AD’s Market Director Parker Larson on What to Expect From This Year's Design Show

In its 17th year, the Architectural Digest Design Show, running from Thursday, March 22 through Sunday, March 25, will once again be the city’s premier interiors event attracting many of the leading brands and top talents in the world of design. Industry top professionals and design aficionados gather each year on New York City’s West Side at Piers 92 and 94 to see the latest in furniture, kitchen, bath, lighting and more, by both independent and established manufactures. It’s the Coachella of the design industry with an estimated 40,000 attendees; and an opportunity to be immersed in the creations of more than 400 brands.

Some of this year’s highlights include MADE, a juried section at the piers, where handcrafted or one-of-a kind furnishings and art pieces will be showcased by New York designers Avram Rusu Studio, Birnam Wood Studio, Consort Design, and Slash Objects. At FURNISH, visitors will have the chance to peruse a new assemblage of contemporary and classic furniture, lighting, carpets and rugs, decorative accessories, textiles, and art by the industry’s most exciting names.

The show’s new theater space, presented by Dacor, will be a forum for visitors to hear from some of the world’s top designers as they engage in panel discussions on various topics related to design. Notably, Architectural Digest Editor in Chief Amy Astley will lead a keynote discussion on Saturday, March 24. But the events won’t be limited to gorgeous booths and keynote speakers. There will also be a clutch of culinary demonstrations with chefs from around the world, book signings, and product presentations.

In the lead up to the show, we sat down with Architectural Digest Market Director Parker Larson to discuss all things design in NYC.

In your opinion, what are the must-visit design/home-good stores in NYC and what makes each one special?

Parker Larson: In retail, I think people are looking for that special and unique piece for their home. Les Ateliers Courbet and The Future Perfect come to mind in this instance as they are more like galleries than a shop. KRB Design is a must for interior lovers as she carries a lot of vintage pieces along with contemporary, and her exquisite taste shines through in everything she curates and BDDW is the epitome of American craftsmanship and ingenuity, and they have recently expanded by opening an M. Crow store on Howard. My go-to places that I am always keeping up with are John Derian, Creel & Gow, William Wayne, Flair, Bergdorf Goodman’s home floor (on the seventh floor), and Xenomania.  

Which New York designer has blown your mind recently?

PL: Billy Cotton – Billy is someone whose work I have always admired. He first came to my attention years ago through his lacquer furniture and dinnerware collections at Bergdorf Goodman, and I have been drawn to his work ever since. I think last year was especially a big year for him though as he redid his studio/offices, came out with a new furniture and lighting line, decorated a room for the Kips Bay showhouse for the first time, and this past January, we added him to our AD100 list.  

What can we expect from the upcoming design show?

PL: I cover all of the trade shows here at AD, and I know I’m a little biased, but ours is one of the best. It’s a good mix of kitchen and bath and interior categories like furniture, rugs, etc. One of my favorite sections is our handmade/artisan area. Almost all of the companies that show there are American made, and most are very small so you actually get to meet the designers of the product.

Any highlights in particular you can point to?  

PL: The handmade/artisan section that I already mentioned. Also, our kitchen and bath section is very strong.  If you are thinking about renovating your kitchen or bath, our show is the place to go!

The Architectural Digest Design Show is taking place March 22-25 at Piers 92 and 94 located on 55th Street at 12th Avenue, NY.

Words by Rocky Casale

Image courtesy of Providence Art Glass Photos