Q & A with Joni Vanderslice : Showtime ITMA Market

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Joni Vanderslice to discuss her experiences at the December 2011 Showtime ITMA (International Textile Market Association) textile, leather and trimmings market. The Showtime market, located in High Point, NC, is a biannual event and is the largest trade show for textiles, leather and trimmings in the Western Hemisphere. It is a pre-eminent upholstery event and showcases the latest and greatest in new product introductions and color trends. The show boasts more than 113 professional exhibitors and is attended by more than 800 international trade visitors with direct buying power. Showtime is essentially the beginning of any fabric’s story.  If you have ever owned a couch, sat in an upholstered booth at a restaurant or purchased window treatments of any kind, the fabric used to make those items first appeared here.

JB: What was your primary reason for attending the fabric market this year?

Joni: My primary reason for attending the market this year was to select fabrics for the upholstered pieces of my Spring 2012 J Banks Collection.

JB: What particular fabric patterns, textures and materials were you looking for?

Joni: I was focused on finding ikats, suzannis, trellis designs, boucles, flocked velvet on linen and Belgian linens.

JB: Speaking of being focused, how did you prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed with the multitude of choices?

Joni: I think it is important to go into these situations knowing what you are looking for and keeping your focus narrow.

JB: What particular trends did you see that you were impressed with? 

Joni: There were so many beautiful new fabrics but I really loved the pieces with tribal influences. I was also very excited to see more true Belgian linens being offered.  This was a very rare option just a few short years ago so to see these fabrics readily available is really exciting for designers.

JB: You brought some fabric samples to share with us.  Can you tell us a little bit about those? 

Joni: Sure. Of course I was looking for suzannis and ikats. These Valdese (top left) fabrics were great and I loved the flame patterned  fabric and the Missoni inspired fabric. I found this great Robert Allen (below right) flocked velvet.  The trellis design (above left) particularly appealed to me in that it features a pattern composed of X’s and O’s which has become a recurring motif of J Banks.

JB: We can’t wait to see how these fabrics look on the new J Banks Collection pieces that will be unveiled at the April High Point Furniture Market.  Thanks for sharing with us Joni! JB

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