Alex Kimia has been around the rug industry for 35 years.
For 30 of those years, he helped operate New York’s famed ABC Carpet & Home, where he handled private label designs, product development, importing, buying and exporting, among other responsibilities. Today, he’s the founder of Banu Home, a bespoke rug manufacturer that produces rugs in 11 countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.
As one who has designed and purchased rugs for the better part of three decades, Kimia has a good idea of what works and what doesn’t, and his retail background gives him insight on how long trends will last in the marketplace.
Designers Today sat down with Kimia during the High Point Market to get his take on trends, colors and their staying power.
Where do you see style heading in the rug industry next year and a couple of years past that?
Alex Kimia: I see the transitional design, by far, the biggest thing. It’s been big in 2016 and it’s getting stronger and stronger. Transitional design — not modern or traditional designs — has the biggest impact on the market.
Why is that?
AK: It goes with both styles. It goes with the modern style and it goes with the traditional style.
What about colors?
AK: Navy blue is going to be one of the ‘in’ colors, and different shades of blue. I see blues being big – royal blue, navy blue, all those blues are going to be the hottest colors for 2017.
How about as an accent? What will pair well with the blue, do you believe?
AK: It depends on the market. Sometimes you can pair fuchsia with the navy blue or a royal blue. You can pair in gray shades with navy blue. The white and the blue; beiges and blue; yellow and blue, depending on where you’re putting it. If you want to be daring, you pair fuchsia with navy blue. If you want to play it safe, you can pair grays and blues.
How long do color and design trends typically last in the rug world? Why?
AK: In general the colors last about two or three years, however when it came to gray/silver it has lasted over four years and it is still going strong especially with the shimmer/metallic combination. The transitional design rugs are going very strong at the moment.
How long do you think gray has left to be THE neutral?
AK: I think it will be another year or so.
Anything you see taking its place?
AK: Blue. Blue will be the new gray.
What is making this trend toward blue last as long as it has?
AK: Blue is a new trend. You will see more of it in fashion as well as home furnishings. It will stay around two or three years.
When determining what is/will trend, what indicators do you consider?
AK: That is really a good question. Most people follow trend than setting trend. I spend a lot of time trying to create collections based on what I think may look good, different and sellable at the same time. Everyone is looking for something new and different; however, it’s still has to be in their comfort zone.
Thomas Lester covers rugs, top-of-bed and a variety of other topics for Designers Today. In addition, he covers these subjects for several of Progressive Business Media’s properties, including Furniture/Today, Home Accents Today and Kids Today. He’s been a professional journalist since 2000, covering everything from local and major collegiate sports to local government, schools, crime and courts.
When he’s not working, Lester enjoys spending time with his wife and son, running, reading, watching football and baseball and playing music. He’s a decent enough bass guitarist and he’s starting to get the hang of the six string.