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Posted Date: 02/9/2016

The Decoration Stars at Christmasworld

How can one distinguish oneself from the crowd? How can customers be persuaded to buy new decorative items? The twelve entries for the third 'Decoration Star' innovation award, organized by Christmasworld and the 'Porzellan und Glas' trade magazine from the 'bit-Verlag' publishing house, show us just how this can be done. The experts on the adjudicating panel are unanimous: what is required, above all, is unusual design, a sustainable production chain and fine, original and inventive craftsmanship.
 
“The trend is very much for sustainable purchases; customers are looking for something special and don't want mass-produced goods from China, which are no cheaper any more these days anyway,” confirms Axel Witlake from Baxmann Tischkultur, a member of the adjudicating panel. The Awards in the two categories, 'Christmas Star' (products relating to Christmas) and 'Seasonal Star' (products for seasonal decoration and gifts) will be presented at the leading international trade fair for festive and seasonal decoration on 29 January.
 
All submissions will be on display from 29 January to 2 February 2016, in a special area of the Christmasworld Forum in the Foyer of Hall 11.0 Nord. There is, moreover, a description of the innovative product ideas in a bilingual brochure, which offers additional suggestions for ordering and for designing suitable product ranges in the retail trade.
 
“Decoration Star is particularly close to my heart, because the passion for decoration and decorative items definitely merits a showcase of its own. We want to make it more visible as a result. It is often the tiny little innovations that make the big differences and consequently find even more enthusiasts and thus boost sales,” says Eva Olbrich, Director of Christmasworld at Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH.
 
As decorative products are mostly bought on the spur of the moment, new, fresh, unusual things – something a bit special – at the point of sale are indispensable. This spirit of innovation is exceptionally important for the sector, for it continually reawakens in customers a desire to create a particular atmosphere in their own home and to redefine their own personal style.
 
“With unchanged numbers in the third contingent of participants in the competition, we are satisfied that we can now talk of an established feature of the sector landscape. In the light of the jury's assessments, I shall certainly look upon the retail products on sale with greater awareness, when I next make a purchase,” says Siegfried Elsaß, Director of Publishing at bit-Verlag.
 
As far as the manufacturers are concerned, Decoration Star represents a huge opportunity to throw the spotlight on their enterprise in front of the international trade buyers at Christmasworld. For retailers, the Awards are a useful guide, and from that point of view, I should welcome many more manufacturers taking part, and using the Awards as an additional marketing tool,” says Carl Reckers, retail consultant and Honorary President of the German Association for Tableware, Housewares and Home Décor.
 
The adjudicating panel's winners and nominations are as follows:
 
Category 1: Christmas Star
 
Winner: Christmas tree baubles made from organic materials by Wambui Designs (Hall 9.0 E1)
“This is a very fine example of how one can reinterpret the Christmas theme in completely new ways. And, at the same time, the hand-crafted artistry of these items, which are made in Kenya, could not, of course, fail to impress us. Because of that, it is, for us, the clear winner in the 'Christmas Star' category,” says Lutz Dietzold, Director of the German Design Council, summarizing the conclusions of the adjudicating panel.
 
The Christmas tree baubles are made from calabashes – which were formerly used as storage vessels for, e.g. water, and as cups or bowls. Bambui Design had the idea of giving this biologically degradable product a new role. Thanks to its natural shape and limited weight, the squash plant is ideal. The design takes its inspiration from German designs of the last century and, when this is combined with the rich traditions surrounding the calabash, there emerges a new product with origins in 'two worlds'.
 
The other nominations were:
The 'Edge' wreath from Star Trading (Hall 11.0 C 70)
This modern wreath impressed the jury with its clean lines and reductionist form. “It is a positive feature that the LED light is not too bright and remains pleasant. That is very well done,” says Reckers. The wreath is available in three different versions (brass, copper and chrome) and is equipped with an understated string of light sources, which are reminiscent of dew drops to look at. 'Edge' is part of a brand new line of products with EU design protection. 
 
'Merry' throw by pad home design concept GmbH (Hall 9.0 E 50)
“This kind of textile is definitely well suited to the retail trade and promises high marketable value,” observes Witlake. The unfussy Christmas tree motif in modern, relatively subdued colours will find a place on the sofa all winter long. Helped, too, by its fluffy texture. The throw is Oeko-Tex certified, 'Made in Europe' and contains 60 per cent cotton and 40 per cent acrylic.
 
Wooden Christmas tree 'Xmas3' by Petris (Hall 9.0 E 41)
A self-build tree and typical product of the Slovenian art of design, it is made from Slovenian fir and beech, grown in sustainable woodland, and crafted by hand. This simple Christmas tree is a real alternative to its traditional cousin, particularly as, suggests Reckers, plastic alternatives are, after all, not particularly popular at the moment. “Moreover, one of the things that makes the tree so appealing is that it can be individually decorated and thus take on a completely different character each time. The current trend is very much for collectables and it comes into its own in this context,” says adjudicating panel member Susanne Bethge, from Bethge Blumen & Ambiente, based in Mauer.
 
Category 2: Seasonal Star
Winner: Winter Table by Räder Wohnzubehör in der Bastei Lübbe AG (Hall 9.1 D 21)
What is special about the plates and bowls in this collection of stoneware and porcelain is the way the timeless decoration of geometrical shapes, in the form of ice crystals, appears as a delicate impression beneath a transparent glaze. The exteriors and reverse sides of the tableware remain unglazed and thus make one particularly aware of the feel of the pieces when held in the hand. The decoration is applied using a new laser technique; a thin layer of glaze, just a millimeter thick, is removed, thus allowing the light stoneware to be seen. “That is extremely interesting as far as both the manufacture and the design are concerned, making it the clear favorite in this category,” says Bethge. All items in this series are hand crafted.
 
The other nominations were:
 
Wool cords 'Kärnten Walk', 'Moby' and 'Quarter-Yarn' from Lehner Wolle (Hall 8.0 H 92)
These elaborately produced cords are available in many different colors and are perfectly suited to individualized ornamentation. The wool cord, made from pure new sheep's wool and jute can, for instance, be used to complete and embellish decorative arrangements in a country-house style. 
 
The vases 'Begra', 'Nobles' and 'Davinci' by Jodeco Glass (Hall 8.0 D11)
These simple vases win us over with their competitive pricing, the quality and variety of the decorative possibilities – not only for flowers, but also for seasonal decoration. An absolutely timeless product that can always be put to use.
 
'Nostalgia' by Ambiente Europe B.V. (Hall 9.0 C 70)
Muted colors, fine lines, delicate ornamentation are what distinguish this series. The range includes lunch and cocktail napkins, handkerchiefs, napkin holders, a candle, matches, a tray and a mug made from fine bone china. The napkins have been manufactured using a special roller which gives a particularly delicate printed effect. The key thing here is that everything is so rich in detail and will most certainly gain its following of enthusiasts.
 
The winners will receive a Decoration Star award and a formal certificate. Nominees will also receive a formal certificate.
 
All the details of Christmasworld, together with a comprehensive summary of the highlights, are available on the website at: www.christmasworld.messefrankfurt.com
 
The next Christmasworld in Frankfurt: 27 to 31 January 2017

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