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The mood was perfect; snow falling, cool crisp air and a town of “small shops” all ready for the quick approaching holiday season. Ithaca is truly a college town, located in central New York and home to Cornell University and Ithaca College. 28,000 students fill the city when college is in session. These students, as well as Ithaca’s local community, like to “shop small”; both in a place called The Commons as well as College Town.
The basic vibe of this college town is updated vintage with a modern twist. A great example is Petrune, a store which just opened its second location in Brooklyn on 223 Fifth Ave. Trending at Petrune are great mixes of clothing; “Classic Clothing from Every Decade” and very hip home accessories and vinyl records. The wall decor and typography are college town appropriate with sayings like “Boys Club, Bro Shop or vintage bowling alley graphics. In Ithaca, Petrune is located at 126 The Commons and their website is www.petrune.com
Another great find in Ithaca is The Vintage Industry located at 113 West State Street; buying and selling antiques and vintage items. Their vintage window display was so fab that anyone walking by had to check out what was inside. I spotted a Santa cookie jar and Mr. & Mrs. Claus salt and pepper set that were in pristine shape and so awesome and unique.
This is Olivia Royale, owner and designer of The Art & Found Shop located at 117 East State Street at The Commons is a fair trade, sustainable clothing indie brand store that designs many of their clothes right in the store. When asked what was trending, she said “Our plaid free flannel cardigan is because it is a style that is cozy and comfy especially as it is wore as a wrap.”
by Nancy Fire
After 25 years as Founder and Creative Director at Design Works International, I love that I still get inspired by my colleagues as well as our clients. I’m excited now as I get to add students to my list of aspirational influences.
On Dec 2nd I was asked to review the final semester projects from the Fashion Management Class at Cornell because I started off the semester in late August talking to the students about industry and how macro trends in the world effect the fashion and home industry.
It all began last year when I was introduced to Tasha Lewis, PH.D. and Assistant Professor of the College of Human Ecology at Cornell in the Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design. Professor Lewis asked me if I would consider mentoring the class because of my experience in the design industry. I told her that it would be my honor to be inspired by young talent! The students work in teams of 4 or 6 and each student has a specific job to cover.
The class is divided into teams consisting of the following:
The Product Categories consist of:
The magic of this project is that the students really need to think “outside of the box” and present an entire “Style Deck” consisting of the following:
During the entire class, 7 teams presented their aesthetic vision and in the end I was pretty impressed with the outcome.
I think for me as a person in industry what struck me was the thought process that each team was challenged to provide with all the details that really happen “in the real world”.
I like completion as a designer and director, and I felt that most of the teams projects were well thought out, some were more evolved than others. As a special bonus at the end, 2 young men who are NOT even fashion majors at Cornell, (one in the Hotel School and the other in the ILR), actually presented samples from a business that they started at the beginning of the semester designing shorts.
It was inspiring to see a group of their peers give them actual feedback on how to improve their product…talk about a “real life focus group”.
At Design Works International we love creating trend boards that inspire us in the studio. Since the “softer side of color” is so pretty we love mixing these updated pastels with tones of grays and taupe. Our prints are a bit spontaneous mixing dots, stripes and simple graphics.
Cyber Monday was created in 2005 to persuade people to shop on-line and for the past 14 years, on-line sales have grown considerably; so much so that the 2014 projected on-line sales could bypass in-store purchases for the first time in history!Cyber Monday has become an international marketing term used by online retailers in Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Uganda, Japan, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom by on-line retailers and are generally offered by smaller retailers that cannot complete with the big brick-and-mortar retailers.According to WWWMetrics in “The Growth of Shopping Online” online shopping is only going to become more popular as time goes by and purchasers worldwide become more comfortable with security and the on-time delivery of their purchases. On-line shopping is one area of merchandising that continues to have a positive outlook far into the future.How are you going to shop this Holiday season?
That’s important advice because when you are in an industry that is ‘hyper creative’ you can really lose your sense of self. If you lose these qualities, you lose your passion, and without passion, I feel that my day would be about just existing, not creating!”
