i+D - July/August 2021 - 50

Material
Matters
Textiles
Among Kravet's many
designers is Thom Filicia.
Shown is his Altitude collection.
(Image: Courtesy of Kravet)
Marshall believes that the appeal of handmade
products is picking up, particularly after the
past year that most of us spent tethered to
technologies like video calls and online shopping,
thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. " People really
crave something that was created by somebody's
hands, not in an automated way, that is special
and unique, " she says. " I think we'll see a growth
of these special, less high-volume type of things,
like a real hand-blocked print where someone
actually carved the block and spent days printing
50 yards of fabric. We produce things like that,
and people really appreciate it. It brings a unique
warmth and specialness to someone's home. "
A Family Affair
Kravet Inc. was founded just 30 years after Schumacher by a tailor from Russia who,
upon being invited into the posh residences of his tony clientele, saw the chance to
dress not just them but also their homes. Samuel Kravet and his four sons launched
S. Kravet & Sons in 1918, and now Kravet's great-grandchildren-Cary, Scott, Ellen,
and Cary's wife Lisa-run the current company along with three members of the
fifth generation.
Samuel Kravet would be suitably impressed by Kravet's reputation with today's designers
as a primary resource for the interior design trade. The company accelerated its expansion
beginning around 30 years ago, adding furniture, hospitality and healthcare offerings,
carpet, lighting, bedding, and licensed lines to its roster. Since the mid-1990s, it began
acquiring other reputable brands in the design world, including Lee Jofa, GP & J Baker,
Brunschwig & Fils, and, most recently, Donghia.
The different focal points of the brands under the company umbrella, as well as its
licensed brands, give Kravet customers a broad swath of design perspectives from
which to choose-whether it's the traditional English look of Lee Jofa, the bright colors
of Brunschwig & Fils, or the personality-rich collections from Kravet's licensing partners
like Barbara Barry, Thom Filicia, Candice Olson, and more.
Barbara Barry is one of
Kravet's longtime designers.
(Image: Courtesy of Kravet)
Growing up in the family business, the Kravet siblings didn't think too much of the
importance of the brand, but now it's a different story. " Now, we consider ourselves
an iconic brand, and we have a responsibility to maintain that, " says Scott Kravet,
the company's chief creative director. For instance, 30 to 40 years ago, sustainability
and corporate responsibility were not as important to consumers, but today, it is far
more relevant. For its part, Kravet is respectful of environmental concerns and social
consciousness, even installing solar panels in its newest corporate buildings on Long
Island and working with sources around the world to impress upon them the importance
of reducing pollution and minimizing the use of natural resources. Describing one of
Kravet's sources, artisans who dip-dye fabric in a remote part of India, Kravet notes,
" They have a water treatment plant so they can drink the water they process. "
Style-wise, Kravet feels like design trends are " really all over the board. " He is seeing
a flashback to looks of the 1960s and '70s on the heels of the mid-century modern
resurgence. From a commercial standpoint, Kravet thinks that hotels, cruise ships, and
even office lobbies and meeting areas are moving away from the institutional, sparse
aesthetic, and transitioning to a more residential, personalized look, akin to what might
be in one's own home.
50
i+D - July/August 2021

i+D - July/August 2021

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