January 28, 2013

Quick Take: New York International Gift Fair

While chilly winter winds whipped through the city of New York, visitors to the NY International Gift Fair were met with bright ideas from newcomers to the show, on view from January 26-30. For the sixth year, the fair includes A+: The Young Designers’ Platform, a showcase of emerging talents in the field of innovative product design. More than 360 limited-production makers from across the world also got a new home in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center’s North Hall as part of the Handmade Designer Maker showcase. Not to be outdone, longtime fixtures of the fair brought their previews for 2013, highlighting a focus on the combination of traditional manufacturing methods with new technology.

Founded in the summer of 2012 by recent Parsons School of Design graduates Isaac Friedman-Heiman, Shaun Kasperbauer, and Luft Tanaka, Brooklyn-based Souda (a Japanese word that translates to “Oh, yeah!”) is one of this year’s A+ winners and also plans to hit ICFF and Milan’s Salone with its first collection. The team’s Kreten tables are cast of fiberglass-reinforced concrete in rubberized fabric molds, making each design unique. Slip-cast porcelain Kawa vases and vessels take their shape from leather molds, while the Mitre stool is a study in detailed woodworking with a geometric maple seat and hardwood tenons. Souda also has a social conscience:  it sources bottles for the Bubble Chandelier through a partnership with Brooklyn’s homeless-friendly redemption center Sure We Can, donating a portion of its proceeds back to the non-profit organization.  See their work in the slideshow.

Drawing 35,000 attendees from all 50 states and 80+ countries, the NYIGF is produced twice annually by GLM Shows and is open to the trade only. Held in January and August in New York City, the Fair hosts 2,800 exhibiting companies showcasing the very best lines across the home, lifestyle and gift spectrum.

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