Reports on shows, trends, and more
The New York Gift Show Report
Some similarities -- and differences -- with
the Atlanta and Dallas Shows.
by Ellie Joos, Ellie Joos & Associates (February, 2004)
(Editor's note: CLN welcomes our newest columnist,
Ellie Joos, who has extensive experience and success in
product development, marketing, and design in our industry. Ellie
attends a wide variety of industry-related shows and will
periodically file reports on what she sees.)
The New York Gift Show took place during the long winter freeze
being experienced by the Northeast, but the show floor was bustling
with activity and vendors were feeling optimistic about business.
This show is enormous taking place in the Javits Center as well
as the Piers on the Hudson and impossible to see everything in
A gift retailer can choose from home dec to jewelry to chocolates
to candles and aromatherapy and so much more a tremendous
expansion of the types of products available to the consumer just
five years ago. The following highlights some of the trends and new
products I spotted on a cold Sunday in New York.
Strong, pretty, fresh colors were everywhere in accessories, home
dec, and booth displays. These colors, especially pink, have been
hot in fashion and have influenced products for gifts and the home.
Green, a color we have been seeing for some time, continues in
shades from celery to darker variations and looks good with pink and
apricot or combined with blue. In Christmas products, the green used
is still a softer, greyed green.
On everything from pillows to papers, large florals inspired by
retro patterns looked very fresh, again in new combinations of
brown/pink, brown/blue, shades of pink, orange, or red together, or
blues and greens together. Stripes are strong, especially in belts
and accessories. Bright colors also appeared in the kitchen cleaning
products from Casabella and leather products for journals from
(Note: Pantone just released their top 10 colors for Fall/Winter
2004/2005 chosen by designers participating in Fashion Week and
strong colors continue, including Shocking Pink, Sunset Purple, and
Limoge, a rich blue shade. Balance these with Camel, Fall Leaf, Pale
Mauve, and a classic brown shade called Pinecone.)
Handbags many had a handcrafted look, often with embellished
surfaces using beading, charms, ribbons, etc.
Jewelry so many lines from which to choose, and so beautiful
with gorgeous, often larger beads.
Embellishments on everything from pillows, bedding, and
lampshades to the adorable slippers from Fanciful Solos.
Red Hat Society products to appeal to women celebrating their
middle age and their vitality. I saw hats in red and purple,
pillows, T-shirts, ornaments, greeting cards, and jewelry.
Baby not only to appeal to the new moms, but to Baby-Boomer
grandparents who have high enough incomes to indulge their
grandchildren. Charming dinnerware, bibs, etc., from Kinderware, and
sweet blankets, and hats from Lil Doodlebug. Twos Company offered
baby products in adorable animal and cowboy/cowgirl prints
reminiscent of the 50s.
Cause Marketing an increase in products with a portion of the
profits going to a particular cause or charity. I loved the brightly
colored silk purses from Gecko, being made by disabled and
handicapped women in Viet Nam.
Motifs elves and cats, florals, dots, and fruits such as
cherries and strawberries.
Tween accessories, pillows, and lotions, in pretty girly
Pet Products there were many products for pet lovers. It's an
Photo albums, journals, and stationery the influence from the
craft market is evident with beautiful hand-bound books, often
embellished with ribbons, braids, cords, appliques, and/or beads.
Motel Deluxe, Inc. had a lovely line of sewn cards each made by
stitching simple objects to the cards under sheer fabrics.
In our next issue I'll give you my thoughts on the huge HIA show.
(Editor's note: To contact Ellie call 908-459-9269 or
It's interesting to compare Ellie's view of the New York Gift Show
with Lynda Musante and Tracia's report on the Dallas and Atlanta
Gift Shows and Jean Kievlan and Julie McGuffee's Dallas report.
You can learn which trends appear to be national and which are
regional. To read Lynda/Tracia's report, click on "Designing
Perspectives" in the left-hand column and then "Trends at
the Atlanta, Dallas Gift Shows" in the right-hand column. To
read Jean/Julie's report, click on "Category Reports" in
the left-hand column and then "Why the Gift Market is Seeing
Red" in the right-hand column.)