I visited the New York Gift Fair on Sunday and for the first time in many years. From 1998 to 2005 that was one of the shows I used to participate in. It is a huge wholesale show for anyone that had something to sell to a store, designer or other business that will either sell or use the item commercially. I spent most of my time in what was known as Accent on Design, as one designer told me is now just known as “the green carpet”. Accent on Design is where I used to exhibit. The landscape has changed since then beyond recognition. I didn’t do a count but the amount of stationary, cards, calendars gift wrap and the like seemed to dominate. Small, gizmo like gifts where in abundance and “new” is the key concept.
Since I am committed to coming from a framework of optimism, I focused on trends that I thought interesting. There were a lot of young artists from Philadelphia and Brooklyn. I am also interested in those people who are doing things themselves, although even sourcing with the neighborhood or region is also a pretty novel approach.