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When Dennis Miller told me about two new products hell preview at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair this spring I was elated Why should I someone who sees more chairs in 10 minutes than the average person does in a month be so happy about the prospect of seeing two more Because these particular pieces and their histories beautifully embody the mission and spirit the ICFF has pursued since its inception under the sponsorship of Metropolis in 1989It was a year earlier that Alan Steele executive vice president of George Little Management GLM which produces the ICFF and Horace Havemeyer III publisher of Metropolis identified a new market and decided to promote its growth Their strategy to create a different kind of trade show a kind Americans had not seen beforeAcross the country increasing numbers of young and ambitious designers were finding that they had nowhere to take their ideas access to US manufacturers was largely closed to them as established firms with technically sophisticated production capabilities concentrated on making furnishings for the high-volume contract commercial market The situation forced many designers and architects to become entrepreneurs setting up workshops as well as figuring out ways to market their productsTo establish the competitive marketplace that this ambitious but raw talent deserved GLM hoped to attract successful manufacturers from other countries as well as the US to exhibit alongside the young designers Well-known Italian companies like Flos and Zanotta came joined by a new generation of British craftsmen including the irrepressible Danny Lane who brought his plate-glass chaise longueThe emphasis of the fledgling Fair was new product design at a time when furniture shows focused more on presentation such as showroom design than on product innovationDuring the Eighties cities especially New York were seen as dirty and dangerous places Those of us who believed in the metropolis and especially who loved New York hoped that events like the ICFF would attract interior designers architects retailers and
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