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The Fair
June 18, 2024

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) has long been a premier destination for those sourcing and creating original furnishings and design. Yet the 35th edition, held May 19-21 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, broke new ground. Its dynamic range of programming, product introductions, and networking opportunities inspired and informed its more than 13,000 attendees. Over 10,000 qualified buyers attended, an 8% increase over last year’s Fair and a strong indication of the industry’s desire to engage with the event.

In their first full year as ICFF’s brand directors, Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat refocused the Fair, merging culture and commerce and concentrating on design. “This approach has been central to WantedDesign since its inception and is now applied to ICFF,” explains the pair. “ICFF is a place to source products, but it is also a vibrant meeting point for industry leaders, both at the Fair and year-round.” The U.S. is a dynamic market with significant growth opportunities, they add. New York is its entry point.

ICFF 2024 had a remarkable turnout, with more than 450 exhibitors from 35+ countries. These exhibitors ranged from established brands to emerging designers, with each presenting unique perspectives and creative solutions. The Fair’s expansive show floor was a testament to the diversity and ingenuity within the furnishings industry, featuring everything from minimalist Scandinavian furniture to avant-garde, AI-generated works.

One of the highlights of this year’s ICFF was the focus on sustainable design. Numerous exhibitors showcased products made from recycled or biodegradable materials; others exhibited pieces created with environmental impact in mind. This trend reflects a growing awareness and commitment within the industry to address ecological concerns and promote sustainable practices.

Opening remarks on Day 1, May 19 2024, at the Wanted Lounge x Lumens. From left to right, Rodolfo Agrella, RADS, Claire Pijoulat, ICFF, Laura Walsh, Lumens, Odile Hainaut, ICFF.

The Main Stage sponsored by Turf and Moooi.

ICFF is not just about products; it is also about the people. The Fair serves as a hub where industry leaders, designers, architects, and buyers can connect and collaborate. This year’s event featured numerous networking opportunities, including cocktail receptions, panel discussions, and private meetings. These gatherings facilitated valuable exchanges of ideas and fostered relationships that could lead to future collaborations and business ventures.

A significant attraction at ICFF 2024 was the Talks series, which included presentations and discussions by influential figures in the design world. Topics ranged from the future of urban living to new biomaterials to how to use social media to build community. These talks provided insights into current trends and future directions. They also offered attendees a wealth of knowledge to take back to their own projects and businesses.

Opiary at ICFF 2024.

Look Book Lounge x Canoa. The Look Book program is presented with Dezeen

“The programming was rich, inviting the audience to engage in conversations on diverse topics with global impact,” says Hainaut and Pijoulat of  ICFF 2024. They also noted the changes to the layout of the show floor, with destination areas that made the Fair more digestible and easier to navigate. The result, they say, was an “improved show experience,” one that “[welcomed] visitors with fresh, bold branding; better signage; color-coded features; and multiple designed areas for lounging, socializing, and networking.”

Dan Rosen, Comedian, ICFF Editors Awards host.

The ICFF Editors’ Awards ceremony was also more entertaining this year, thanks to it being emceed  by the comedian Dan Rosen (@thedanrosen). Those honors, which shine a light on excellence in a dozen categories, were joined by WANTED’s Best of Launch Pad Awards for furniture/home accessories and lighting; Best of Schools award; and Best of Students award. New this year was the People’s Choice Award, hosted by WANTED Lounge sponsor Lumens and given to the Launch Pad participant who received the most votes online and on the show floor.

Molo at ICFF 2024

For the exhibit At the Crossroads of American Design: Sustainability in Practice and Spirit, David Rockwell, the founder of Rockwell Group, and editor Pei-Ru Keh curated a collection of objects that preserve long-honored craft traditions, push the boundaries of circularity, and consciously re-think the legitimacy of material use. Daniel Michalik, Elodie Blanchard, Kamilla Csegzi, Lichen, LikeMindedObjects, Madeline Isakson, MushLume Lighting, Sahra Jajarmikhayat, and thehighkey were among the companies and designers whose work was featured.

Tiffany Jow, from online journal Untapped, hosted daily talks in the space that examined some of the issues raised. Lead partners for The Crossroads included Designtex and Skram. Loose Parts was a partner, with Alexis & Ginger, Colony, Liora Manné, Office of Tangible Space, OkaTerra by Common Object Studio, and Talbot & Yoon all supporting partners.

Pei-Ru Keh at The Crossroads

ICFF also demonstrated its desire to support the local and international design community with its first-ever ICFF Night Out. Organized with media partner Interni, the May 17 event brought a world-class audience of A&D professionals to New York’s NoMad area, where they experienced first-hand new products at the Madera, Belgiqa, and Moooi showrooms and enjoyed drinks and DJ sets.

The ICFF Night Out x Interni party at the Moooi showroom in New York. Photo: Jenna Bascom

The ICFF Night Out x Interni party at the Moooi showroom in New York. Photo: Jenna Bascom

In all, ICFF 2024 left behind a legacy of inspiration and innovation. In an industry that thrives on creativity and change, it remains a beacon of excellence, championing the visionaries who push the boundaries of what is possible in furnishings and design.

Join us in New York for the 36th edition of ICFF, May 18-20, 2025.

To learn about upcoming ICFF events as well as the latest products, materials, sustainability breakthroughs, and industry trends, follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn and subscribe to our newsletter.