Last week, 5 of Cuddledown’s design team traveled to the Heimtextil trade show in Frankfurt, Germany. Heimtex is the largest home textile trade show in the world and is one of many excursions that keep Cuddledown at the forefront of home fashion and trends. One of my most vivid memories, back in the day when I attended, was sitting in an enclosed cubicle in 1991. I was about 5 months pregnant and was privy to very intense negotiations between Cuddledown’s president and the German down proof fabric suppliers. At the time, there was absolutely no consideration in Europe, when it came to smoking, for my delicate condition. All I remember was trying to hold my breath for the 4 hours it took our president to finally break them down and agree to our pricing. It’s no easy task making the finest bedding in the world affordable. To this day, anytime my son misbehaves, I blame that smoke filled room!
But, I digress.
As the year’s first trade fair, Heimtex presents not only the latest products and concepts for interior design with textiles but also the trends for the coming seasons. With over 2,600 exhibitors from more than 60 countries showing in 9 buildings (separated by walking sidewalks) with multiple floors, its a daunting task to get through Heimtex and find the vendors you do business with as well as find fresh and innovative, quality designs and products at affordable prices to add to the Cuddledown catalog.
Trend directions concerning color, textures, patterns and materials are ever changing. They are influenced by social and cultural trends and attitudes. Four specific trends dominated this year’s show.
First, according to industry experts, the new consumer landscape is characterized by quality, longevity, sustainability and significance. A new generation of designers are researching forgotten skills, and traditional craftsmanship is making a comeback. The consumer has expressed the need for pure, clean, simple designs that translate into charming & timeless looks.
The second trend highlighted this year focuses on mix and match; turning something old into something new, combining colors and patterns with abandon. This trend clearly shows how tradition is being turned on its head and stylized ethnic influences from all over the world meet with novel patterns, prints and fabrics.
The global financial crisis, natural catastrophes, and an over abundance of products and information are causing people to pause to think about and reflect on their current lifestyle. Experts say that a deciding factor for commitment to purchase is the emphasis on what is really important. Consumers are not only looking at design for design’s sake; simplicity, accessibility and an invitation-to-use, are important components for today’s designers. Designed for everyday use, products in this category suggest a longer lifespan and incorporate modest and unadorned components.
Lastly, a “wilderness” trend is emerging. A movement back to where we came from. The world we live in is high-tech. Confidence in governments, economic structure, and energy supplies has been compromised. Consumers are striving for more self-reliance and want to achieve an ultra-sustainable lifestyle. In order to achieve this, some are breaking free of their normal way of life in a radical way and adopting the “wilderness lifestyle,” which means being at one with nature. It has been suggested that people are looking for distinctive, individualistic features marked by imperfection not perfection. There is a renewed interest in simple design and manufacturing techniques with an eye to wild, natural shapes, created from untreated materials. A new generation of designers are at work transferring forgotten skills and craftsmanship into the modern era, with the aim of creating a meaningful link between the local and the global.
You won’t see these trends translated on the pages of our catalog until next year, but for now, we’d love to hear what you think-what directions in home textile would you like to see? I’d like to know what changes or additions you would suggest in our home, bed, bath and gift products. Let me know!