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By Catherine McHugh

A brief overview of the most important annual events on the design calendar.


firstLOOKTM Organized by the New York Design Center in partnership with Interior Design magazine, FirstLook has become a preview of the new furniture solutions introduced in the East Coast North American market. More than 1,500 principals, architects, and designers from New York City’s established and emerging firms come to explore the new product showcase every year.


What’s New, What’s Next The New York Design Center presents this event that has become a benchmark for introducing new products and celebrating the very best in design. The design community and consumers are invited to the introduction of thousands of new products as well as attend designer conversations, book signings, presentations, and panels with the industry’s top editors and manufacturers celebrating what’s “new” and “next” in design. Attendees have the opportunity to network with the best in design, learn about the latest trends, and view thousands of new products all under one roof.


Royal Oak Foundation Timeless Design and Heritage Awards The Timeless Design Award & Gala Benefit is Royal Oak’s signature annual fundraiser in New York. Proceeds support the Royal Oak Foundation’s Scholarship Fund and also strengthen the foundation’s role as the US partner of the National Trust of England, Wales & Northern Ireland. The Timeless Design Award was conceived in 1996 to recognize outstanding individual achievement in American/British interior design, and to celebrate American and British design icons whose work is inspired by or developed from the collections of the National Trust. The Heritage Award is given each year to recognize institutions or individuals in the UK or the US that have substantially advanced the understanding and appreciation of our shared cultural heritage.

Masquerade Ball with Alpha Workshops For the past decade, The Masquerade Ball, often touted as the most fun event on the design community calendar, has encouraged more than 300 interior designers, architects, manufacturers, members of the shelter press, and others to dress in creative costumes and dance the night away. All proceeds from the ball benefit The Alpha Workshops Studio School, the only school in the nation that trains people living with HIV/AIDS as decorative artists. Students learn marketable techniques (faux finishes, wall treatments, casting, gilding) and work readiness skills in a program licensed by the New York State Department of Education.

TEFAF Art Fairs

TEFAF (The European Fine Art Foundation) is launching two art fairs. TEFAF New York, a joint venture between TEFAF and Artvest Partners, will hold two shows— TEFAF New York Fall (October 21-26, 2016) and TEFAF New York Spring (May 4-9, 2017)—both held at the Park Avenue Armory. The Fall edition will feature 93 leading dealers of fine art, design, furniture, and jewelry from antiquity through the early 20th century. The opening night reception on October 21 will benefit the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the acclaimed cultural programs of the Park Avenue Armory. High Point Fall Market The counterpoint to the spring event, the High Point Fall Market is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world. Serious retail home furnishings buyers can be found in High Point twice a year to check out the tens of thousands of new product introductions. If you can’t find it in High Point, then it probably doesn’t exist.


Salon Art + Design The Salon Art + Design annual art fair held in New York City’s Park Avenue Armory exhibits artwork from around the world, with a unique emphasis on European talent. Many artists debut new pieces at the fair,

making it a must-see for seasoned revelers on the New York art scene and an unparalleled introduction into high modern art for budding art enthusiasts. IFDA Rising Stars The International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) was founded in New York City in 1947 with a mission to inspire and recognize leadership in the industry. Its annual event identifies and honors rising stars who personify the standard of excellence throughout the furnishings and design industry. Now with 14 chapters worldwide, IFDA provides a professional forum for communication and interaction among its high-profile members. As a volunteer-run not-for-profit organization, it also promotes career advancement and educational opportunities, and is structured to increase public awareness of the furnishings and design industry through specialized programming, networking, and service to the community.


Interior Design Hall of Fame Awards Known as the Academy Awards of the interior design industry, this black-tie event was established in 1985 by Interior Design magazine to recognize the individuals who have made significant contributions to the growth and prominence of the design industry. A venerable “Who’s Who” of the top style makers honor the new inductees, who are selected from a nomination body of previous Hall of Fame members.

Decorators Club Holiday Party Founded in 1914, The Decorators Club is America’s oldest women’s organization dedicated to the interior design profession. Every year, more than 200 Decorators Club members, colleagues, and industry friends gather at the Colony Club in New York City for the annual holiday celebration and benefit for the DC Education Fund. The DC Education Fund Inc. was established in 1960 and through this holiday celebration and lecture series has raised funds to support an annual portfolio competition for six New York colleges that offer BFA programs in interior design. Kips Bay Holiday Live The Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club showcases the design industry’s best at its annual Holiday Live event that is hosted by the Hearst Design Group (Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Veranda) along with the New York Design Center. The evening unites the talents of New York City’s most outstanding designers with an honorable cause. New York City’s most distinguished and creative designers are featured in a one-ofa-kind silent auction of designer wreaths during this very special event. Each of these unique items showcase the special talent of the individual designer and, collectively, they transform the room into a pre-holiday wonderland. The night also includes a performance by Kips Bay members. The wreaths are available for sale this one night only, with all proceeds benefiting Kips Bay’s education and after-school programs.

Interior Design BOY Awards Interior Design’s Best of Year Awards celebrates the industry’s very best projects and products across an ever-growing spectrum of categories. The event, held at Frank Gehry’s IAC Building in New York, gathers nearly 1,000 designers, architects, and manufacturers to award honorees across 43 project categories, 61 product categories, and 11 materials.





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