Located on the Northeast corner of Central Park at 110 Street and 5th Ave is the Harlem Meer which was built in 1861 and restored between 1983-93.
The word “Meer” is Dutch for lake which is home to The Charles A Dana Discovery Center that was built in a Victorian style to emulate the original Victorian structures of Central Park.
The waterside plaza that sits next to the discovery center is used from mid-June through September for Sunday afternoon performance festivals….and good to know that if you like to fish you can participate in the catch and release program that is a summertime favorite for many in NYC!
At Design Works International we love creating trend boards that inspire us in the studio to create beautiful prints, patterns and trend lifestyle.
Landscape is a romantic watercolor story that is rich in technique and style. Tones of purples and blues are combined to create prints that are inspired by nature.
NYC is truly the center of the creative universe; amazing museums, film festivals, concerts, Broadway shows. One of the wonders of NYC is wherever you look there is some sort of art to inspire you. Just this morning, walking to our studio this morning I was greeted by this great “graphic graffiti” inspired truck… great inspiration to start the week.
We are getting in the spirit a little early this year with our HAND PAINTED Holiday Collections. Twenty-five years ago, Design Works International started as a hand paint design studio. The brush and pencil were the tools of the day. Now, technology has affected every aspect of our lives, including what we do here and we are PROUD to say that we are still hand painting many of our designs.
Whether you are influenced by classical or modern artists, being able to create traditionally is essential. From the Cubist portraits by Picasso and Salvador Dali’s Surrealist creations at The Museum of Modern Art, we look to the brush for inspiration.
The Metropolitan Museum of art just opened their exhibit “Madame Cezanne” to showcase the artist’s most painted model. While at the Met we can also find John Singer Sargent’s most important works as well, which include an extensive collection of gorgeous watercolors.
Book Culture, an independent bookstore in New York City, announced its plan to open a third location at 450 Columbus Ave. They hope to connect with the neighborhood and drum up excitement to meet its yearly sales goal. Chris Doeblin, the owner of Book Culture, has invited Upper West Siders to “Post It” graffiti so they can write their feelings about having a neighborhood bookstore. They’re trying to get the community involved and committed to support this independent bookstore!
At Design Works International we love creating Trends Boards that inspire our work in the studio…Vibrations is all about bright, fun colors mixed with substrates like wood and lucite. Our print focus is large scale geometric patterns in one or two colors that can be mixed and matched together creating a bold, yet clean, print and pattern story.
We are so excited for the launch of our Home Collection which is a collaboration of prints and patterns exclusively for the Home Markets, with a focus on bedding, wallpaper and upholstery. This collection is truly a “Worldwide Collaboration” as we are working with designers from our NYC studio as well as international designers in both CAD and hand painted styles.
For the past 20 years, Design Works International has attended Heimtex reporting on trend and products, but this year in addition to trend reporting, we will showcase our newest Home Collection. We are excited and honored to be a part of this International Textile Show in Frankfurt Germany from January 14th-17th 2015
Come visit Design Works International at Booth G81 Hall 4-2.
The redo experts took our boring office space, and transformed it into a stylish, colorful, and cozy spot for meetings, brainstorming, and okay, a little partying! Check out our before and after pictures below. Plus find details on specific paint colors, fabric patterns, and more HGTV HOME furniture and products used in the makeover.
This past weekend I happened to stumble upon what I call “A Treasure Chest of Goodies” at the Small Holdings Farm in Aquebogue, NY. For all us designers out there, it is getting harder and harder to find great antiques and “barn finds” that are affordable and allow us the opportunity to be used for our DIY projects.
The Small Holdings Farm is home to a large barn filled with many trinkets, furniture and rustic finds outside on the perimeter of the property. If you like to repaint, reclaim or just repurpose, I would highly suggest paying the Small Holdings Farm a visit!
