Over 12,500 industry professionals have swarmed to Las Vegas for the annual HD Expo, taking place May 15-17 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. More than 875 exhibitors are attending this year’s hospitality design event to showcase their latest products and the inspirations behind them.
Listen to our interview with Stacy Garcia at HD Expo 2019
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Stacy Garcia, an established leader in the world of design, is one designer showcasing several products throughout the three-day show. She is launching a total of seven new product categories, which includes a partnership with MTS, a provider of seating for the hotel, restaurant, gaming and convention industries. The two came together to create two new chair concepts designed for commercial spaces like lobbies, restaurants, lounges and suites.
“So far it’s been a really wonderful partnership,” Garcia says. “It was interesting to see their manufacturing process and bring them some sexy design in a category that can be a little stale otherwise.”
One of the chairs, Billow, emphasizes bringing plush and soft comfort to seating. It has an upholstered inset where it billows in and gives off a high-end, residential look, according to Garcia. “It’s not just about the function of sitting down, but you want to feel comfortable in the seat, especially if it’s going to be over a meal or lounging,” she adds.
The second concept, Punctuate, features a focus on materials. “We really dug into the material idea behind this and did a metal framing that has a perforated finish to it and married that to different finishes,” says Garcia. The concept includes an upholstered seat with a comfortable cushion for lumbar support.
Both Billow and Punctuate were designed with public spaces in mind.
“The reason we say public space is because we went a little more fancy,” notes Garcia. “We added technique to it so it may not be at a price point for every guest room, but they’re really comfortable, and the scale we think is perfectly proportioned for a restaurant, lounge or public space type of area.”
She adds that the feedback so far has been excellent, and working with MTS has been an efficient process. Her typical collections take around nine months on average from concept to completion, but these prototypes took only six months.
“MTS does their entire manufacturing from start to finish,” says Garcia. “Creating the metal work, the framing, the upholstery, the powder coating all within one factory setting, which enabled them to prototype faster.” She adds that her and MTS plan to extend the partnership for future collaborations.
Over the years, Garcia has grown her own collection of global lifestyle brands for commercial and residential spaces, including Stacy Garcia Commercial, Stacy Garcia | New York, Stay by Stacy Garcia and Stacy Garcia Home. She has firm roots in hospitality design and has several collaborations on display throughout HD Expo for an array of product categories, including textiles, carpet, wallcovering, furniture and throw blankets.
While Garcia has her hands involved in many markets, she is currently enjoying the focus on furniture, seen throughout the show.
“I’m seeing furniture beginning to crop its head up as a place you can bring sculptural elements,” she notes. “Where you can really build a feature around the seating and the chairs and that’s the approach we took here,” she adds of the collections with MTS.
Head over to Instagram TV to hear more on Garcia’s collaboration with MTS through her interview with Chief Content Officer Christoph Trappe.
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Christoph Trappe: Hello, everyone, it’s Christoph Trappe, chief content officer at interiors+sources, still at HD Expo. And now I’m joined by Stacy Garcia. Thanks for joining us, Stacy.
Stacy Garcia: Yes. Good morning, Christoph. How are you? Nice to meet you.
Christoph: Definitely a busy show already and we just started.
Stacy: I know. It’s great. I’m very inspired. There’s lots of activity here. And we’re launching seven new different product categories. So, we’re really excited.
We’re here right now at the MTS booth where we created new collections of chairs for them. And so far, it’s been a really wonderful partnership. It was interesting to see their manufacturing process and bring them some sexy design in a category that can be a little stale otherwise.
Christoph: So, the chairs we’re sitting in, they’re designed for public spaces.
Christoph: Right? Where will they go?
Stacy: So, the chairs we’re sitting in were designed like you said for public spaces. Could be used for lobbies, could be used for restaurants, lounges, even suites. And the reason that we say public space is we went a little fancier. We added technique to it, so it may not be a price point for every guest room, but they’re really comfortable and the scale we think is perfectly proportioned for a restaurant lounge, public space type of area.
Christoph: And earlier, I was talking to the designer a little bit and she talked about the comfort. Talk about what inspired the design and what are we trying to accomplish here.
Stacy: So, we have two different chair concepts that we’re developing with them right now. One is called “Billow.” And so, that’s one of the ideas, of really bringing comfort to the seating because it’s not just about obviously the function of sitting down, but you want to feel comfortable in the seat, especially if it’s going to be over a meal or lounging. This is not meant to be something uncomfortable, like a grab-and-go type of thing.
So, what we did was we did an upholstered inset, where it kind of billows and it gives it almost an inspired by high-end residential look. And very plush, this idea of soft comfort was the inspiration behind it.
And the other chair we did, which is the one I’m sitting in, is the idea of Punctuate. So, adding perforated surfaces, and so we really dug into the material idea behind this and did a metal framing that has a perforated finish to it. And sort of married that with different finishes. So, we did a dark finish, the black with a shiny metal on the outside and upholstered seat.
But what makes this seat comfortable is then we put a cushion in, and we pitched it so it would really support the lumbar on it. So, a lot of thought went into this, lots of prototyping. And I think they’re fabulous. The feedback so far has been excellent.
Christoph: And how long did it take to design them and come up with them and get them to where we are today?
Stacy: So, this was actually a pretty fast turnaround time. Normally I would say we run like a baby, like it’s normally about nine months in gestation before you actually get to see something come to fruition.
The MTS team is totally vertical though, so they’re really doing their whole manufacturing line start to finish, creating all of the metal work on it, the framing, the upholstery, the powder coating, all within one factory setting. Even the swedging on some of the legs, so the legs, you can notice on some of them, taper down. And so, we really had fun. So, they prototyped faster. This was probably six months from start to finish. And I know we plan on expanding the line from here.
Christoph: Of course, we always need places to sit down. Where do you see chair design go? What’s next?
Stacy: So, it’s funny. We see ebb and flow in the industry in terms of looking at what’s going to be your design statement. What’s your “focal point” as a designer. You always need to bring the eye somewhere. Lighting had a big moment the last few years, where it’s gotten very architectural, very sculptural. Prior to that, I think it was wall art, these feature walls using digital printing.
But I’m seeing furniture beginning to crop it’s head up as a place that you can bring sculptural element, not only the comfort of seating, not only that feeling of being enveloped and being supported in the seat, but also bringing sculptural element, where you can really build a feature around the seating and the chairs. So, that’s really the approach that we took here.
Christoph: Very interesting. Very briefly, what else are you launching at HD Expo?
Stacy: As I said, we have seven products, so we have leathers with Townsend, we have new carpet with Tarkett Hospitality. We have art with Artline, wallcovering with TRI-KES, which was bought out by Momentum Group—and I’m trying to think—new textiles, all kinds of fun things. So, you’ll have to follow around.
I have things up on my Instagram, which is @StacyGarciaInc. So, if you want to follow those stories, we’re always posting new, exciting inspirations for you.
Christoph: Great. Thanks for joining us, Stacy. I was joined by Stacy Garcia. Thanks for listening to another episode of the I Hear Design Podcast.