that in the past, she saw few hospitality designers at AmericasMart, but she is seeing more and more. She believes this is in part because an increased number of residential designers are focusing on hospitality projects.

“Hospitality buyers and designers are finding AmericasMart a necessary source for their needs,” says Porter. “In turn, they are pushing our capabilities as designers and manufacturers, to attract a buyer that might not otherwise have been our intended market.”

For more information:
John Matouk & Co., 508.997.3444, matouk.com; Montes Doggett, 866.834.9857, montesdoggett.com; Pasha Home, 336.889.2114, pashahome.com; Up Country Home, 404.749.4749, upcountryhome.com; Uttermost, 800.678.5486, uttermost.com.

Images courtesy of Uttermost, Pasha Home, John Matouk & Co., and Montes Doggett

Benjamin Moore Launches the “Century” Experience

By Patti Carpenter, AmericasMart Global Trend Ambassador

I’ve found myself entering industrial, cavernous lower west side loading docks in New York and riding in freight elevators with several other creative types for decades. Heading up to an event, sharing the anticipation of discovering something new and exciting, just ahead of the rest of the world. We chat with each other and comment on the choice of shoe colors, glasses, etc. is also par for the course. Being the “color lady,” I’m bound to share with you that my shoes were Pepto-pink and my glasses a marbleized red for this particular evening, but I digress. It was, after all, a very special Benjamin Moore event.

The huge elevator doors are forced apart, ushering us into the lofty space. We were greeted with a designer’s tool of a perfect-for-your-hand size color brochure announcing the arrival of Century, the new Benjamin Moore color experience, and an offering of one of two signature drinks. I selected the “Curator,” of course, and it was simply delicious. Armed with my drink, I proceeded into the massive space alive with a palpable energy and bustling with more than 175 designers and creative cognoscenti.

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Looming over me are large-scale panels showcasing the new Century paint collection. Fifteen color palettes with stunning imagery and ranges so yummy they made my mouth water — the “Curator” wasn’t the only delicious item in the room. A selection of seventy-five curated, small-batch interior paint colors in all were showcased in a hand-painted swatch and in my personal color brochure. Bonnie, the woman in charge of this incredible feat for Benjamin Moore, shared with me that there will be 42,000 of the brochures produced in all when her task is completed. Each color was more scrumptious than the one before.

Century is the “world’s first Soft Touch Matte paint with a never-before-seen depth of color and a soft touch finish,” shared Carl Minchew, vice president of color innovation and design for Benjamin Moore, who was sporting a very dapper and multicolored striped tie for the evening. We had a great chat, and I learned this process took Benjamin Moore five years to develop. “The result is a depth and richness of color unseen in the industry and a paint that has the ability to transform.”

Harriette Martins, senior brand manager at Benjamin Moore, told me “Century was created for the finest of designs that require flawless execution and impeccable quality, which transcends many different types of homes. By investing in Century, you are not only transforming a room, but you are transforming the entire color experience. The exclusive palette of 75 uniquely formulated colors offer an unrivaled depth and richness of color that are brought to life with the industry’s first Soft Touch Matte finish.

“The Soft Touch Matte finish offers a tactile experience and creates a new dimension on the wall that feels luxurious. In addition, the small batch technology and pre-mixed nature of Century ensures the truest color and experience in every can.”

All the shades are inspired by natural elements — gems, plants, herbs and spices. With this new tactile finish, it actually feels a bit like leather, color really becomes an experience. I was particularly drawn to the complexity of Blue Muscari, Cobalt and Thistle on the cool side of the palette and to the rich ripeness of Red Mahogany, Sumac and the mellow and moody Acai.

The formulas are so intricately balanced, and such a precise science, that they can only be made in small batches under the supervision of Benjamin Moore’s master craftspeople. For now, Century will only be available in pre-mixed gallons and 4-ounce samples at select retailers within the Benjamin Moore network of independently owned stores in the New York market; it will be introduced in markets across North America in the coming months. As one of those craftsmen, Ken Marino, vice president of manufacturing has his signature on every gallon. He informs me that “each brush stroke is a testament to over a 100-year history of Benjamin Moore innovation and color perfection.” Century is truly a new dimension in paint and design.

Denim for Days

There is a lot of excitement surrounding denim fashion right now, especially with so many styles trending. From grungy to artsy to sexy and everything in between, its versatility makes it a must-have in any wardrobe. Check out these latest denim trends to add to your inventory.

Frayed Seams, Edges and Destruction
Distressed and destructed denim continues to cement its position in the fashion world using messy fraying to accent seams and edges and bring attention to hems.

Mavi_1539_000

From left to right: House of Harlow/La Belle Vie, Hudson Jeans, Mavi Jeans, Inc.

