Leather upholstery designers embrace color
Cindy W. Hodnett -- Furniture Today, July 12, 2013
HIGH POINT - Ask any fashionista to tell you what represents the Rolls Royce of handbags and you'll probably hear Hermes mentioned. The venerable Parisian couture and accessories company has millions of loyal fans, and although the $12,000 price tag of a Birkin means it's not in the budget for most people, the craftsmanship of the leather is duly appreciated by those familiar with the brand.
Leather fashion accessories are viewed as an investment by many consumers, as is leather furniture. And like the Hermes signature bags, leather upholstery has become a designer's darling, featuring a rainbow of colors and styles.
At the spring High Point Market, leather upholstery was often featured in bright colors and in intriguing fabric- leather combinations. The color story corresponds with what many interior designers are espousing, and the fabric leather combinations provide form and function to retailers and ultimately, consumers.
"I always say, ‘Use color to express yourself,'" said Karim Rashid, a luxury goods, furniture and lighting designer and interior architect. "Don't be afraid of that bright orange chair. Color is beautiful and it's all about self-expression. Be yourself.
"Balance is definitely necessary," Rashid added. "Bright colors and neons are very popular right now, particularly when paired with neutrals or whites. I think the most important thing is to know what works for you."
Along with color, the diversity of styles available in leather is attracting consumers. At April's Saloné del Mobile in Milan, Poltrona Frau introduced Letizia, a recreation of a 1954 armchair designed by Gastone Rinaldi; the Gran Torino, a modular sofa that combines leather and fabric; and the Mammy Blue, a leather, hide and beech wood armchair.
In High Point, Bradington- Young's 522 Faye sofa in a turquoise leather and fabric combination was a strong placement. In addition to the distinctive design application, the combination offers cost advantages, according to company representative Kim Shaver.
"This concept of combining fabric and leather on a piece met with huge success," Shaver said. "It is not only a style statement, but a strategic way to address the rising cost of leather as it requires less leather per item, yet still offers the cachet of leather. This particular sofa will be offered at retail in four to five preselected fabric-leather combinations."
Eurosace made its High Point debut in April and reported strong order activity. The company offered a Made in Spain story with its European silhouettes.
"We have a variety of new products that we will introduce which are aimed to retail under $3,000, but will still give the customers a variety of custom features and high quality," said Eurosace's Alan Lerner. "These models will be in Las Vegas and showcased at the October market in High Point.
"The economic crisis in Spain has actually affected our company in many positive ways," he said. "It forced our factory to expand into other markets, including the U.S. Our factory has even recently decided to warehouse inventory stateside to compete with shorter lead times that large retailers require. Our goal is to produce fashion-forward designs that marry style and function using unexpected mechanisms in low, clean silhouettes."
officials said the
Letizia, a 1950s
hits with buyers
at the Salone del
Mobile in Milan.|
Flirt chair showcases
embossed croc leather in
raspberry with silver nail
head trim accents.|
|Eurosace said response
was strong to its Made in
Spain upholstery in High
Point. The company says
it plans to introduce new
models that will retail for
less than $3,000.|
introduced the Faye sofa
in turquoise leather and
fabric at the April High Point
|Hancock & Moore
pairs an abstract
suede in the
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