For those of you following Relativity Textiles on Instagram, you know that I spent an exciting and exhausting four days in Los Angeles at the beginning of the month. I am just now sitting down to write about my favorite moments from the LEGENDS 2016 conference in the La Cienega Design Quarter in West Hollywood.
My showroom, Harbinger LA, was gracious enough to invite me and the other vendors out to California to speak about our brands and meet some of LA’s top designers and architects. I had a blast with the crew from Merida rugs, Coral & Tusk, Krane wallpaper, ALT for Living and the HLA showroom staff. Parties, lectures, galas, dinners, dancing! It was a whirlwind!
Joe Lucas with Analisse Taft from ALT for Living (My two showroom owners from both LA and NYC). Analisse also has her own line of textiles that are represented by Harbinger, which is why she and her showroom manager were also in town.
The amount of networking I did in three days was insane. I got to meet a few important people who have been formative for me as I’ve grown up in the design biz in only a few short months. First off, I met Justina Blakeney for the first time. She and I worked closely on producing the line of wallpapers with her artwork for Hygge & West and we had only ever “met” on Skype. So, it was pretty awesome to get to give her a hug in person.
Of course, I also waited in several long lines to attend lectures with celebrity speakers from the design world, notably Nate Berkus. Any of you that know me know that I have some kind of strange fascination with Nate. Perhaps because our aesthetics seem to mirror one another’s or that he made his start in Chicago, IL. But, I admire his tenacity and demeanor and sense of style and I made it one of my 2016 goals to meet him. So, like an aspiring actress who waits in line for an autograph from Julia Roberts, I waited patiently to shake his hand after his talk. More and more people approached him and pushed their way to the front of the line. You’d think he was Adam Levine. So, I gave up and retreated.
I thought, “this is silly.” Every single person who went up to him handed him a postcard, a brochure or a catalog. As if he would ever read it!? So I left, feeling deflated. As I walked out of the front door of Stark carpet and got out my iPhone, guess who snuck out of the showroom? “Nate!” I said, as if we were old friends! He looked at me and I introduced myself, and before I knew it we were shaking hands. He almost waited for my sales pitch and I told him, “I just wanted to meet you…” he cordially told me that he hoped I was enjoying the week’s events and walked away. I was so shocked and star struck it took a while to wipe that grin off my face.
Whether talking about “How to Avoid Nightmare Clients,” “Following Trends of Not?” or “Repurposing Vintage Furniture” I found all of the lectures to be very relevant to my field as a wallpaper designer. The vibes in LA were edgier and more straightforward. People were carefree, and just said what came to mind without worrying. They were blunt and funny. The design aesthetics were more adventurous and unafraid of color! The drinks were endless and the bartenders were really handsome. Everyone was high fashion and my midwestern self needed to step up her game!
Big thanks to the team at Harbinger who made it possible. The Relativity Textiles wallpaper installation looked amazing and the final dinner, hosted by Moore & Giles was absolutely stunning. Cheers!! To next year (and to not being the new girl at the party again!)
all images courtesy of JL Photographers