Heading To SURTEX 2017: TRENDS & INFLUENCES - Surtex

On the Surface


Just three short months from now, artists and designers from around the world will converge on the Javits Center in New York City, filling the SURTEX showplace with color, pattern, and their unique points of view. But wait.  Are they truly unique, meaning one of a kind? Or will there be shared ideas, the common threads we call “trends” showing in the aisles?  We asked around…

  • Do you detect any specific international trends influencing art and design? In colors? Technique? Attitude?
  • Do such trends affect your own work? If not, what does?




Tristan Goodfellow, Diane Harrison Designs, Ltd., Cheadle, United Kingdom — “Only ‘international trends’ influence art and design,” Tristan  believes. He cited “the extension of Southwest and tribal into everything ‘global,'” along with “strong, joyful colors — influences from India and the Middle East.”  From Japan and China, Tristan sees “a more sophisticated influence” with pastel colors. Current techniques include everything from multi-layering to organic textures, Tristan says. And “watercolor is still very important.”

And do such influences affect Diane Harrison Designs, for three decades a major international player in designs for the home? “All trends affect our design work, but they have to be contained within the boundaries of our customer’s needs and their customer’s needs. Getting that balance right is the trick to success,” he maintains.

What’s new for SURTEX 2017?  Building on the “great response” to the launch of their fabric printed collection last year, Diane Harrison is extending the collection for 2017. “Diane is working on some very special new textural techniques,” Tristan reports. “We have also grown our daughter company, Rogue, which will be exhibiting on a separate stand and specializing in “funky, young and super trendy designs.”


""Linda Svarfvar, Studio Kelkka, Turku, Finland — Returning for its second showing at SURTEX, Studio Kelkka provides design services for the textile, wallpaper, apparel, and paper goods industries, Linda explains. “The look of our pattern artwork is proudly Nordic, joyful and expressive, yet relaxed (with a) natural feel.” Turning the latest trend forecasts into what she calls “expressive yet homey designs,” Studio Kelkka will present its collection in three themes: Botanicals, Abstract, and Conversational.

We asked, will they be influenced by any specific trends?  
“There seem to be strong influences from past decades, alongside an appreciation for traditional craft techniques from different cultures. Our 10 designers do follow trends – to some extent. It helps to be served design directions when trying to make order out of the constant chaos of ideas. Every designer makes her own interpretation of the trends so the outcome is very different, depending on the designer. Trend forecasts are a great tool for us…(they) keep our visual look somewhat coordinated when marketing our extensive collection with different handwritings.

“All this, together with visuals from the digital age and an extreme minimalism, creates an interesting playground for a surface designer. The table is set with palettes of chalky natural tones, some retro colors from the 60´s and 70´s, and a set of woody browns, grays, and whites accentuated with some blacks for a rough, Nordic look.”


Esther Shavon, E’flomae, Tucson, AZ —  Named for her two grandmothers (Florence and Mae) with a cap E for Esther, E’flomae Lifestyle + Interior will be launching an interior textile design collection at SURTEX entitled Sonoran Oasis which includes three thematic scenes, Bloom, Monsoon, and Cove.

All designs are inspired by her original photography and art work, but, Esther reports, “Trend research is integrated in my daily workflow process. I review and analyze themes and patterns from a multitude of sources. I then decide on specific or intriguing aspects of noticed sub thematic areas.”


For instance, her design Reflections “pays homage to slowing down and simply enjoying the beauty of experiencing a moment. I was intrigued by the idea, using pink and pastel colors to create a globally chic vibe with a slight bohemian persuasion.”  The design combines hand-drawn motifs from wind-blown foliage, “connecting with nature, and trend- forward color palettes.”

Still, Esther notes, “Pink and pastels aren’t just for soft dreamy prints anymore…(they) are edgy with a fresh intermingling with darker hues.”