By Allison Zisko
Last month’s New York tabletop market was reportedly a satisfying and successful event, marked by a slew of new licensed programs and a trend direction that moved straight through the greenhouse door.
In general, vendors seemed pleased with the market and many remarked on “good meetings” and “back to back appointments” that resulted in solid business.
Florals were the most dominant trend at this market, and they came in every color, species and design interpretation imaginable: watercolors, sketch-like designs, single-stems, bouquets. Lenox’s centerpiece introduction at this show was Floral Meadow. The collection encompasses four floral-themed patterns, including Floral Meadow Medley, Sunflower, Hydrangea and Day Lily. Its new seasonal collection, Winter Meadow, is based on winter flowers – the poinsettia, amaryllis, holly and narcissus. There was a new formal pattern in taupe called Floral Patina, which is based on the hibiscus, and a giftware collection called Petals, an all-white porcelain line with a bisque exterior and a glazed interior featuring various flowers.
Lifetime Brands, in its Flower Shop showroom presentation, included enough designs to make a florist swoon. Among them were Linen Bloom, Chateau Garden, Cosmopolitan Rose, Vine (in three colorways), Paradise Bloom, Scarlet Berries, Citrus Stem and Kaleidoscope (featuring an iris), among others. They all retail for approximately $49.95 to $59.95 for a four-piece place setting.
Formal dinnerware was both platinum- and gold-banded (though platinum prevailed), and in a few cases not banded at all. Taupe and dove gray have emerged as two new neutrals, and a netting design on a wide band turned up on several patterns. Jewelry and dress designs influenced several new creations.
There were several new licensing programs. As previously reported, Robinson Home Products unveiled the Echodesign collection; dress designer Bruce Oldfield created a collection for Royal Crown Derby; Michael Wainwright created the Capitol collection, based on the dome of the U.S. Capitol building; and Artland developed four dinnerware patterns and several glassware designs in collaboration with designer Laurie Gates. At Lenox, there were two new Kate Spade dinnerware patterns—both in shades of blue, green and gray—and one new all-white Marchesa design called Pleated Swirl. Donna Karan added three sizes of black ceramic vases to the collection that debuted with Lenox last season, in addition to new metal bowls and four special-edition vases. Jasper Conran produced several new dinnerware collections for Wedgwood, and Vera Wang tweaked a few of her existing designs to create new patterns and developed new suites of giftware and stemware, also for Wedgwood. Monique Lhuillier and Royal Doulton unveiled Stardust, a formal pattern with a light sparkle on a taupe background that created a starry effect.
Amid reports that the luxury market has revived, many of the premium vendors unveiled a wealth of new designs. In addition to Oldfield’s collection for Royal Crown Derby, Prouna introduced four dinnerware patterns modeled after existing tea sets, featuring the rich coloration and use of crystals for which the company is known, and Robert Haviland and C. Parlon unveiled Sultane dinnerware, featuring lush matte purple banding and a raised white pin-dot design. Steuben continued its foray into stemware suites with two new collections, Crosshatch and Nimbus, and Lalique introduced several new pieces based on a travel theme to locales such as Africa and Asia, many using a deep amber color.
Nonetheless, the industry remains price-sensitive and casual-minded, and one outcome of this is the growth of the competitively-priced white bone china business. Simple, unbanded patterns that are shape-driven were presented by vendors such as Gorham, Maxwell & Williams, Salt & Pepper and others. In some cases they were offered open stock, for about $15 per dinner plate.