ICFF and WantedDesign Join Forces to Launch CLOSEUP

In lieu of physical events, the New York trade shows will launch a two-day televised program that offers insights into the latest products and industry trends from North American designers and manufacturers.

Guston chandelier by James Dieter, who will participate in CLOSEUP. Image courtesy of Noname Studio

In March, right as the coronavirus pandemic was taking hold, NYCxDesign announced that it would postpone this year’s festivities, which were originally scheduled for May. The citywide design festival, headlined by tentpole trade shows such as ICFF and WantedDesign, planned to delay programming until October to align with like-minded events such as the Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Week, Archtober, Open House New York, and the Architecture and Design Film Festival.

Those plans were optimistic at best—the coronavirus continues to cancel in-person events, forcing organizers to explore virtual alternatives. Responding to the needs of an industry upended by these cancellations and that thrives on in-person interaction, ICFF and WantedDesign have joined forces to develop a virtual platform to showcase this year’s latest design offerings with CLOSEUP, a two-day trade event inspired by a TV show format. Across two dynamic days of programming, scheduled for October 28 and 29, more than two dozen North American designers and manufacturers will share new product launches, insights on the latest design trends, and virtual networking experiences through pre-recorded videos that will be available for streaming. 

Plumy seating by Annie Hiéronimus for Ligne Roset, who will participate in CLOSEUP

Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, the co-founders of WantedDesign, hope that CLOSEUP brings North American design to those who couldn’t otherwise attend the show in years past. “Since we launched WantedDesign in 2011, we’ve always been interested in rethinking the trade show format,” the duo said in a joint statement. “This year forces us to make this happen in a big and exciting new way, and hopefully add a zest of entertainment to the mix!” So far, participants include established brands Ligne Roset, Moooi, Laufen, and Juniper, as well as emerging designers like James Dieter, Rosie Li, and Lorekform. Don’t forget to pre-register; it’s mandatory.

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