Get Ready, This Year’s ICFF Will Be Bigger Than Ever

In its 29th year, ICFF is poised to launch a new gallery and its first ever multi-brand installation—and it will feature more international brands than ever before.

The commercial core and jumping-off point of NYCxDESIGN is ICFF, which features a range of interior furniture, textiles, materials, and lighting by more than 800 exhibitors. In its 29th year, it is poised to open with new energy. For starters, the fair will move out of the Javits Center’s basement and onto the building’s main level. “This is a major change,” says ICFF event director Kevin O’Keefe. “Having the fair all on one floor and [under] high ceilings is a dramatic upgrade, and we have a whole new look that I think everybody will like a lot.”

Returning to the show will be Bernhardt Design’s ICFF Studio, recognizing the work of emerging designers, and the annual ICFF Schools section, which will include San Diego State University, Virginia Tech, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. New launches will include the ICFF Gallery: This art and design showcase will unite galleries already working with the interiors industry that deal in sculpture, painting, lighting, unique furniture and seating, wall art, and distinctive art objects. Another first, O’Keefe explains, will be an installation by the Soho Design District where 23 international brands—including Cassina, Cappellini, Kartell, Blu Dot, Poltrona Frau, Fritz Hansen, Fontana Arte, and Design Within Reach—will collaborate to display their vision of what’s best and newest in design.

The number of exhibitors at this year’s edition will be almost 30 percent more than last year’s, thanks in part to more international participation. Alongside contingents from Italy and Spain (which will emphasize Catalan design), 10 region-specific pavilions will offer fresh talent from France and Romania, and Design Week Addis Ababa, presenting the work of designers from Ethiopia. Nonetheless, O’Keefe says, “Our annual NYCxDESIGN Awards will focus on the U.S. industry. New York itself is home to almost 50,000 designers—more than most major cities in the world.”

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