Is it true, the more things change the more they are the same? Over the past 25 years the window coverings industry has, indeed, seen many changes and, to be honest, many important things have remained the same. Products, companies and trends change. But success still comes to those who work at it, providing excellent products, unsurpassed knowledge and top-notch service.
As Draperies & Window Coverings celebrates its 25th year in publication, we look back at news and industry events that have transpired, placing it in context with the industry it serves—and having a bit of fun, too! We would like to acknowledge and gratefully thank our readers and advertisers, some of whom have been with us since the beginning and many others throughout their entire careers.
We make this sojourn to celebrate the achievements of an industry, not just our own. More importantly, we begin looking ahead to the next 25 years and the changes they will bring while continuing our promise to provide news, information and advice for window
coverings and interior fashion professionals. .
1981 - 1985 / The Defining Years
It was a time of firsts. In 1981, the first woman, Sandra Day
O’Conner, was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court; IBM started
making personal computers; and the first designer automobile, the
DMC DeLorean, rolled off the assembly line.
The first issue of Draperies & Window Coverings was printed mid-year 1981 with a mission to provide news, information and advice to help the drapery and window coverings dealer operate more successfully.
The following years saw the first annual Directory & Buyer’s Guide (1982), the first World of Window Coverings™ trade show (1983), and the introduction of columns and features that remain stables of the magazine today including Portfolio and Industry Profile.
Already 12 years old (1969) Somfy/subsidiaries outside Europe builds the groundwork for its existing network of 45 subsidiaries and 19 offices across five continents.
January: Ronald Reagan is sworn in as president.
Iranian revolutionaries free 53 Americans held hostage for 444 days.
April: The first U.S. space shuttle, Columbia, lifts off from Cape Canaveral.
May: Hunter Douglas, Inc. announces the development of a traveling seminar on window coverings.
July: His Royal Highness Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, marries the Lady Diana Frances Spencer.
October: The Industrial Fabrics Association sponsors the first Window Energy Show in Las Vegas, NV.
December: Jerry Fuchs is named president of Hunter Douglas Window Products Division.
Vertilux officially incorporates in the
United States (Miami, FL).
January: The National Curtain, Drapery and Allied Products Association changes its name to Home Fashion Products Association.
April—June: British overcome Argentina in the Falklands.
June: Alexander Haig Jr. resigns as Secretary of State.
Equal Rights Amendment fails ratification.
August: Charles E. Kirsch, president of Kirsch Co., announces his retirement.
Sun Glow Window Covering Products of Canada,
Ltd. introduces the automated vertical louver cutting system.
April: The first annual World of Window Coverings Expo ’83 is held at the Hyatt Regency, New Orleans, LA.
June: Sally Ride becomes the first U.S. woman astronaut aboard the space shuttle Challenger.
August: The American Rolling Insulating Security Shutter Association is formed.
September: Superior Shades breaks ground for Phase 1 of a plant expansion program in Pompano Beach, FL.
October: Terrorist explosion kills 237 U.S. Marines in Beirut.
U.S. invades Grenada.
November: Hunter Douglas, Inc. and Custom Bilt Products announce joint partnership.
January: Bell System broken up by court order.
March: Second annual World of Window Coverings Show is held at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside and Towers, New Orleans, LA.
May: Soviet Union boycotts summer Olympic games.
July: Democratic National Convention nominates Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro.
Marathon Carey-McFall Co. introduces the Bali® MicroBlind™
August: Republican National Convention renominates Ronald Reagan and George Bush.
September: World of Window Coverings-West show debuts at the Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA.
November: Kirsch introduces Continental II curtain rod.
fabric collection by Vertilux revolutionizes vertical blinds market.
March: Soviet leader Chernenko dies and is replaced by Mikhail Gorbachev who introduces the words glasnost and perestroika into our vernacular.
The World of Window Coverings show opens at the Rivergate Convention Center, New Orleans, LA.A group of leading manufacturers of Venetian and vertical blinds and pleated shades agrees to form the American Window Coverings Manufacturers Association (AWCMA).
April: Hunter Douglas, Inc. acquires Thermal Technology Corp. of Aspen, Inc., holder of a patent that eventually led to the Duette® shade.
August: On its 35th anniversary, Lafayette Venetian Blind, Inc. opens new manufacturing facility.
Also of Note:
* Michael Jackson releases “Thriller” (1982)
* John Belushi dies of drug overdose (1982)
* Vinyl recordings begin steep decline with the introduction of compact dics (1983)
* “The Cosby Show” debuts on NBC (1984)
* Apple introduces Macintosh personal computer (1984)
* Rock Hudson dies of AIDS (1985)
* Coca-Cola introduces “New Coke” (1985)