One of the things that is so fascinating about the window coverings industry is its two-sided nature, and each month we cover aspects of both. On the one hand, it is a highly functional, business-like industry involving manufacturers/suppliers, wholesalers / distributors, fabricators, retail dealers—and every possible combination you can think of. It rises and falls in line with every rule of business economy ever postulated from supply and demand to wages and prices. It is concerned with costs per unit, accounts payable and receivable, inventory management, shipping, sales and hiring. We can go on and on, but you get the idea.
On the other hand, this is a very fashion-oriented industry. This
is sometimes referred to as the “touchy-feely” part. And
this is the side of the industry we highlight in this issue. What
the consumer will buy so often depends on the color, style and texture
of a product; the creativity of the design; how it makes a room
feel; and how it makes them feel.
Kathleen Stoehr illustrates a direct link between this industry
and the world of high fashion in this month’s Trends Tracking
(see page 42). The latest trends in jewelry can be translated into
fashion-forward designs for the home interior —from color combinations
to styles and materials. “Every person you look at,” she
writes, “every rack you browse through, every glittering case
of jewelry offers . . . a thousand facets of ideas ready to be implemented.”
For those willing to let their imaginations loose, this month’s
Portfolio offers nine pages of room settings that clearly go beyond
business as usual. From wildly creative to charmingly fanciful,
these designers mark their own trails through the fashion world,
often discovering the next trend before the rest of us.
So what can we expect just beyond the fashion horizon? How’s
your pinch pleating? A late-July issue of WGSN Daily (that’s
Worth Global Style Network, an online fashion magazine) reports
that pleats—in this case, pleated miniskirts, “very preppy
and very pressed”—were all the rage at Roskilde Festival
2003, a four-day Danish rock music fest. Meanwhile, it says VF Corp.,
the makers of Lee and Wrangler jeans, reports a 16 percent drop
in second quarter profits. Are we moving away from country casual
to preppy and pressed? Could be.