Chilewich/Sultan LLC will exhibit at the Show for the first time in 2016. Long recognized in the contract interiors market, Chilewich is an authority on color and texture for table and floor. Chilewich original designs have been selected by leading hotels, restaurants and properties around the world for their distinctive design, durability and ease of care. Gracing a table with simplicity and harmony, Chilewich placemats define the tablescape and set the tone for the enjoyment of food and companionship. Chilewich woven floormats and shag indoor/outdoor mats combine elegant aesthetic with functionality underfoot.
We’re delighted to meet Sandy Chilewich. Over three decades, she has built two successful design businesses: Chilewich/Sultan LLC and HUE® legwear, both with her passion and the mission to breathe new life into product categories that have grown tired from design neglect. She co-founded HUE® legwear in 1978 and revitalized the lackluster women’s hosiery and sock market with innovations in product, packaging and merchandising. Sandy and her partner were told by a male buyer at a department store, “Women will never wear color on their legs.” HUE® proved him wrong. Within a few years, HUE® transformed legwear into fashion accessories and soon had shops in department stores in many countries. Sandy led the operation until 1994 and then began experimenting with stretched fabrics. She introduced the RayBowl® fruit basket at the MoMA shop in 1997. The RayBowl® soon became a design icon, and its success convinced her to leave apparel for home products. While searching for other suitable fabrics for the RayBowl® she learned about a woven textile produced for outdoor furniture upholstery. This led to the 2000 launch of Chilewich’s distinctive product line of woven placemats. The mats redefined how to dress a table in fine dining establishments and homes around the world.
Where do you find inspiration when designing new products?
My passion has always been about repurposing materials. Taking either a manufacturing process that is underutilized or finding a new application for a material.
Are there any specific designers, places or eras that influence you?
I find inspiration in unlikely places…but mostly from industrial materials and how they are made.
How do you choose which idea to take to the next step — to product development?
We have multiple projects going on at the same time. The final products are chosen if their intended aesthetic is not diluted when produced in quantity for a particular price point.
How do you identify the key user audience for your products?
We always start with feedback from within our own organization.
Is there an approach or look that joins the functionality, form or emotional appeal of your product line?
Making something beautiful is easy…making it beautiful and truly functional is my challenge and my satisfaction.
Where are your products manufactured?
90% of our products are made in the USA
Can you give us a preview of what you will be showing in your booth in Discover Design?
We will be showing our range of Chilewich innovative products from our own original textiles including placemats, table runners, tabletop accessories, woven floor mats and shag indoor/outdoor utility mats.
Why did you decide to enter the International Home + Housewares Show?
This is our first time exhibiting. We have been watching the Show grow over the past few seasons with its increasing design community presence in consumer housewares. We are seeking to tap into the broader customer base that attends the Show, and look forward to meeting buyers in the U.S. and global markets.
Thank you, Sandy, for telling us about your company and your approach to design and innovation. We’re excited to host your first booth at our Show and we’re eager to see your presentation in N8109 in the Discover Design Expo in the North Building, a few steps from the Grand Concourse.
Learn more about Chilewich by visiting www.chilewich.com
Discover Design Grows and Moves
Discover Design is the premier destination at the International Home + Housewares Show for trend spotters who make design their priority. Now in its sixth year, Discover Design is a key attraction for fashion-forward buyers and a supportive community for design-driven exhibitors. Nearly 200 design leaders and brands will present their products in all Show categories to delight retailers looking for the unique. And in 2016 it will be even easier to discover design—as the Discover Design Expo will be located at the front of the North Building, set beside well-known, design-focused exhibitors such as Umbra, Design Ideas and Casabella.
Anchored by brands such as Alessi, Nambe and JosephJoseph, Discover Design welcomes new exhibitors, including Chilewich/Sultan LLC and Cookut, and introduces 10 emerging companies in the Design Debut incubator. Additional fresh offerings from veteran design-focused exhibitors such as Dreamfarm, Koziol and Three by Three will also inspire your choices for the coming year.
Get acquainted with the people behind the stylish products that will appear at the 2016 International Home + Housewares Show in Discover Design. We’ll be posting conversations with exhibitors to give you a glimpse of the inspirations, influences and ideas that go into creating the exciting products that you’ll see in March in Chicago.
Learn more about Discover Design exhibitors here.