The third edition of the Luxury Brands show at DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR (26-28 March), organised by COVER in collaboration with DACF, featured nine international rug brands. Of the four returning companies, Creative Matters and New Moon took the opportunity to build on what they had developed in the previous two years while Rug Star and Zollanvari, who have representation in China, worked on seeing clients and enhancing their presence in the Chinese market. New firms Battilossi, Firesun, Oritop, and Shahdad by Ashkiyoun were open to what the Shanghai show had to offer while Sahar spent the time connecting with their new Chinese reps and reaping the benefits of exposure at DACF.
Of the 17 DACF Halls, W1-W5 are dedicated to carpets and W5 is home to handmade rugs and the Luxury Brands display. The layout and design of the LB exhibition was particularly impressive this year, with each company once again displaying 2 hand-knotted rugs. Our stand neighbours included the Kabul Carpet Export Center and LB exhibitor Oritop’s additional exhibition space, which allowed the Austrian brand to bring a large stack of rugs, a selection of which sold during the 3-day event. Zollanvari had an additional stand as part of Iranian pavilion and Creative Matters also had a private room to take clients and show further rugs next to the exhibition area.
Other exhibitors included Abbas Nishaburi, Carpet Lover Club, Saif and ARS Colors, Global Overseas and the China Tibetan Carpet Association, while in Hall W2 we paid a visit to Jambros, who represent Rug Star in China. On the far side of the LB stand was a stage set up for talks and design events, a grand display for the new Chinese Original Carpet Design Show, Dutch firm Material District’s display of innovative materials and the Cadex lecture space.
Opening on Tuesday 26 March, the first day of the show featured 4 talks (in 2 languages) given by the Luxury Brands team on the stage next to our exhibition. My talk at 11.30am focused on trends for 2019/20, including forecasted interior colours, the desire for customisation and the ever-increasing search for innovative new materials.
In the afternoon, Carol Sebert followed on from my speech perfectly with an in-depth look at ‘Customization of Carpets for Luxury Interiors’ focusing on Creative Matters’ commercial and residential projects.
Next up was Erika Kurtz of New Moon Rugs, whose talk ‘Art Underfoot: The importance of Hand-crafted Rugs in Luxury Design’ made it clear why handmade is best.
Maurizio Battilossi was last on stage with a look at ‘Italian Design in Contemporary Carpet Culture’. Thanks to our Luxury Brand speakers for helping to promote handmade!
The following day I was asked to present an award for the new Chinese Original Carpet Design Show, a rug design competition for Chinese designers and design students. I had been part of the jury that selected the 25 displayed rugs from the 60 entries and my favourite two designs, both by students from the Hangzhou Guomei Architectural Design Institute, will be shown in COVER 55, out in June. While language issues created some difficulties, it was interesting to meet one of the finalists Mr Sun Zheng, chief designer of Chinese brand Artweaver, whose rug Five Natural Elements reached the finals of the Carpet Design Awards back in 2008.
The highlight of the event for all the Luxury Brands was perhaps the networking event at the high-end interiors retail outlet Cimen on Thursday evening, after the DACF show had closed. We were given a presentation by the Cimen management and offered advice on getting into the Chinese market by some European designers currently working in Shanghai. Then all nine companies were given 5 minutes to get on stage and present their brand to 50 Chinese interior designers, followed by meeting and greeting with drinks and refreshments. Notes were duly taken and some good connections were made. It was a high note to end on!
It was great to bring the Luxury Brands show to Shanghai once again. Each year we improve our connections, understand more about the Chinese market and can offer more to the LB exhibitor. Thank you to DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR for being an excellent host and collaborator, we hope for Luxury Brands 2020 we can build on what we have already created and return with even more success next year.
Watch a video of Carol Sebert, President of Creative Matters Inc, discussing the merits of being part of the Luxury Brands 2019 exhibition at DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR with COVER magazine Editor Lucy Upward:
Enjoy a sneak peek inside Luxury Brands 2019: