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Design Pros Shine at LV Summer Market DesignEdge

The Educational Foundation of the International Furnishings and Design Association presented its 2018 DesignEDGE event on July 29th, at the Las Vegas Summer Market. With its theme "The New Edge of Possibilities," DesignEDGE assembled a host of design-industry pros for a morning keynote address and market preview, followed by an afternoon panel discussion, whose participants were led by Nick May, creator of The Chaise Lounge podcast, which regularly explores changing currents in the world of design.

 “IFDA's mission has been to inspire collaboration from within the industry we serve, supporting its people, their products and services,” said IFDA’s President Penny Sikalis. In that spirit, the foundation tapped participants drawn from various segments of the design world.

Wilma Hammett, opened the program by introducing the keynote speaker, Nolen Niu, a Calif.-based furniture designer whose company creates and manufactures products that reach a world-wide market. He dates the rise of his success to 2006, when, he says, his unique chaise-lounge "catapulted my career into doing design collections and the opening of a 16,000-square-foot facility in downtown Los Angeles."

Julie Smith Vincenti, a former design-magazine editor who is now editorial and marketing director of Nine Muses Media, concluded the morning session with her "First Look" insider preview of the Las Vegas Summer Market. After the lunch break, Nick May, creator of The Chaise Lounge Interior Design Podcast (, introduced his industry-savvy panelists who were picked to advise the designers in attendance how to take product design "from creation to consumer."

Panelists included: Julia Buckingham, whose collection for Global Views includes lighting, rugs, pillows, furniture accents and decorative accessories. She recently opened the high-end Modernique boutique in Phoenix, Ariz.; Kelli Ellis, a globally recognized artist, designer and speaker, who is a founding partner of Design Camp, The Design MasterMind, and also creator of a Sunpan collection introduced last spring at the High Point Market; Katherine Kalen, marketing director for Sunpan, who is recognized for her ability to drive brand exposure by developing integrated marketing campaigns and consistent brand messaging; Angela Pickens, a branding consultant who helped build the Tommy Bahama Home Retail Power Brand. She recently formed a new alliance—"develop Innovative Branding Partnership"—that helps brands and designers broaden their labels' reach and recognition; Joshua Rose and Rafael Kalichstein, partners in Form Design Studio of Sherman Oaks, Calif., which creates its own product lines while developing commercial, hospitality and residential projects worldwide.

DesignEDGE will move to the High Point Market in 2019.

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