Selling things on the Internet is nothing new, but more and more I am seeing companies in the design industry re-invent their approach to the design business by making their company more accessible through the Internet. Take for example Calvin Fabrics. I have been buying Calvin Fabrics here in New York City at the Donghia Showroom for 15 years. They always have
a great selection of neutrals, classic wovens and linens, as well as great sheers, that are at what I consider a terrific price point compared to many other companies.
Another little known fact is that Calvin Fabrics still produces and stocks fabrics from mills in the United States and Europe and does not out source their production to China or other countries in Asia. Big thumbs up to them for this!
Now they have come out with their “Inspired Era” collection where they are taking one-of-a kind vintage pieces, restoring them and then reupholstering them in Calvin fabrics. Then they are posted on line for anybody to purchase. FYI they are also all physically displayed in the Calvin Fabrics San Fransisco Showroom…but then that doesn’t work so well for me and my clients. So back to the Internet.
What a clever idea in so many ways. First off you are getting something totally re-done in a quality fabric which is fabulous. Secondly, according to Calvin, they use only the best upholsters to make the pieces over. Thirdly, you are getting a piece with an interesting provenance…a little history always raises the bar when it comes to interior design. Lastly, you are getting something with a unique design, a very important quality to consider when furnishing your rooms.
Then there is that old plus + plus of immediate gratification that so many of the people I work for love and which I love as well. You see it…you buy it. I am quite positive that designers and others who are searching the site for these furnishings also then go and search the sight for fabrics. This sounds like a win-win all the way around for Calvin Fabrics.
I think when you take a look at some of the pieces I discovered on their web site you will undoubtedly think what a great marketing move this was for Calvin Fabrics. With the move more to contemporary in interiors, especially here in New York City, having another resource for 20th Century pieces is pretty alright in my book.
Of course, this just validates the shift in the interior design industry to on-line sales as a significant part of their business today. I’m a big advocate of this trend, but have to confess I jut love the touchy- feely part of going into a showroom and seeing everything up front and personal. Old habits, I suppose, are hard to break.
Ciao, ciao ’til next time!