ICFF: the word to the Director

For 28 years, ICFF remains North America’s platform for global design. The fair presents a wide range of products (such as furniture, seating, carpet and flooring, lighting, outdoor furniture, materials, wall coverings, accessories, textiles, and kitchen and bath). With an anticipated attendance of more than 33,500 total industry professionals, exhibitors have the opportunity to have their work seen, promoted and purchased, all at one time.

We spoke about it with Kevin O’Keefe, ICFF Show Director

What are this year’s proposals?

Not-to-miss highlights at this year’s show include the HO.MI Lifestyles Pavilion featuring top Italian designers and brands; The Milk Stand by Design Milk, featuring American and Canadian designers and makers selling everything from modern jewelry and watches to wallets to home decor; the Luxe Interiors + Design Pavilion showcasing the top brands in contemporary and classic designs; ICFF Studio, which features the prototypes of undiscovered designers selected through a juried competition; and of course, ICFF Schools, displaying today’s top innovations by tomorrow’s design leaders. We will also welcome contingents from Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Brazilian Furniture, British European Design Group (BEDG), Ceramics of Italy, Design Philippines, Furniture New York, The Furniture Society (U.S.), Inside Norway, Interiors from Spain and Portugal Brands.

How do you keep the leadership in the North American area?

ICFF is dedicated to being the global design platform for North America. To this end, the event continues to bring what’s best and what’s next to the Fair from all over the world. Doubling in size over the past 3 editions, the exhibition is expected to continue to expand to a full facility event at the Jacob K. Javits Center.

At the same time, ICFF is the foundation of the citywide celebration of design, NYCxDesign. A personal goal of mine is to work to make New York Design Week- NYCxDesign, the global design celebration of the world. At its core will always be ICFF.

In addition, there are important design hubs that ICFF will address with smaller edited satellite Fairs- like Miami, and Los Angeles. ICFF Miami takes place October 5-6 of this year.


How does it fit in the NYCxDESIGN circuit?

This year, Interior Design magazine and ICFF will present the first annual NYCxDESIGN Awards, a global design competition celebrating outstanding achievement across major areas of design—from architecture to interiors, from products to collectibles, from craft to technology. This awards program will serve as a connector pulling together and rewarding excellence in design achievement from the over 500 events that comprise New York City’s showcase. And as part of a new 2016 initiative in partnership with NYCxDESIGN, ICFF has invited Design Weeks from around the globe to come and showcase their unique expressions to the ICFF and New York design community.

How do you reinvent the event year after year?

Each and every year, we are dedicated to evolving and growing ICFF and exploring new ways to present the major innovations. In 2015, ICFF expanded to two levels of Javits Center, represents a 30% increase in size and outpacing the double-digit expansion experienced in 2013 and 2014. This year, the ICFF exhibition floor has grown by additional 30% over 2015, as the Fair welcomes some 150 new brands. Next year the Fair will move upstairs to occupy the entire main level – or nearly 200,000 net feet. With our expanded scope, ICFF has come to stand for all that is important in contemporary and classic design. And new programs like the ICFF Global Emerging Designers program will bring together industry talent from more than 20 countries including the likes of France, Japan, Brazil, Italy, Portugal, Austria, the Philippines, Spain and more!