Innovation, by design

WAG spends a day at ICFF, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, in Manhattan.

WAG’s feet are still sore… not really, but May 22 was a long day for us, as we spent hours – and hours – at ICFF in Manhattan.

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair, which held its 29th annual edition at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center May 21-24, was its usual showcase of cutting-edge design.

More than 750 exhibitors from around the world were again showcasing indoor furniture, outdoor furniture, carpets and flooring, lighting, wall coverings, accessories, textiles, artwork and kitchen and bath goods, all for residential and commercial use… so, you can see why we were a bit worn out.

But, as always, the trip was well worth it, as we were impressed by quite a lot – some things that made us smile, some that had us feeling quite envious and, as always, some that no doubt deserve more attention, so stay tuned for future reports here and in our print edition.

We were pleased to have a chance to catch up with Port Chester-based furniture designer Ethan Abramson – we profiled him in June of 2014  – who was showcasing his latest designs. We also met Luke Kelly of Mamaroneck, the lighting designer behind Luke Lamp Co., who was sharing the booth with Abramson, making it a great “local stop” for us.

We previewed the latest from Hästens, the luxury bed company from Sweden featured in our August 2016 issue.  Our virtual trip around the world of design also included chatting with designers and company reps from Seattle to Japan, Paris to Australia.

Throughout, there’s a sense of discovery as you come across not only innovative designs but clever takes on the classics. It’s hard not to be inspired, as we were after a brief-though-memorable chat with Brooklyn-based mosaic artist Allison Goldenstein of Allison Eden Studios, whose outfit was as dazzling as her booth. She shared a few details about the custom work she does for residential and commercial clients around the world and told us about a recent licensing deal to bring her patterns into home goods. But it was the way she described her approach that seemed to sum up what ICFF is all about.

“I try to really push the button on what you can do. Why live in a beige room?”

For more, visit And for more on Ethan Abramson, look for WAG’s July “Exploring Hospitality” issue.

– Mary Shustack

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