So, what do I take away from my visit to the "Material World" show in NY this week? Well, after walking the floor, visiting booths, exploring pantone's 'Trend Pavillion' and attending the
seminars, the most memorable 90 minutes was David Shah's presentation - From the Austere to the Absurd.
Mr. Shah, as the moderator chose to introduce him, is the futurist and publisher of Textile View Magazine.He is a brilliant thinker and extremely entertaining speaker. From his opening description of "Generation Jones, those born right after the baby boomers, "(picture the character Carrie Bradshaw from "Sex and theCity") as the first generation to fully embrace lifestyle culture, and a market segment not to be ignored; to his closing remarks - "The only way to survive in business today, is to create, to think outside the box". I was wrapt. He stressed the new approach to global commerce as "right brain thinking", and how this will leave us free to really create; to understand that Design is not the privelege of the rich, but rather, what we all need. He went on to say that people are no longer afraid of technology and emphasized the importance of transparency in manufacturing, quite literally getting around the table with your suppliers and being honest with your customers. After all, is anything secret anymore? Can't everything be found on the web? And to that point, did you know that there are some 60,000 fashion associated websites..that means a lot of people / consumers talking and listening to each other. It means much more consumer independence. It also means the old 'bricks and mortar' style of retailing will be partnered with digital retailing in a huge way. It already is in Europe.
Some of this information is not new, but it was thrilling for me as the owner of a young company, to hear such a passionate, exciting, and encouraging speaker. My late partner of 19 years, Sam Apple - a gifted designer himself, would have given Mr. Shah a well deserved round of applause....so did I.
thanks for listening...