High Point, NC, April 22, 2012--When all is said and done inside the EJ Victor (http://EJVictor.com) showroom this week, Spring Market 2012 will likely be remembered as the breakout moment in the furniture design careers of Cecilia Berber-Thayer and Sarah Kammlah, the dynamic duo behind Berber.Kammlah for CHB.
Unique talents that industry insiders predict will eventually be to high-end furniture design as Alexander McQueen was to couture, the design team has been tasked with innovating the company's long popular Carol Hicks Bolton (CHB) upholstery and occasional collection. Given free reign to branch out, they are imbuing the line with fresh attitude, taking aim at a new generation of fans and turning heads with a sophisticated fashion sensibility, saturated colors, sensual fabrics and cool and sexy silhouettes.
Above all, the designing women say their goal here in High Point this week is for Market attendees to set aside any preconceived notions about what their line is all about. "We want to change all the time," says Berber-Thayer, "because fashion is like that. It's not predictable. We want people to walk in and say, 'My gosh! This is not what I was expecting!'" Indeed, new product on view here this week will no doubt be a revelation for anyone who still associates with CHB brand with its stylistic roots in vintage and Victorian.
A young maverick steeped in Southern California's music and fashion scene, Kammlah represents the edgy side of the design equation, while Berber-Thayer, who is fluent in multiple languages and the international history of design, is classically trained in every way.
Kammlah's personal taste is evident in the Treble Clef chair, a not to old Hollywood with "great mid-century lines cruising toward the '60s," she describes. "Covered in silk, it reminds me of a man's shirt. It's just sexy!" Her new Percussion Chair, meanwhile, is very Deco influenced.
Berber-Thayer's luxurious Minuet sofa on the other hand is destined to make baroque seem cool. "It's our most classical introduction this time," she says. "It's inspired by a French antique, beautifully carved, and very chic."
According to Berber-Thayer, at 85-inches wide and 36-inches deep, Minuet is also a little more slender than previous silhouettes introduced by the design team. "We've been working to re-scale our things a bit because home sizes are changing," she explains. "We've been spending a lot of time working on the proper proportions so the piece is really comfortable, but not so deep you can't get it up the stairs."
This doesn't mean that those who long for the long and luxe will be disappointed. Witness the Last Call at 90-inches wide and 37-inches deep. Outrageously glamorous with exotic, skin-inspired fabrics, it happens to be Berber-Thayer's favorite.
"Fabrics are our signature," she relates. "We do a lot of color work and we work very hard on developing exclusive looks that are very fashion driven and detail oriented, from velvets so rich you want to get naked and roll around on them , to faux furs. This spring, more than ever, it's about color... super sexy, saturated color like lavender, tangerine, coral and jade and deep reds and golds."
Previously, Kammlah says, "the direction was a little bit more vintage and muted. We're all about color and vibrancy. We like to think of it as furniture with soul!"