What’s trending on the runway typically makes its way to the room as home decor styles. At NY NOW, the largest wholesale trade show for home, lifestyle and gift merchandise, I discovered an interesting force at play—a crossover trend manifesting in clothing and décor simultaneously. Ethnic chic with its vivid colors, intricate detailing and indigenous motifs is influencing how we dress ourselves and our homes. Pantone, in its PANTONEVIEW home + interiors 2016 color forecast, at NY NOW, singled out ethnic influences in one of its four key color themes: Mixed Bag, defined by eclectic patterns and prints drawn primarily from diverse cultures and a multi-national influence.
I attend a lot of trade shows and design events and one thing that really sets NY NOW apart is the effort it puts into educating attendees—buyers and vendors.
To keep everyone up on the latest color trends NY NOW had an “OPEN HOUSE” showcasing Pantone’s four key themes – Bijoux, Ephemera, Footloose and Mixed Bag – taken from the PANTONEVIEW home + interiors 2016 color forecast.
Pantone says Mixed Bag produces a dynamic and eye-arresting array of colors and combinations. Violet and florid orange hues are offset somewhat by a sugary ginger shade, while a sultry hot pink and robust wine tone are intriguingly complemented by a plush, mossy yellow-green.
Here are my favorite design finds at NY NOW that capture the essence of ethnic chic for home and fashion:
A contemporary take on Moroccan motifs, materials and arabesque shapes is a popular look in home fashion gaining traction. At NY NOW, Zenza Home Accessories is producing handcrafted lighting fixtures that I think really captures this look with intricate arabesque designs that glow from within.
The Zenza Home Accessories booth was so stunning that it won an award for best lighting at NY NOW. Their collection of handmade arabesque inspired pendant and table lighting casts beautiful dancing patterns of light and glow from within as light spills from the intricate design work.
Zenza uses ancient techniques with a modern twist to produce these handmade lighting fixtures by artisans in Egypt.
I love the design freedom the collection offers—you can layer these lamps by hanging them at various heights in groupings or make a sculptural statement with single pendant as the focal point.
Weaver and textile designer, Margo Selby, works out of her studio in England to handweave samples, looking closely at yarn combinations, construction and how the colors work together to create indigenous inspired linens, scarves, towels and other textiles. Selby works with mills all over the world to develop her handwoven samples into designs
“I draw inspiration from all sorts of things, lots of my fabrics are inspired by indigenous textiles from around the world but I also really like graphic design. I like that combination of ethnic and rustic but with very sleek finishes,” says Margo Selby.
At NY NOW, Selby debuted her new towel collection woven in Portugal.
Indigenous inspired patterns, colors and styles cross over between fashion and home decor from handbags to shoes. EverMaya creates one-of-a-kind handbags from the Huipil, a beautifully and intricately embroidered blouse worn by Guatemalan women.
Artisans take up to six months to create each handcrafted bag and no two are alike— each a piece of art.
The company also hired a very special “Supermodel” Madeline Stuart, the first globally recognized model with Down syndrome, to promote the line of bags made of repurposed Huipils.
Zaachila Artisan Products debuted shoes handcrafted by indigenous Zapotec women from Oaxaca, Mexico. Valerie Calvo launched the company in 2014 in San Antonio, Texas.
“The shoes are made with recycled and natural products such as wool, cotton and leather. Every step involved in the weaving process, from the raising of the sheep, the carding, spinning and dyeing of the wool to the actual weaving of the sandals, is done entirely by hand using the traditional, time-honored weaving techniques of the Zapotec people,” says Calvo.
The cotton used for its elaboration, is carded and spun by hand, then woven on “waist looms”, a technique dating back to Pre-Hispanic times. Colors used to dye these pieces come from nature itself: the cochineal, an insect which lives in cactus plants supplies red hues; Tishinda, a seashell for purple; black is provided by the huizache pod; and brown comes from nutshells, among many others. Each shoe is named after the Zapotec artisan who creates it.
Currently, there are 24 styles to choose from and each sandal molds to the foot for comfort
Inspiration and creativity were everywhere at NY NOW and I have many more design finds, ideas, tips and trends to share with you. Stay tuned for more posts revealing my Design Finds at NY NOW. Meanwhile for the latest design news, subscribe to my Youtube channel: TheDesignTourist and follow me on Twitter: @ADesignTourist and Instagram: TheDesignTourist