Trend Spotting at AmericasMart
July 15, 2017,
Soft watercolors, bright citrus and traditional rustic holiday are among the trends spotted by Gifts and Decorative Accessories' editors during AmericasMart Atlanta July 11-14. Sunflowers and lemons brighten, pastel watercolors soften, rustic textures and colors evoke nostalgia, and a plethora of products celebrate and empower "her." Check out the below trends for the latest in product design this season.
Nothing says “good vibes” and “happiness” like a beautiful bunch of sunflowers—bright and buoyant. This summer the happy flower is spreading across multiple categories, but especially tabletop and home décor. We particularly loved the Sunflower Head Scarecrows by Hill’s Imports Inc. and Park’s Company, as well as the more subtle take on the trend in The Sunflower Collection by Wilton Armetale, which features sophisticated silver trays accented with silver sunflowers.
When Life Gives You Lemons
Greenery adorned with lemons makes for exhilarating candle holders, bringing a touch of citrus to any fragrance. Atlanta’s summer market goers are getting lots of lemons, and we had to stop and wonder—this wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with Beyoncé Knowles’s “Lemonade” album, would it? The celebrity and her sister, Solange Knowles, are known for incorporating beautiful botanicals and nature with bright citruses and other fruits for a playfully feminine setting. The most popular of these, resulting in themed outfits and hairstyles galore, has been the lemon and we think manufacturers may have been channeling their “inner Bey” this summer! Vickerman welcomed market goers with a beautiful display of lemons and colorful rosebuds, cascading down the sides of a vertical mirror—elegance at its best.
Burlap, faux hides and furs, natural woods and stone have adorned the showrooms for rustic-chic holiday displays. Traditional reds and greens have taken a back seat to browns, tans and creams accented with filigree golds and mercury glass for the upcoming fall season. Santa is even wearing fur and leather versus his traditional red velvet ensemble. Willow Group brings rustic-chic to holiday décor with its “cheer” sign carved in wood and paired with red Christmas ornaments. Mixed metals and twine accents are great adornments for this trend as well, such as Mud Pie’s fall harvest vignettes. This trend is great for adding masculine touch of holiday cheer to the home.
Celebrating Her Strength
Women have long-since been in the workplace—we’re rocking it, actually, and that isn’t a new concept. But this season, more and more gifts are celebrating her strength and congratulating her move to the top. Mary Square’s Girl Boss business card holders and My Empire Ceramic Mug are just two examples of must-have office supplies for her. Penguin Random House is starting the trend early with a children’s book: She Persisted, written by Chelsea Clinton.
Other companies are going beyond their product line for the trend. The Nica Life, for example, was founded to create jobs and opportunities for female artisans in Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Americas. To create its beaded necklaces and bracelets, the company works with artisan groups as well as the girls of UPNicaraguan, an organization that works to empower at-risk girls to reach their dreams.
Paint by Watercolors
There’s something peaceful and joyful about the soft, bleeding strokes in a watercolor painting, which is why we were thrilled to see so many watercolor prints on both packaging and products alike. Up With Paper’s beautiful watercolor pansy stood out on the shelf, as did fig & bella’s scarf in soft pink and purple.
Michele Mangiacotti’s new packaging for her shea butter soaps, soy candles and Kitchen Sink sets were actually inspired by watercolor paintings created through an art program she funds for her employees with disabilities.
Every shopper likes a good deal, especially younger consumers who want to feel like their getting the most bang for their buck. That’s why our eyes were drawn to these gifts that give not one—but two smiles. Lotus Jewelry Studio’s necklaces—one for each birthday month—are not only simple but chic, but also come fastened to “flower paper.” The paper backing has flower seeds within the paper, so it can be planted rather than tossed.
And with personalization not going away anytime soon, Top It Off’s rain boots, which can be customized simply by replacing the top insert, is a must-have, especially for the rainy spring season. Customers can buy multiple designs, so that one pair of boots looks more like four.
A Lengthy Story
As a bold alternative to the delicate studs trend, long dangling earrings are the perfect accessory for off-the-shoulder fashions shown in apparel collections for Spring/Summer 2018. In styles that range from minimalist to glamorous and lengths from three inches to shoulder-skimming, gift lines are taking a longer approach for earrings in their jewelry divisions. Available in wires and post versions, Spartina 449’s take on the long drop earrings includes beading in oval and teardrop shapes. And we were pleasantly surprised by Shiraleah’s “shoulder-dusters,” pictured above.
Dimensional features add visual interest to decorative accessories and home accents. This year’s textural trends seem to be designed to encourage customers to touch the merchandise. Available in numerous approaches, there’s a bold texture on hand for a fresh addition to any decor style. Midwest CBK goes rustic with the trend with a woodland deer pillow, complete with fur accents, and channels garden chic with its butterfly pillow. Irregular edges and rough surfaces stand out in the Urban Geometry collection from Melrose International. Resembling the surface of the moon, the texture is bold with a sophisticated, modern impact.
Traditionally, holidays are associated with distinct color combinations — red and green for Christmas, “foliage” colors for fall and pastels for Easter. Many vendors are offering alternative options in color palettes that tend to be softer in intensity thus more versatile with a longer retail shelf life. Muted pumpkins by Boston International diverge from the tradition of warm fall colors and made us take a second look, as did Bloomingville’s Christmas tree tableware highlighted with cream and robin-egg blue.
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AmericasMart ICON Honorees
Excellence and superior achievement in the home and gift industry were recognized in July at AmericasMart's eighth annual ICON Honors. Enjoy these video stories celebrating the 2017 award recipients: Spicher and Company, Bloomingville, Wolf Gourmet, Her Majesty's English Tea Room, Kurt S. Adler, Inc., and Chris Rosse, Rosse and Associates.