ICFF (The International Contemporary Furniture Fair), now in its 29th year, is a vast but tightly edited showcase of some of the world’s most aspirational residential and contract products in New York City. We visited the Cult stand, the furniture and lighting company, which leveraged ICFF to launch NAU – their new in-house Australian collection.
May 30th, 2017
NAU already offers pieces by some of the country’s most talented and innovative designers including the likes of Adam Cornish, Adam Goodrum, Gavin Harris and Jack Flanagan. The stand at ICFF, designed by Design Office, underscored the collection’s reductive forms, honest materiality and timeless aesthetic.
You’ve used ICFF to launch your new brand. Was this a strategic decision? What has been the design industry’s response to your collection?
We picked ICFF on the basis that we believed we would be seen in a smaller fair that has some major American and European players present. This strategy was very worthwhile given that the reaction to the collection was better than we expected!
The show proves how many quality operators there are out there! Aside from your origin (ie Australia), what do you feel is your point of difference in the marketplace?
The Australian factor is certainly an important consideration for the American market. Products like Bower haven’t been done before and the other products in the collection are quite organic in form and have a newness about them, which is why they were very well received.
What has been the design industry’s response to your collection?
Very positive – people consistently commented on the level of craftsmanship, comfort and how resolved the collection was for such a new company. We formed a great database of quality architects and designers (we were taking orders off the stand) which will help develop our brand in the North American market. Also there was great interest from media houses wanting to do a story and high end suppliers wanting to represent the brand. We could not be more happy.
What do you feel is your distinctive voice amongst the competition?
The show felt like a little Milan, with the main showground supported by showrooms and design districts in the city. We met people from all over the US and the world. Feedback suggested excitement to see a new Australian brand presenting in NY with such commitment…the stand, branding and the collection as a whole. Designers were telling us they had used images of our products in mood boards, but they did not know the brand. Recurring comments were, “sophisticated but relaxed” and “well curated”and “how have we never heard of you”.
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Since founding her practice in 2011 Joyce Wang has carved out an international name for herself, establishing studios in Hong Kong and London. She’s a jet-setting mother-of-three, but she is not interested in world design domination, rather her focus is on upending the status quo.