Retro Blocking
Retro blocking with denim carries over from last season with a few additions. Various shades and hues of blue are pieced together in differing shapes and sizes to form unique, eye-catching patterns, giving a twist to otherwise plain pants and jackets.

From left to right: DL 1961 Premium Denim, Mavi Jeans, Inc.

Festival-Ready
This trend is set apart by floral embroidery and color-blocking, with printed fabric used to highlight sleeves, front and shoulder flaps and pockets.

From left to right: Desigual/Vaccarelli & Associates, Inc., Desigual, Elan International

Stylish Inspiration: Kayne Gillaspie of Johnathan Kayne

Johnathan “Kayne” Gillaspie is the President and Creative Director of Johnathan Kayne. Born and raised in Nashville, TN, he became enamored by fashion by watching his favorite country music legends perform and walk the red carpet. Two stints on Project Runway (season 3 in 2006 and All Stars season 2 in 2012) plus appearances on ABC, Bravo, E!, NBC, TLC and The Style Network have earned him celebrity designer status and a roster of star clients. Heidi Klum dubbed him a “genius designer” and Michael Kors lauded him as “a designer who knows how to make clothes and fit a woman’s body.” Stars across the entertainment spectrum including Jennifer Lopez, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Kelly Pickler, Tanya Tucker, Lee Brice, Rascal Flatts and his favorite country legend Dolly Parton have worn his designs. He is a magna cum laude graduate of The Fashion Institute of Technology.

Kayne showcases gowns in his Johnathan Kayne showroom

We caught up with Kayne as he prepared his largest Fall collection to date for the April 2017 VOW | New World of Bridal Market.

Tell us about your creative process.

When I design, I really think about the woman. In social occasion, it is so important to know your customer. Where is she going? What is she thinking? What does she want to look like and how does she want to feel?

If my customer is wearing a social occasion gown, it’s because this is an important day or evening for her.  We have the girl who has been nominated for the Homecoming Court, the woman hosting a gala and the pageant contestant who has a shot at the title. Or maybe it’s her first time wearing gown.

I keep all of this in mind and once I see fabrics, I put everything into place.

What is the design cycle?  

I start on the Fall collection right after the Spring show closes. For this collection, I started earlier than ever – I actually spent 200 percent more time on it!

In October, I created the sketches for the gowns and sent them and my mood boards to my factory.

In January, I went to the factory to see how everything was coming together.

We received the samples in March. We photographed them and prepped them to show to our buyers at Market.

Where do you see social occasion fashion going?

The biggest shift is in the new generation. Designers have to have something new and innovative to keep them interested. Social media shows consumers something beautiful and inspirational all the time, so we have to keep up.

We stick to our guns by creating the sexy gowns that we are known for, while innovating the construction. For example, one of our new gowns has a hidden zipper in the plunge that makes it versatile and work for multiple women. We also have convertible pieces that can change up the look of the gown so it can be worn multiple times while looking fresh and new.

What are your three tips for success for social occasion retailers?

  1. Look at the girl’s body and how she is built. Know your gowns’ construction so you can make recommendations that will flatter her the most.
  2. Talk to the customer and see what her vision is for her gown. Ask what she is dead set on and what can be compromised. Then go the extra mile to get her exactly what she wants.
  3. Do it with grace and be good to people. Truly be humble and thank your customers for their business. Do it with a smile.

Johnathan Kayne is located on Building 3, Floor 10-E332.

Spotting Ready-to-Wear Trends on the Bridal Runway

Bridal styles are driven by trends just like their ready-to-wear counterparts. Similar trends in construction and styling are seen across the fashion spectrum.

See how bridal and social occasion gowns spotted on the VOW | New World of Bridal runway relate to women’s apparel trends for Autumn/Winter 2017/2018 as identified by international trend authority WGSN.

ROUGH RUFFLES
Raw edges give ruffles a little more attitude.

From left to right: Roz La Kelin, Enzoani, Black Label Couture

NUPTIAL NYMPHS
Romantic florals and lace fit for a woodland fairy queen.

From left to right: Forever Unique, Jovani Fashion, Moonlight

SEASONAL COLOR
Taking a cue from fall foliage with red and orange hues, augmented by a little sparkle.

From left to right: Moonlight, Jovani Fashion, Black Label Couture

YOUNG VICTORIA
Black lace, romantic cuts and gothic styling for a new Victorian age.

From left to right: Rina di Montella, Elani Elias, Elani Elias

SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND
Crystals, rhinestones, beading, sequins and metallic yarns give a subtle sparkle.

From left to right: Badgley Mischka, Allure Bridesmaids, Calla Blanche

SO FRESH AND SO CLEAN
Monochromatic fabrics in simple cuts with minimal detailing.

