Fashion and furniture were the words du jour at the recent International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, N.C.
At a time when the furniture industry in general has been in a slump, the home collections of fashion designers like Alexander Julian and Ralph Lauren have been hugely successful. They offer the comfort of name recognition, while most furniture companies are largely unknown to consumers.
This market Bill Blass introduced his first line of furniture and accessories for Pennsylvania House. It's a collection inspired by the antique furnishings in his Manhattan apartment and his Connecticut country home.
Lexington's fashion-related offering consisted of the 150-piece Nautica Collection, outdoors-influenced and casual like the clothes Nautica is known for. Colonial English and West Indies influences are evident in the cherry, maple, bamboo, sea grass and cane pieces.
Lane Co. came out with an 80-piece Eddie Bauer Lifestyles Collection, light pine and cherry furniture with simple lines reminiscent of Shaker and Mission.
Even companies that don't have a name designer jumped on the fashion bandwagon.
"I really believe we have the best fashion people in the business," said Bill Hayes, Century's senior vice president of home furnishings. He wasn't talking about clothing designers but the company's directors of design, who came up with Century's "softly tailored" Cazzy Collection "draped in surprising combinations of silk with linen or damask with cotton duck."
For those who aren't into fashion furniture, a second noteworthy trend at the fall market consisted of several moderately priced, easy-going collections aimed at the same young consumers who have made Pottery Barn's, Crate & Barrel's and Pier 1's catalog furniture so successful. These included Drexel Studio's Solutions new Casual Collection and Stanley Furniture's Evolution Collection.
Pub Date: 11/02/97