NEW YORK, NY (2012): The most impressive thing about the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) is the elaborate and highly stylized booth displays that are peppered throughout the shows. The booths really create mini experiences that allow the buyers, retailers, press, and boutique owners to become a part of and immerse themselves. The show included various sections like driven by design and a designated area for sustainable brands.

One of my favorite booths was Jonathan Adler that included comfy couches, pillows, and house-wares with psychedelic designs. Of course Joya offered the most lovely smelling candles and oils. Think of them as art that adds ambiance and smell to your home.

Another standout booth was Eva Solo. What made this brand so interesting was the vast array of modern, sleek, and sophisticated products for the kitchen, bath, outdoors, and interiors design. Their products are must-sees for the New York buyer or buyers within other regions looking to add a chic twist to their selves. This design forward and innovative company is actually based in Minneapolis.



The breakout designer of this show was Sarah Swell whose staple is sterling silver pieces with sparkling diamonds. The tagline of her inspired and artistic jewelry is ‘The Nature of Your Surroundings’ and she does not disappoint. The down-to-earth designer, from Oakland, CA, uses hand-fabricated castings in original wax for her unique pieces that vary in sterling silver, 14k gold, oxidized metal, and more. One trend that Sarah delivers on flawlessly is contrasting matte metals with shiny metals that can be mixed and matched for all occasions.

What also drew me to this designer was her desire to create pieces that have movement as well, from necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings. She also likes to add a dark edge to her collections while maintaining a natural and wearable aesthetic. Her pieces don’t only look good, but they feel good too. In fact, she recently launched a new bridal collection at a higher price-point, featuring 18k yellow-gold pieces with conflict-free diamonds for the natural and alternative bride. My favorite ring was cast from a tree branch that the designer found herself. Sarah Swell brings ethereal-chic to a whole new level.

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