March 6 is National Dress Day

Share your favorite dress memories using #NationalDressDay

national-dress-dayThe inaugural National Dress Day takes place on Monday, March 6, and is a holiday intended for reliving dress memories from proms to birthdays to weddings. On this day, everyone is invited to post pictures of their best moments in their favorite dress on Facebook and Instagram (@NationalDressDay) using #NationalDressDay.

National Dress Day was founded by Ashley Lauren, founder and designer of the ASHLEYlauren collection, as a way to relive and celebrate our dearest dress memories. “I have fond memories wearing dresses and I realized that dresses hold such powerful emotions for women,” said Ashley Lauren about founding the national holiday. “I remember the dresses I wore to my prom, first job interview, first date, competing in a pageant, my first red carpet event, the list goes on. This is a fun day to cherish and celebrate those memories. To me this day is about empowering women to celebrate our femininity and cherish memories of wearing dresses. It’s the women and their stories behind the dresses that make this day so special.”

No matter what style dress it is, National Dress Day can be celebrated in many ways.  So on March 6, don’t forget to post your favorite dress memories or, if you don’t have any, put on your heels and favorite dress and make some.

Visit NationalDressDay.com for more information.

Ins and Outs

Outdoor living fabrics find a home inside too

Savvy buyers and designers are more excited than ever about the possibilities technological innovation in fabrics brings to products and design. A new crop of fabrics are so advanced, the possibilities extend far beyond outdoor cushions.

Even industry insiders can have a tough time distinguishing “outdoor” fabric from interior upholstery. Now it’s time to teach consumers what that can mean for them. For buyers, the education starts at AmericasMart, where a number of top vendors sell product in which the outdoor fabric is a big attraction.

lloydflanders

Lloyd Flanders Industries

Characteristics That Matter Lou Rosebrock, senior vice president Sales and Marketing at Lloyd Flanders, suggests buyers should lean heavily toward the most established brands, which includes Sunbrella, Al Fresco and Outdura. “These brands have been produced to offer outdoor customers all the important characteristics, such as durability, light fastness and resistance to mold and mildew,” he says.

Not every fabric marketed as outdoor-safe actually has those characteristics. Susan Ray of Summer Classics says UV protection is particularly crucial. All of its outdoor upholstery is UV-treated Sunbrella fabric. “Sunlight can be so damaging,” says Ray. “But with UV-resistant fabrics, you can put a navy sofa under a window and it doesn’t fade.”

castelle2

Castelle

Steve Lowsky, president and CEO of Pride Family Brands, Inc., says there are other performance features buyers should ask about. “Outdoor furniture buyers need to look for durability, stain resistance, abrasion resistance and colorfast qualities,” says Lowsky, whose company produces Castelle outdoor furniture. “Buyers and designers also should take into consideration the depth of original designs and original textures and weaves available to meet the needs of their clientele.”

Learn the Lingo
Gather as much technical information as possible, because much of it can be used to sell customers on a piece or collection of outdoor furniture and accessories. Lowsky suggests asking vendors about the construction of the fabrics, including what type of fiber used. It could be  acrylic, polyester, olefin or polypropylene. He also recommends asking about colorfast hours or abrasion rubs, two characteristics that speak to durability.

summer-classics

Summer Classics

“Knowledge of the differing types of performance fabrics will allow the buyer to design the total furnishing piece or set to meet the requirements of the client’s outdoor space or use plan,” says Lowsky.

Even the terminology, says Rosebrock, can be a useful selling tool. “Many manufacturers that have created fabrics for outdoor use are now marketing their products as ‘performance’ fabrics,” he says. “Any consumer who selects this type of fabric for a high-use area can expect a durable, easily cleaned product.” In fact, homeowners with small children and those with pets are a growing market for furniture with outdoor or “performance” fabrics.

“Outdoor or performance fabrics are perfect for inside,” says Rosebrock. “The durability and cleanability can greatly extend the life of indoor upholstery. And outdoor fabric manufacturers now offer patterns, textures and color palettes in many sophisticated choices.”

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Lloyd Flanders Industries

“The tremendous growth in designs, colors, hand or woven styles allow for exterior fabrics to coordinate with interior décor as easily as interior focused textiles,” Lowsky adds.

Bottom line: outdoor fabrics are so soft and fashion-forward now that guests won’t have a clue it could withstand sun and rain. As long as you’ve properly educated your customers on the performance and durability, that can be your little secret.


For more information: Castelle – castelleluxury.com; Lloyd Flanders – lloydflanders.com; and Summer Classicssummerclassics.com

Images courtesy of Pride Family Brands, Lloyd Flanders and Summer Classics.

Be My Valentine?

