Own brands withdraw from Russia, Material Bank plans expansion in Japan and more


With house prices at an all-time high and rents continuing to rise, perhaps the best option is to start your house hunt in an overlooked place – an entire one abandoned village just launched in Canada, complete with quaint alpine-style buildings reminiscent of traditional European chalets. Whatever happens next, stay tuned with our weekly roundup of headlines, launches and events, recommended reading and more.

business news

Several domestic brands reportedly severed ties with Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine furniture today. TJX Cos., which operates HomeGoods stores in the US and abroad, has divested its $225 million stake in Russian retailer Familia and Group President Doug Mizzi and CFO Scott Goldenberg resigned from its board “in support of the Ukrainian people”. In a similar move, Ikea parent company Inter Ikea Group announced last week that the brand was ceasing all operations in Russia and Belarus. The two brands join a fast-growing list of companies pulling out of Russia in some form, including Airbnb, WeWork, Hermès, and dozens of others.

While the labor shortage continues in almost all occupational fields, the real estate industry has experienced a boom in the past two years. Accordingly The New York Times, 2021 saw a record number of real estate agents in the United States, with more than 156,000 people taking the job in 2021 and 2020 combined — a number that’s up almost 60 percent from the previous two years. While record-high property prices coupled with the job’s relatively low barrier to entry lured those looking to make a career change during the pandemic, it also meant that the number of agents far outnumbered the number of homes on the market, resulting in more competitive territory led than ever before.

Material Bank announced plans to launch its services in Japan in 2022, marking the first launch of the sampling platform outside of North America. The expansion will be led by Material Bank Japan’s newly appointed CEO, an 18-year industry veteran Go to Nakazawa, who will lead the strategic direction of the office together with founder and CEO Adam Sandow. The news follows the recent closure of Material Bank Philip Brocartthe former director of Maison & Objet, with the aim of exploring the European market.

New York-based startup MyPlace, a social network created to help peers share their homes, has closed a $5.8 million round of seed funding led by Freestyle Ventures, reported TechCrunch. Launched in 2019 by entrepreneurs Zach Bell and Rameet Chawla, the platform has expanded to 86 countries with thousands of users who need to be invited to the network by a friend who opens access to their home. Once a user is logged in, they can join private groups created by other users to create house-sharing networks.

The International Interior Design Association announced the formation of the Equity Council, a group of association and chapter leaders dedicated to improving inclusion, access, opportunity and diversity in the group’s activities and in the interior design profession as a whole. Accordingly Home News NowThe Council plans to conduct a diversity demographic survey to show representation figures in the industry, along with setting new anti-racism and anti-bias policies, goals and targets through five key committees – Education, Governance, Programming, Public/Industry Awareness and Strategic Partnership.

Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group has completed its first building in the Metaverse. deceen reports. The room, called Viceverse, is a virtual office for employees of the Vice Media Group and can be found on the Decentraland platform. In the new office, which also serves as the home of the virtual innovation lab for Vice creative agency Virtue Futures, employees will hold meetings and work on NFTs and digital projects.

Product launches and collaborations

Heritage British brand Laura Ashley has teamed up with UK-based wallpaper designer and manufacturer Graham & Brown to create a line featuring the brand’s iconic prints. The resulting wallpaper collection features 80 peel-and-stick designs featuring patterns from Laura Ashley’s archives, including a variety of flora and fauna-inspired images.

Canadian home furnishings and homewares retailer EQ3 has partnered with mattress and bedding manufacturer Silk & Snow to bring its eco-conscious products to EQ3 stores across North America and online. Founded by childhood friends as a Kickstarter campaign, Silk & Snow creates sustainable bedding solutions using Canadian materials, including down from a Quebec duck farm and steel spools made in Toronto.

model homes

Dotdash Merediths Southern living has announced the location of Idea House 2022: the waterfront community of River Dunes on the North Carolina coast. Created by William Hof of the Court Atkins Group, client Jordan Marules by SLD Custom Homes and Interior Designer Charlotte Luke by Charlotte Lucas Interior Design, the space will be approximately 4,125 square feet with multiple structures, wraparound porches and outdoor living areas, and views of the nearby harbor.

showroom representation

Cloth & Kind’s boutique showroom in Ann Arbor now represents designers Ellisa Alexina‘s textile and wallcovering line of the same name. The brand’s creative approach centers on a proprietary process developed in-house by Alexina that combines hand painting and screen printing for unique floral and geometric patterns.

Literature Recommendations

After the invasion of Ukraine and the resulting sanctions by Western nations, awareness of Russian oligarchs’ assets in the States is growing. The ultra-rich who have made fortunes privatizing Russia have poured their monies into everything from sports teams to tech startups, despite local New York executives like the president of the borough of Manhattan Mark Levin are now calling for property seizures similar to those recently enacted Mayor Sadiq Khan in London. To the braked, Kim Velsey offers a tour of the sophisticated, historic property owned by Russian billionaires in New York – a list that includes co-ops on the Upper East Side, historic townhouses in Villages and penthouses in the Plaza Hotel.

After takeover The world of the interior last month as the third editor in the title’s 41-year history, formerly Fashion editor Hamish Bowles assures loyal readers that he plans to keep the spirit of the popular magazine alive in the digital age. To the The New York Times, Steven Kurutz talks to Bowles about his plans for the magazine – including the launch of new digital offerings and a more global perspective on a historically Eurocentric publication. “At The world of the interiorsuddenly it’s the world of interiors,” said Mr. Bowles NYT. “This extraordinary range of topics and materials is explored. This is the DNA. You turn a page – or click the mouse – and you are in a completely different world.”

When SFGate‘S Arianna Bindmann Visiting her local Ikea on a recent Saturday morning, she largely dismissed the store’s empty shelves as a temporary roadblock caused by supply chain issues. As it turns out, the home furnishings retailer is suffering from ongoing product shortages that are likely to continue through at least 2022. As Bindman explains, the conditions were created a booming online resale economywhere Ikea loyalists pay thousands of dollars more than an item’s original price.

In remembrance

Timothy Oulton, founder and CEO of global furniture group Halo and its namesake brand, passed away on March 4. The designer started out in a small antique shop owned by his father in 1976 before taking over management of Halo in 1990 to bring antiques to the wholesale market. Oulton also opened his first gallery in Los Angeles in 2008 under the Timothy Oulton retail brand. Today, the company has more than 70 retail locations and employs over 350 team members in a dozen countries. “Tim’s legacy of creativity, excellence and authenticity will endure. These principles – and an ongoing commitment to the company’s growth agenda – will guide our leadership team as we move forward and drive the company’s continued success,” the company said in a statement.

Elsa Klensch, fashion journalist and former host of CNN’s Style With Elsa Klensch, died Friday in New York City at the age of 92. as WWD reportsKlensch’s show became one of the highest-rated weekend programs on the network during its run from 1980 to 2001, introducing designers to mainstream audiences alike Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld and transmissions from the runways in New York, London, Milan and Paris. Known for her journalistic rigor, Klensch’s reportage included interior design, about which she wrote, among other things Elle decor, house beautiful and Architecture Digest after leaving CNN in 2001. “She ended up being a pioneer because that’s what it’s all about. She really saw something back then – the public’s interest in fashion – that nobody else saw, or just a handful of people,” the designer said Dennis Basso told WWD.

Homepage Photo: The Wisteria Garden wallpaper from Laura Ashley’s collaboration with Graham & Brown. | Courtesy of Graham & Brown


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