From left to right: Alyce Paris & Caplet – Forever Unique, House of Wu, Forever Unique

VOW ǀ New World of Bridal is April 4 – 6. Join us a day early for our Bridal Educational Seminar Series. We’ll kick of at 2 p.m. with Sal Macaluso of eStyleCentral.com discussing “Making the Most of Marketing to Mothers”, followed by Wendy Rivera’s Do You Speaker Bride? at 3 p.m. and finish out at 4 p.m. with Liene Stevens of ThinkSplendid, discussing “The Trophy Kids Get Hitched: How to Sell to Millennial Brides”! Then, ou VOW Experts Panel begins at 5 p.m. and is followed by our Kickoff Reception.

A Pinch of Green

1. Leftbank Art Co. 2. Lacefield/J Douglas, Inc. 3. Accessory Drawer 4. Mills Floral & Home 5. Veritas/Veronica Flam 6. Global Views 7. Daniel Richards 8. CODARUS 9. Mr. Brown 10. Yedi Houseware 11. Hobo

Shop products in every color from select showrooms open year-round and during The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market,® July 11 – 18, 2017.

Hotty Toddy Homecoming

Creating hospitable promotions inspires customer loyalty

From an early age, Douglas Self knew he had a creative and an analytical mind. Oxford, Miss., nourished both. He earned a degree in accounting from the University of Mississippi and got his start in retail working for Oxford Floral during his college years.

“Oxford Floral was one of the premier gift shops in Mississippi and I learned as much from owners, Bette and Jeff Butler, as I did my general education. Together, it was an incredible base for my career,” says Self, owner of jdouglas, with showrooms in AmericasMart and High Point.

Loving to put collections together and to be in front of customers, Self had long thought of opening a retail store. “Visiting Oxford for SEC game weekends, I realized I had to carry all my tailgating and dinner party supplies with me. There was a void in the market,” he says.

He opened Provision Oxford in October 2014, near the historic downtown square. The lifestyle boutique features his personal blend of home furnishings, tabletop, gifts, personal care items, jewelry, some ladies apparel, and original art. “It’s a gracious, hospitable place to see and buy beautiful things. But it’s more than great lines. We strive to offer an extraordinary experience, to treat customers as if they were visiting our home for a party,” he says.

Building Loyalty
The name says it all. “Provision means to provide things not readily accessible, and I wanted to give back to this university and community,” says Self. The shop helps residents and weekend-condo owners furnish their homes, buy gifts, or entertain with style, but Self also hosts Fridays This Fall events during home football weekends.

“We showcase Southern artisans or designers (preferably someone with a Mississippi or Ole Miss connection) and invite guests to attend a lecture, trunk show, or book signing,” he says. Last year, the store brought jewelry artists Elizabeth Wise Hannon, Gresham Hodges and Taylor Miller; floral expert and author, John Grady Burns; Mississippi born painter, Marilyn Mulherin; Ole Miss alumnus and Editor-in-Chief of Veranda magazine, Clinton R. Smith and author/designer James Farmer to town.

“We support a charity with each event by donating about 10 percent of the proceeds,” he says. In the past Provision Oxford has contributed to Peyton’s House (a youth ministry); Love Packs, Chucky Mullins Fund, Alexa’s Team (childhood cancer) and the St. Jude marathon.

Giving Back
The events help artists and charities, engage customers and increase sales. “People want to know who is coming, and we let them know by social media and e-mail,” he says. “This is a cultural town and people look forward to learning about and meeting talented artists. It gives them another activity to share with guests on football weekends.”
He also hosts special brunches or cocktail parties in the store for local sororities and fraternities during their parent weekends, allowing the group to choose their charity. A recent Derby Days event made more student customers aware of the shop, and they, of course, told their parents. “It’s the extra things you do to cultivate a business and build a brand that makes people want to work with you,” says Self. “You have to create the right environment.”

For additional information about the store, visit www.provisionoxford.com or like the store on Facebook.

To learn how to boost sales surrounding seasonal events and holidays, attend our upcoming Lunch Seminar: Spring Into Sales on Wednesday, March 8, during the Atlanta Spring Gift, Home Furnishings & Holiday Market®. Join flower magazine founder and editor-in-chief Margot Shaw and retail and merchandising experts Kristin Alber of Restylesource, Dina Woodruff of Peridot, and Pacita Wilson of Pineapple Park as they share visual merchandising tips, product picks and seasonal tabletop displays that are sure to inspire and make your sales bloom. Complimentary lunch is included and begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Building 1, Floor 15, Designer Workspace.

Images courtesy of Joe Worthem