They specialize in farmhouse decor, painted furniture, country cottage, industrial, reclaimed and renamed items. It is truly one of North Fork’s best kept secrets on Long Island NY. They are located in Aquebogue at 965 Main Street and their number is 631-722-3342. Winter hours are Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm. -Enjoy Treasure Hunting!
Sometimes we find design in unexpected places. Often we are so distracted by the environment that we don’t see what is right in front of us.
People don’t go to Las Vegas to see beautiful design, but if you look around… it’s there… often right under our feet!
Often at Design Works International we talk about “The Fusion of Fashion and Home”. Recently, at The High Point Furniture Market, I had the pleasure of interviewing a colleague of mine, a gentleman who is somewhat of a Renaissance Man; Mr. Bill Evans of Charlotte, North Carolina. Currently Bill is designing fashion pieces from home furnishing fabrics. He admires these types of fabrics and loves the vintage sensibility he can bring to fashion. His many “One Of’s” fashion pieces, including vintage tweed jackets with button details can be acquired through him in Charlotte.
He began his career at The Bell Telephone Company after he studied at Wake Forest University on a Football Scholarship. After 4 years at Bell, he realized that his passion was design and started to design furniture case goods for Kewaunee in North Carolina. His passion for design grew and Bill turned to the automobile industry and he worked for Jaguar for many years before finally committing to fashion design full time. He too is a true believer in “The Fusion of Fashion and Home” philosophy.
Hate to say we told you so but back on September 19th DESIGNWORKSSTYLE.COM spoke about Berry Bliss as a current trend in the market. That was from Nancy’s trip to Europe. We now have these photos from High Point to back up our blog post… Trending are berry tones in woven geometrics, prints and patterns as well as stripes and updated chevrons. These beautiful pics were taken at The Bassett Showroom IHFC, 12th floor and are the perfect mix of berry color combinations.
Another post from High Point Furniture Market, but this is “Out and About Town with Mr. Brown High Point Furniture Market”
For those of you attending the High Point Furniture Market… it pays to venture into the town of High Point and head to Mr. Brown on 114-116 East Kivett Street (corner of Wrenn) and check out their “hidden treasures” of upholstery and case goods with interesting prints and woven designs. Mr Brown is a duplex store with many interesting products for the home and is not shy of color and personality with a focus on updated classics.
Nancy here, as promised still sharing from The High Point Furniture Market!!
Market might be over but the excitement is not…. Have to share “Legacy Home” because I was so impressed with their style, sense of color and fabric choices…a well merchandised and styled line of bedding, pillows, drapery and headboards. See for yourself as you view the following fab prints, patterns and weaves! Legacy Home Collections are available through-the-trade and their website is legacylinens.com
The countryside in South Wales oozes an amazing rustic charm. All the textures that come together to give the landscape and structures such a great feel. Such wonderful inspiration from a beautiful country.
Cork is quite possibly one of the better materials for any type of creating; fashion and home included. Oak trees that grow in the western Mediterranean form thick, rugged and corky bark. Over time, this park can develop a considerable thickness and can be harvested every 10-12 years as cork. The harvesting of the cork does not harm the tree, and the a new layer of cork regrows, making it a renewable resource.
If you have questions regarding the IFDA event at the Surya Showroom,
please contact Dawn Brinson, FIFDA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-870-4066.
InGlobal Greats: Home Design’s Creative Hits from a Worldwide Perspective | Sunday, Oct. 19 @ 11 a.m.Nancy Fire, founder of Design Works International and design director of HGTV HOME, will share the best in worldwide design gleaned from her recent travels in Paris, Amsterdam, London and Wales. Join us for an inside look at the home, fashion and lifestyle designs that will inspire home product ideas in the coming seasons.
Had the privilege of touring the NYC Holiday House located in The Academy Mansion at 2 East 63rd Street, which celebrates the best in interior design and entertaining while supporting the fight against breast cancer. The Mansion was built in 1920, has four stories and is 26,000 square feet of beautifully designed rooms filled with creative interiors through November and December.