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2004 New York Gift Show Report

Color, design, and product trends.

by Ellie Joos (September 20, 2004)

Once again, vendors at the New York Gift Show presented something for everyone, including the hottest category, products for our four-legged friends. At times it seemed the industry was going to the dogs – and cats.

For good reason. Consumers love their pets to the tune of $30-plus billion dollars a year and this market featured everything Fido and Fluffy need, from novelty dog and cat clothing including collars, coats, and booties, to pet bedding, to special occasion party hats, collars, and Halloween costumes.

Just got a new pet? Why not send out a pet announcement? After grooming, how about spraying on special fragrances? Of course, there are plenty of treats including decorated cookies and edible greeting cards. Dog and cat motifs were on stationery, pillows, ornaments, and stockings. Some of the unique items:

Charming – Festive party collars and party hats ... A Tail We Could Wag – hand woven dog collars and leads in bright-colored Guatemalan patterns ... Chrunchkins – edible greeting cards for dogs ... Our Name Is Mud – a line of very colorful, attractive hand-painted pet bowls with whimsical motifs, just part of the company's of bold and witty earthen ware for humans, too ... J.P.Ourse – leather accessories, upscale collars, leads, and carriers for dogs and cute animal-head coin purses for people ... Lulu Jane – elegant jeweled collars, sweet treats, and "Hollywood" inspired shampoos, conditioners, etc., and very stylish pet carriers and beds ... Sun Leather – all natural pet shampoos and flea repellents in very cute packages.

Other Trends.

Color. Apple/Kiwi/Lime Greens are still strong in display colors and products. This color has been popular with red for Christmas in ornaments, greenery, gift wrappings, and home dec accessories, and looks great with Chocolate brown in textile and paper products ... Chocolate brown, very strong in fashion; looks much newer as a display color; combines with the greens, aqua, and pink; and is very lovely with lilac ... Bright colors remain strong: Pink, Red, and Tangerine

Patterns. Dots in all shapes and sizes in the newer color mixes ... "Pucci" inspired prints ... Feminine motifs such as pretty bows, shoes, corsets, and lingerie ... Stylish fashion for girls ... Crocodile in pink, and leopard prints (also very strong in fashion right now) ... Asian-meets-Retro designs in florals ... Casino-inspired patterns of dice, cards, etc. I saw some great game theme jewelry.

Jewels. The use of faceted jewels is also very strong. Swarovski-type stones and colorful jewels and beads are accenting many products this season.

"Olivia". This popular children’s book character is appearing in wonderful products, including the new line of backpacks from Little Packrats and stationery from Galison.

New Products.

Carreras. Chocolate scented candles and pillows. This fragrance is showing up more and more in beauty products, too

Das. Gorgeous silk purses – and a number of exhibitors had very nice fabric bags featuring all kinds of embellishments.

Royal Accessories. A super collection of fancy dry cleaning and laundry bags in luxurious fabrics, also the best dishwashing gloves with novelty fabric and embellished cuffs.

Waste Not Paper. The best new designs in upscale cards and envelopes – great colors and patterns.

Julia Knight. Very chic barware, frames, and home dec items in pink "crocodile" and leopard.

Connie Dorrance Designs. This husband and wife team had the most original, funky, whimsical flower and vegetable inspired dolls and lamps I have seen. Loved their products and booth display!

Potting Shed Creations. The company not only had the best press kit, its new line of "garden in a bag" of herbs, mini bulbs, was fantastic.

As always, I come away from this show feeling so inspired by the great designs and colors, etc. and also so happy that I am not a buyer that has to choose from so many new products.

Note: Ellie is president of Ellie Joos & Associates, a marketing, pr, and product development firm. To read Ellie's reports on other industry-related shows, click on the titles in the right-hand column. To contact Ellie call 908-459-9269 or email eleapple@hotmail.com.



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