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Happy Valentine’s Day

1. Pasha Furniture, Inc. 2.The Oliver Gal Artist Co. 3. Patricia Locke Ltd. 4. Gold Leaf Design Group, Inc. 5. Rosanna, Inc./Daniel Richards 6. Roman 7. Olivia Riegel 8. Modgy
9. Adams & Co. 10. Midwest-CBK 11. Bloomingville/Ivystone 12. Fiesta Dinnerware/Keystone

Whatever the season or celebration, AmericasMart has the perfect pieces to complete your offerings. See why our holiday and floral floors have buyers returning time and time again. Explore it all this spring at the Atlanta Spring Gift, Home Furnishings & Holiday Market®, March 8 – 10, 2017, and July 11 – 18, during The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®. Select showrooms are open year-round.

Hot Stuff

Oven-to-table inspires culinary sales
By Jessica Harlan

It’s just as beautiful on the dinner table as it is adept at baking casseroles, roasting vegetables, braising chicken, or baking a dessert. Oven-to-table pieces are growing in popularity as home cooks seek versatile, multifunctional pieces for convenience and aesthetics.

Le Creuset

Le Creuset

With oven-to-table pieces, “you can take a cooking vessel straight from the oven to the table for serving,” says Sara Whitaker, brand manager – stoneware for Le Creuset. To serve a meal, she adds, there’s no need to transfer the food from the cooking vessel into a serving bowl or platter – just set down a trivet, and it’s ready to serve.

“We describe our oven to table ware as the fait tout, which means, in French, ‘does everything,’” says Tara Steffen, marketing manager of Emile Henry USA. And indeed it does. “We offer unsurpassed cooking qualities and our designs are so attractive that they can be placed on the most casual or most formal dining table.”

Materials Matter
Oven-to-table collections are made of materials that are specifically developed to withstand high cooking temperatures. In the case of Emile Henry, burgundy clay, known for its superb heat diffusion and retention, has been used to make its products for more than 150 years. Emile Henry’s high resistance ceramic is oven-safe for up to 518˚F. Le Creuset’s nonporous stoneware is designed to be durable, easy to clean, and resistant to stains and odor absorption.

Pillivuyt

Pillivuyt

Another popular oven-to-table manufacturer exhibiting at AmericasMart is Pillivuyt, which is made of durable, chip-resistant porcelain. “Pillivuyt porcelain is fired at 2,400˚F, so putting it in a 550-degree oven is no problem,” says Alice Title, president of Pillivuyt USA. “You can even use it on the grill or under the broiler.” The company even has a new line, called Ulysses, that can be used on direct flame such as a stovetop or on an induction burner. Meanwhile, Revol porcelain is also fired at a high temperature—1320˚F for 8 hours. “That process allows the pieces to be resistant to thermal shock, and oven safe up to 572˚F,” says Tenaya Da Silva, vice president of sales and marketing for Revol.

Convenience Counts

TVS-America

TVS-America

Sometimes metal cookware is pretty enough to qualify as oven-to-table. Case in point is the nonstick aluminum cookware from TVS-America, which is designed to be used as serving vessels. The cookware is oven safe up to 350˚ or 450˚F, depending on the piece, and includes collections designed by Karim Rashid, Angelo di Porto and Alberto Meda. “These pieces are designed to save time,” says Diane O’Donnel, national sales manager – North America for TVS-America. “Serving dinner from the oven eliminates having to wash extra serving dishes.” Many of the company’s designs are dishwasher safe and have a nonstick finish so they’re easy to clean by hand as well. In fact, most oven-to-table pieces are just as easy to maintain, a boon for busy cooks. Most are dishwasher safe, and are coated with a durable glaze that won’t scratch when scrubbed.

Aesthetics Work

Revol

Revol

The sky’s the limit with regard to what home chefs can cook in their oven-to-table pieces. Beef stew, braised vegetables, a cheesy casserole… in many cases dishes can be prepared ahead, refrigerated or even frozen, and then cooked when needed. And, of course, basic pieces or specialty pieces can also be used for sweets and other baked goods: brownies, cobblers, breads and more. For retailers who have a kitchen, nothing beats a live demonstration on the qualities of the pieces. Says Da Silva of Revol, “We have a chicken roaster that is perfect for demos.” A whole chicken, some vegetables, and garlic baked in the roaster, for instance, makes an easy demonstration that will showcase how easy the pieces are to use.

Manufacturers are responding to the customer interest in oven-to-table by increasing their assortment. Colors to suit all tastes and decorating schemes, multifunctional pieces, and specialized shapes, are among the many offerings that have grown this category. Le Creuset, for instance, has a new rectangular dish with a lid which doubles as a platter, and can also be used on its own as a baking dish. And Pillivuyt already has nearly 2,000 items in production, but is gaining traction in some of its unusual pieces such as its brioche mold and other specialty baking shapes.

Selling Oven-to-Table
These tips and talking points can help retailers promote their oven-to-table offerings.

Emile Henry

Emile Henry

• Play up fun details about the company. For instance, Emile Henry potters wear a bracelet with which they stamp their initials onto the pieces they create.

