design:retail - July 2016 - (Page 8)

editor's note 008 A Culture of Product Innovation ALISON EMBREY MEDINA EXECUTIVE EDITOR @dretaileditor H AVING SPENT THE last few days at NeoCon, held June 13-15 at The Mart in Chicago, I have become slightly intrigued with the concept of product innovation. Trekking up and down stairwells all day (who wants to wait in that elevator line?!) gives you plenty of opportunity to think. In showroom after showroom, booth after booth, I kept hearing a common vein-companies stressing the importance of long maintained quality, craftsmanship and, perhaps most importantly, a corporate culture of innovation that drives their business. At Edelman Leather, a stunning wall of swatches showcased shadow boxes of various color releases from past years, from the 1960s and beyond (purple leather, who knew?). In the Maya Romanoff showroom, I watched a goosebump-inducing video that showed skillful artisans manually pressing materials by hand, down to the last flick of a perfectly placed paintbrush. At 3form, I was mesmerized by a display table that deconstructed every bit and particle from within a given product surface, showing me how ultimately the final product comes to life. And at Mannington Commercial, I was blown away by a new product line that was designed in collaboration with nine-yes, NINE, I said-design firms from around North America, coworking together JULY 2016 DESIGNRETAILONLINE.COM to create a cohesive and might I say very fashionforward flooring line. The culture of innovation that bled through these companies and more at the show reminded me what it is I love so much about design. It is the execution of a creative thought into a cultivated, tangible object, function or place. It is about a respect for quality and craftsmanship, and yet always with the end user top of mind. This is the scale that GLOBALSHOP.ORG separates design from pure art- though the line is gray and fuzzy at best. These types of companies, who constantly churn out new and exciting product, are on a constant cycle of innovation-pushing themselves internally to study the market, read their customers, and ultimately decide and craft the "what's next" big idea for their business. As I sat at O'Hare yesterday evening (for six hours, mind you-thanks to thunderstorms in Atlanta), I started sifting through my 40-pound bag o' press releases I had collected at the show. So much new product. New patterns. New technologies. New processes. New performance. So much new, year in and year out. This column is dedicated in awe to those companies who give us something to talk about all year long. Who are constantly innovating, and pushing that culture through to every eventual user of your business. Thank you for pushing all of us-the designers, the industry, all of us-forward in materials, and in inspiration. Great product leads to great design. Photo by ALISON EMBREY MEDINA http://www.DESIGNRETAILONLINE.COM http://www.GLOBALSHOP.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of design:retail - July 2016

design:retail - July 2016
Editor’s Note
On Trend
We Love This!
Designer Picks
Clicks & Mortar
How'd They Do That?
Have You Heard?
Shopper Insights
Shopping with Paco
Kum & Go
Intersport Klöpping
Nino Álvarez
Fixture Leaders

design:retail - July 2016