northmodern in January

One of the problems with holding northmodern in the middle of January is the pressure it puts on companies. Speaking to the team on the Woud stand they explained that they were having to pace themselves carefully as they had a large stand at the Cologne Furniture Fair the following week and the Fair in Stockholm is in February. 

Getting new pieces ready on time, preparing publicity material, designing and producing new catalogues, designing and building appropriate stands and preparing staff and getting the team to the venue are all a huge pressure on a small company and demanding on time, energy and money. 

Some of the big names in Danish furniture were not here this year presumably having made a rational decision to focus on fairs in other countries where they might open up a new market rather than showing in Denmark where they might be showing to loyal customers who were already committed to the product.

Time and cost to show at a design fair is certainly a problem for new designers and young companies. They are already juggling stretched resources doing everything themselves.

This can only become more of a problem if the design industry gets hustled along the route taken by the fashion industry: some would like to see a move towards seasonal presentations of new collections. Some sectors are obviously seasonal so new designs for candlesticks might well be better shown in the summer for retailers to order for Autumn delivery and Winter and Christmas sales but the downside of presenting new design as something seasonal and fashionable carries with it the implication that last year’s design might be unfashionable and due for replacement. Good for marketing. Bad for sustainability.