• Cindy W. Hodnett

Colors punch up neutrals at Las Vegas Market

Performance fabrics, animal prints also roar

LAS VEGAS - Red, orange and the occasional turquoise blue are punctuating neutrals in black, white, khaki and numerous shades of gray in showrooms here.
Red leather is everywhere, redefining a motion category that has traditionally featured brown and black.
"Red is almost a new neutral," said Jennifer Davis, director of merchandising for Southern Motion. "In the past, it's been all brown, but now there is a lot of red. We cut and sew in the United States, so we're offering six to 10 color choices. We expect color to continue to be really strong through fall."
Southern Motion also is showing the Kranston chair in Udder Madness fabric. The piece highlights another market trend - the incorporation of animal-print fabrics into accent upholstery.
Color, texture and fabric durability are key themes in several showrooms. Rowe is showing the Wrigley chair in a muted orange performance fabric, a popular hue for market.
"The performance fabrics are designed to appeal to the consumer with kids and dogs at home," said Ann Skillman, director of marketing for Rowe. "But we're doing things with it like creating a delicate pinstripe that you would never guess is a microfiber.
"Robin Bruce (a Rowe brand) is always all about the fabrics, and we're showing natural, easy-to-clean fabrics, light linens and boldly patterned fabrics," Skillman said. "With Clayton Marcus (another company line), we've updated our Gerrard sectional, which became an instant best seller for us, by adding buttons across the bottom of the frame."
Although Lexington Home Brands' Aquarius collection isn't a new introduction for Las Vegas, it continues to attract attention.
Phillip Gorrivan, a New York interior designer, was in the Lexington showroom here shooting a video of his market favorites, and included the Aquarius mandarin red apothecary chest. Robert Stamper, senior vice president of marketing for Lexington, said that many market attendees are requesting a walk-through tour of the collection.
"Everyone wants to see the orange chest, and Phillip Gorrivan is probably one of the top 10 designers in New York," Stamper said. "The people who like this collection are on the sophisticated end of design and totally going more contemporary."
Lexington's La Tourelle collection addresses another huge trend at market - a casual interpretation of traditional.
"The consumer has fallen in love with this look," Stamper said. "We're offering it with an emphasis on quality, better value in pricing and better customization options in the upholstery."
At AICO, casual traditional style is interpreted in a freestanding upholstery line, as well as in the Lavelle collection, with nods to French Country style.
"We're doing it with a little twist of AICO," said Laurie Phillips, vice president of soft line merchandising for the company. "Linen looks are so extraordinarily important right now, and we've designed pieces that don't have to correlate with case goods. We have created a bunch of special-order fabrics, and there is no upcharge. It's two to four weeks shipping from China from the receipt of order."
Like AICO, many showrooms here are offering leather and fabric combinations in upholstery. Sectionals continue to be strong, and some of the style interpretations include streamlined designs, oversized profiles and nail head or fringe embellishments.
For the latest news from the Las Vegas Market, visit our dedicated online page. Go to: http://www.furnituretoday.com/hottopic/Las_Vegas_Market_Furniture_Show/index.php

Cindy HodnettCindy W. Hodnett | Upholstery/Style Editor

As the Upholstery/Style Editor for Furniture/Today, I spend my work hours studying the sloping curves of sofa frames, the intricacies of fabric and the nail head trim and button accents that function as jewelry on a piece of upholstery. I research the companies that bring these things together for retailers, and ultimately consumers, and interview industry leaders about their business strategies and where they think furniture is heading in the future. And when traveling, I provide a sneak peek at what I'm seeing, whether at international markets or in High Point or Las Vegas.

I look forward to sharing what I see and I hope you'll feel free to do the same. Email me at chodnett@furnituretoday.com or follow me on Twitter @CynthiaWHodnett.

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