Cue the feral crowd of interior designers and decorators from around the planet, raise crystal goblets of bubbly, and devour Italian hors d’oeuvres as the furniture barrens of the world host another High Point Market—Hollywood style!
Twice a year, and only open to the trade, North Carolina morphs its quaint city of High Point into the largest furniture exhibition in the universe. More than 75,000 industry partners representing more than 100 countries, crisscross the globe in order to dash through 11.5 million square feet of showrooms in six jam-packed, over-scheduled days.
Here at High Point Market, all systems tilt toward relationships. Enter any of the 180 buildings and you will witness loyal relationships being nurtured and new relationships being constructed by the top brass (CEOs, presidents, and owners) of every manufacture because they know that extending valuable personal time equals a return on investment for their brand and image.
From the immaculately swept city streets to the indoor, star-studded, focus panels, the social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest) was abuzz as zealous design practitioners tweeted, posted and, pinned as they obsessed over new colorways of upholstery and fabrics and fixated on fresh finishes and styles of the latest case goods.
Writers, bloggers, shelter-publication reps, scouts, and reporters crawled over plush red carpets in hope of gaining admission into the hottest soirees and the finest invitation-only showrooms. Armed with camera crew, press badges, and a honed repartee, Fashion + Décor and The Inman Company worked in collaboration with High Point Market as we quizzed the fashion-forward, questioned interior designers to the stars, and interviewed the celebrity elite to elucidate how fashion and design has become such a twenty-first century event.
Reporting at ultra-marathon speeds, we had the privilege of touring High Point Market with extraordinary fashion designers Christian Siriano (Season four winner of Project Runway) and Lela Rose (fashion designer to former First Lady Barbara Bush and A-list celebrities) as they sought inspiration for future fashion collections. We sat down for one-on-one interviews and received private showroom tours for yet-to-be-released furniture collections on display from both the talented Thom Felicia (Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) and the brilliant Jeffrey Alan Marks (Bravo’s Millionaire Decorators). And we gushed in awe as we posed for photos with the gracious and world-class interior-design icon Jamie Drake (designer for Madonna and Rudy Giuliani).
Thousands of elaborately decorated showrooms vied for our attention as we maneuvered through the labyrinth of interior corridors and the welcoming city streets of High Point Market. The glamorous Caracole showroom of lacquer, leather, and Lucite called out to the seasoned designers as something to be reckoned with. The visual draw of the CR Laine showroom declared its independence with rare olive-wood planked flooring, palm-frond patterned fabrics, and a heightened color pallet that screamed magazine cover. And the grand scale of the Theodore Alexander showroom exuded confidence with over-the-top materials and finishes fit for royalty.
The glitzy rock star performances, alluring celebrity sightings, and the nonstop VIP treatment was just a scratch on the glossy veneer surface of the true contribution of High Point Market—the human element of connecting and relationship building. Setting all dollars and cents aside, High Point Market stands as the leader for merging an entire industry with the common bond of passion for design and the highest level of face-to-face professional networking for which there is no measure or comparison.
If you have not experienced this tantalizing show-businesslike extravaganza, clear your calendar, book a flight, and prepare yourself to be dazzled in April at High Point Market—The Greatest Show on Earth!
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Tags: Bravo, Britney Simon, celebrities, Christian Siriano, Fashion+Deocr, Gretchen Aubuchon, HGTV, high point, high point market, interior design, Jaime Rummerfield, Jamie Drake, Jeffrey Alan Marks, Jordan Cappella, Keno Bros., Lela Rose, Ron Woodson, Ross Cassidy, Shane Inman, Theodore Alexander, Thom Filicia