• Create a rainbow. Many companies, such as Le Creuset, offer their products in a wide array of colors. By showcasing the entire spectrum, you add color and visual interest to your display, and give customers the option to pick one that perfectly suits their décor.

• Show off the versatility. Include pieces in tablescape vignettes with other cookware and with gourmet foods to show how these pieces are workhorses but also complement beautiful dinnerware patterns and table linens.

• Take advantage of manufacturer’s point-of-sale materials. Pillivuyt offers brochures and shelf talkers. “These help explain the quality and justify the price,” says Title. The company’s “Pillivuyt University” also rewards salespeople who educate themselves about the product. “Nothing sells Pillivuyt better than a store worker who knows, understands, and loves the product,” she says.


For more information: Emile Henry – 302.326.4800, emilehenryusa.com; Le Creuset – 877.418.5547, lecreuset.com; Pillivuyt – 952.474.4016, pillivuytus.com; Revol – 678.456.8671, revol1768.com; and TVS-America – 716.863.5200, tvs-spa.it/en.

Images courtesy of Emile Henry, Le Crueset, Pillivuyt, Revol and TVS-America

Rise Up!

 

feb17_gameday_r2-011. Regina Andrew Design, Inc. 2. Bonnie & Neil/Karen Alweil Studio 3. CODARUS 4. Mr. Brown 5. Picnic Time, Inc. 6. Pom Pom at Home/CODARUS  7. Catstudio 8. Midwest-CBK 9. Entryways 10. SARO 11. Zuo Modern 12. Picnic Time, Inc.

Shop an array of Gift and Home products at the Atlanta Spring Gift, Home Furnishings & Holiday Market®, March 8 – 10, 2017, and The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market,® July 11 – 18, 2017. Select showrooms are open year-round.

Our Atlanta: Dinner and Drinks

Blake and Alexis Rayon
Owners, UnCommon Fashion, Building 3, Floor 9, 9-S119

Blake and Alexis Rayon Uncommon Fashion

Blake and Alexis Rayon
Uncommon Fashion

Blake and Alexis Rayon arrived in Atlanta five years ago on the cusp of the city’s culinary and cultural renaissance. Coming from Miami, their standards for food and fun were high. “It’s a big part of our culture,” says Blake. “We like to have a good time.” They dove into the Atlanta food scene and the rest is history. We asked them about their favorite after-market spots.

Alexis’ Mood: Afraid of Commitment

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Ponce City Market Photo: James Duckworth, Courtesy of ACVB

Ponce City Market is such a great option if you’re unsure of what you want to eat or where you want to go. Every price point, every type of food, more casual, more fine dining – it’s all there. Get a pop-tini from King of Pops or a craft beer from The Tap on Ponce. Then you can do burgers from H&F Burger or chicken from next door at Hop’s if you want super casual. Or for a mid-century throwback, head upstairs to The Mercury for swanky cocktails and a sit-down dinner.”

Blake’s Mood: Ready to Party

the Sound Table Photo: James Duckworth, Courtesy of ACVB

the Sound Table
Photo: James Duckworth, Courtesy of ACVB

“Grab dinner at Krog Street Market in Inman Park. From there, head to Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium and keep an eye out for celebrities. If you love hip hop or you love EDM, go across the street to the Sound Table. If you’re feeling hip and you want to party, go down the road to Mother. And if you really want to see Atlanta’s Dirty South go to Harold’s Chicken & Ice Bar. Right next door to that is Noni’s, which is a really fun late night spot.”

Alexis’ Mood: Chillaxing with Out-of-Towners

Piedmont Park Photo: James Duckworth, Courtesy of ACVB

Piedmont Park
Photo: James Duckworth, Courtesy of ACVB

“We always take people to Park Tavern. It has the nicest views of Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Skyline. Take a stroll around the park or check out the stunning Atlanta Botanical Garden. Then head to nearby Hobnob for drinks. Across the street, Varuni Napoli has pizza that is to die for and a shady little patio perfect for a spring day.”

Blake’s Mood: Uptown Attitude
“Head to Umi for sushi and start with drinks at the bar. These bartenders are top notch and masters of their trade. If you like highball cocktails and want to step out of your norm, ask for them to make you a Mezcal Old Fashioned. Get ready for smoky and sweet delight to roll down your tongue. Or, for something more casual, hit up Shake Shack and try the ‘Shroom Burger. It will change your life.”

Dining In
All tuckered out from Market? Blake has you covered. “What’s great about Atlanta is that you have Zifty, Postmates, Uber Eats, Amazon Restaurants. So even if you don’t want to go out, you can get amazing food from to city’s top restaurants delivered right to your hotel.” Check them out online or on the app store.


See this story, plus view a sampling of the hottest lines available at Market, in the premiere issue of Atlanta Apparel 2017. View this book in the Atlanta Apparel Book Lounge during Market or look at it online.

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