The International Casual Furniture Association hosted its annual Casual Market (ICFA Market), September 12-15, 2011 at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. The ICFA Market is the foundation of outdoor and casual furniture for the US. For over 30 years, leading outdoor and casual manufacturers from around the globe flock the iconic Mart to showcase their latest designs and outdoor trends. Each new season designs are featured throughout the permanent showrooms on the 15-17th floors while temporary vendors can showcase on the 8th floor during the exhibition.
Caravita debuted at this year’s ICFA Market with its new Belvedere cantilever shade. The Belvedere’s innovative opening flap mechanism is a new design for the US market. The well received cantilever was also a contestant in the ICFA best in show awards, with a special color combination design by designer Ramsey J. Prince, designer and showroom manager for Ebel Inc. Prince specifically designed the Belvedere to be a real showstopper at this year’s market with contrasting black, white and chrome color scheme.
Marie Hoyle – Sales & Marketing Director for CARAVITA USA – spoke with Ramsey J. Prince about the ICFA Show and NEW design trends:
Marie Hoyle: How has market been this season?
Ramsey J. Prince: Very successful, very optimistic about the traffic. It seems to be that everyone that was here was here to buy as opposed to shopping and looking around. we saw a lot of serious customers this time.
Marie Hoyle: What did you think were some of the highlights from the show?
Ramsey J. Prince: Our new driftwood collection, the grays I think are a really big hit this season. Things are going away from strictly browns and chocolates and taupe. Taking chances with the new color, great for upholstery reason, grays, purples, it’s been a big update from the days of everything being brown.
Marie Hoyle: Would you say people are looking for more innovative pieces?
Ramsey J. Prince: They want something special, they want showstoppers. I think in today’s market you need to provide something that’s going to grab that customers attention, it doesn’t have to be a low point price point necessarily, it has to grab their attention. So when they come into the store they want to buy it
Marie Hoyle: So Ramsey, tell me a little bit about the umbrellas you designed for Caravita for the ICFA?
Ramsey J. Prince: I was going for a classic design- they wanted something that would really WOW people, so using stainless steel, black, white, graphic pattern, still very classic and something that would really catch your eye.
Marie Hoyle: Now with introducing Caravita to your showroom what were some of the things that sort of drew you in with bringing in an additional umbrella line to complement some of the furniture?
Ramsey J. Prince: I think Caravita provides quality first and foremast, that is a complement to our brand. Not only being a fashion forward style driven brand, we have a real high element of quality scale, and Caravita matches that. I think that there are lots of other choices of umbrellas and shades but Caravita really has the staying power, they have got the design and you have the durability that really need especially in the Chicago climate. There is so much wind and crazy elements, and Caravita’s not going to fail in that sort of situation.