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Category: Trade Shows

Chic! (Our trip to Chicago)

Students from the junior and senior Home Products program recently traveled together to Chicago to attend the International Home + Housewares Show.

The trip included group activities pertaining to “best in booth” judging, fact/inspiration finding for our individual upcoming projects, and a great dinner out together.

After our NY Now field trip, we were told the Chicago show was about 3-4 times larger. This was intimidating at first, except that we had about ten times as much time to explore. Starting with an early flight on Saturday morning, straight to McCormick Place to hit our assigned areas (Wired & Well, Clean & Contain, or Dine & Décor). The range of booth styles and sizes were so much larger than those at NY Now-we could actually walk around in most of them. We set out listing our faves and describing what we liked about them.

That night, dinner at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria (YUM-regardless of your NYC vs. Chicago pizza preference) where on the walk over, our group inadvertently traipsed through someone’s proposal, (she said yes!) and then on Sunday, back to it for Experience Day. The juniors were given an early morning additional intro to the show, and then were encouraged to split up to meet students at other tables, and while initially we all sort of cringed at the forced mingling, (joining a table full of strangers, not usually anyone’s favorite!), each table had a mentor/leader, which made the networking much easier.

Ours was Elliot Benitez, exhibiting at the show to introduce his patented 6-at-a-time tortilla toaster. Something I had never thought of, but he explained how many hours his own mother missed of family meal time, toasting one tortilla at a time for everyone having a taco, so he invented this product. He gave a lot of great insight into what brought him to now being an inventor and business owner.  His product is now available for purchase at Sur la Table. We had the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the world of home products from someone with relevant, recent expertise.

We were encouraged to attend the sessions that interested us; included in these were cooking demos by Emeril, Robert Irvine and a range of other talks by industry experts.

Among the most interesting new products I saw was a juicer that determined the juice you should make after measuring your body mass index, by pressing your thumbs onto two small pads on the juicer. It made me wonder if someday we will be able to just get a meal plan for the day based on our body composition and goals, right in our homes. I also liked that a variety of new devices incorporated a hollow bottom for storing USB/charging cables. What a world, to not have to look through my entire apartment to find the cord for whatever I need to charge! (currently turning it upside down looking for my Clarisonic charger, so I can wash my face again).

Overall, the show was a great learning and class bonding adventure. We had some time to explore on our own (The Bean, The Skydeck), hang out together outside of class, and see where this degree could lead us.

Large enough to stand in, but no I didn’t.
This cute pink cup is actually a humidifier, and…
…this is where the charging cord goes!
Portable, inflatable hot tub!
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London’s Brick Lane E.I.

Welcome Travelers!
by Lily Guseman, Class of 2020

Image result for brick lane london

Every year a group of Home Products Development students, from The Fashion Institute of Technology, take a trip to London and Paris over winter break for the purpose of researching trends in the home field and attending the trade show Maison et Objet. While exploring these two great cities in small groups we often make discoveries, and mine happened to be the lovely area of Brick Lane.

Brick Lane is about a 15-20 minute taxi ride from central London and it was truly the mecca for all things vintage, shopping, and street art. We began our adventure at Box Park which was a street filled with shipping containers where local entrepreneurs were selling everything from handmade jewelry to frozen yogurt.

Our trip to Brick Lane was on a Sunday so luckily we were able to walk through the flea market that takes place there every weekend. The market, best known for their fur jackets, sold for as low as 15 pounds and regular jackets for 10 pounds, a great spot for some bargains! Along with jackets, there was fresh produce, local street food, and a huge selection of accessories. If you were not able to score your dream jacket at the market, no worries because there are up to 5 vintage stores located on each street with a unique, curated selection to choose from. Brick Lane has the “Brooklyn” feel and is perfect place to go if you want a taste of New York in a new city!

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Tabletop @ 41 Madison

The Class of 2020 visited the Fiskars Living showroom last week in celebration of Wedgwood’s 260th birthday during the Tabletop Market last week.

Fiskars Living is the leading provider of luxury home and lifestyle products worldwide.

Through its diversified family of world renowned brands and co-brands, the company’s portfolio includes some of the most sought after and admired brands and products and collections in the tabletop, home accessories, fine gifts and collectibles markets. In addition to Waterford, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Royal Albert, Johnson Brothers and Franciscan, Fiskars Living maintains unique licensing arrangements with of the most high-profile innovators in the home and lifestyle market,including Vera Wang, Jasper Conran, Monique Lhuillier, John Rocha, Gordon Ramsay and Donna Hay (41madison.com).

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