Rob Florio With Tina Louise

Rick Friedman With Jay Scheiderman And Dr. Nicolas Dyno

Southampton, NY- The first ever luxury design show staged on the East End proved to be a stunning success, as thousands flocked to the inaugural Hamptons Contemporary Design+Décor Fair at the Elks Fairground in Southampton this past weekend.

The brainchild of art fair guru Rick Friedman, attendees had the opportunity to experience the latest in state-of-the-art luxury home décor from both national and international brands to one-of-a-kind artisan pieces. An eclectic mix of over 160 exhibitors in the 55,000 interior/exterior pavilion wowed the capacity crowds with everything related to both indoor and outdoor living from furniture to appliances, rugs to window treatments, billiard tables to home theater innovations, landscaping alternatives to luxury patio solutions, and so much more.

Friedman was thrilled with both the success of and turnout at the fair, "I am very pleased that thousands of Hamptonites benefited from products that enhanced the beautification of their estates, and we see the broader approach of living with art as a trend in 2016 and thereafter. It was exhilarating for me to hear ‘Wow!’ and ‘OMG, look at that!’ uttered so often by fairgoers as they strolled the aisles. Our goal was to pack as much shock and awe into the Southampton design pavilion as possible and we succeeded."

Exhibitor testimonials certainly supported Friedman’s assessment and enthusiasm as numerous design professionals shared their experiences at the fair:

Doug Nappi of Dragonfly Landscape Design: “It is going very well! We have made a lot of connections, have a lot of leads, and have got some actual meetings already scheduled. I do not know how you could ask for more!”

Cristiano Ghiazza of Eurotrend Furniture: “The fair has over-exceeded our expectations! The crowds have been great, the organization has been fantastic! It has been great and we look forward to next year.”

Gary Ciuffo of Ciuffo Cabinetry: “I think it is a wonderful event. It brought the right people to the table!”

Elizabeth Goldfeder of Reflectel: “We have had a tremendous response, it has been very, very positive. We are very happy!”

James DeMartis, Artisan Designer: “It has been fantastic! It has been very busy, and I think for the first ever event of its kind here it has been a huge success. I am very happy to be here!”

Simon Doonan With Jonathan Adler

Literally tens of millions of dollars of design and décor products were on display including items as unique as a million dollar Steinway offered by Sonny’s Art Case Pianos to a $65,000 Palm fossil wall hanging from the Green River Stone Company. The fair not only offered East End homeowners the opportunity to experience and purchase onsite the very best in home décor and outdoor living, it was an opportunity for exhibitors to network with fellow designers, architects, and product representatives. Hamptons Contemporary not only connected fellow design trade professionals, but it offered the opportunity for exhibitors to reach local East End business owners with many of them successfully placing their products and services for the first time in the coveted Hamptons luxury marketplace. For example, Brooklyn based Erikson Aesthetics will be the featured furniture designer in the display windows of the uber-popular Sylvester & Co. on Main Street in Sag Harbor this summer.

With the ribbon cutting of the first luxury design fair ever held in the Hamptons by Rick Friedman, who was joined by Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Scheiderman, ARF Board Member Alex Papachristidis, and Southampton School District Superintendent Dr. Nicolas Dyno (Co-Founder of Hamptons Contemporary’s other designated charity the Southampton Education Foundation), the 1,250+ opening night attendees walked into a fair of unmatched proportions and absolutely first class style, even by Hamptons standards.

The Opening Night Preview was hosted by Architectural Digest (AD) and benefited the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF). The AD host committee included luminaries of the design world including Jonathan Adler & Simon Doonan, Chesie Breen, Alexa Hampton, Celerie Kemble, Scott Nelson, Ann & John Pyne, Elizabeth Pyne, Vicente Wolf, and Thom Filicia, who adopted a dog from the ARF Mobile Adoption Trailer that was onsite at the fair. The evening included a silent auction that continued throughout the fair, featuring a limited edition lithograph by James Rosenquist, along with other donations from select exhibitors, to benefit ARF.

Other notables in attendance included Cindy Lou Wakefield, Actress Tina Louise & Rob Florio, AD Publisher Giulio Capua, Douglas Elliman Chairman Howard Lorber, Frank & Bonnie Lautenberg, art dealer Arne Glimcher, designer Marshall Watson, HC&G power ladies Marianne Howatson and Pamela Eldridge, Dr. Lewis Feder, Irma & Ken Herzog, Dede & Shane Gotthelf, Cheri Kaufman & Bill Schlight, Jesse Nash, Ilona & Jeff Roth, Roberta & Edgar von Schlossberg and Ziel & Helene Feldman, among numerous others.

Guests were entertained by the spins of DJ Marg and feted with delights by Cheffe Collette of the Inn Spot on the Bay. Along with cocktails and champagne, the evening featured Robert DiNiro’s endorsed VDKA 6100 and Cheech Marin’s Tres Papalote Mezcal, among other luxury spirit brands like The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch in vertical tastings and Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum.

The hi-lights of the Hamptons Contemporary Design+Décor Fair were Regional Media Sponsor HC&G Magazine’s (Hamptons Cottages & Gardens) 15th Anniversary Celebration at their stunning lounge booth. The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Outdoor Lounge was the destination for the Beach Magazine VIP Reception featuring Roxine Brown of Harmonia, Inc. discussing the use of color and travel as inspiration and local terrain and other definers as guides to a plan for garden design. Also in their lounge, the ASID held 30-minute Shop Talk “Hamptons Summer Design Trends” roundtable discussions throughout the weekend. 25A Magazine hosted a “Design Secrets” panel discussion at their booth that was moderated by the magazine’s Publisher & CEO Chase Backer and included Real Housewives of NYC star and Madame Paulette owner John Mahdessian, lifestyle expert Tracy Stern, and “Million Dollar Contractor” TV Star Stephen Fanuka. There was also a fabulous after-party hosted by Long Island Pulse Magazine at the Southampton Social Club.

Also ongoing throughout the fair’s weekend schedule was the Sylvester & Co. partnership with Pointed Leaf Press to bring in world-renowned authors in design and architecture for special book signing events at their booth. Featured Spotlight Exhibits were 30-minute interactive sessions, scheduled periodically throughout the weekend and geared to inform fair-goers on the current state of the industry. Tour Time, was a series of guided tours led by Hamptons-savvy ASID members, bringing attendees to unique design solution booths at the fair.

The events kicked-off with the Douglas Elliman Hamptons Brunch by Design, featuring beautiful summer table settings by Vista Alegre. The closing event of the fair was the Coming Home Charity Party in celebration of the Hamptons Contemporary supported non-profit the Southampton Education Foundation, which provides third-party financial support for scholarships and other valuable programs for the students and educators in the Southampton community. The event included a limited edition signed screen-print by Larry Rivers for auction and donated by Fair Founder Rick Friedman.

The Hamptons Contemporary Design+Décor Fair has undoubtedly raised the bar for all Hamptons summer fairs in style, size, and programming. As founder Rick Friedman noted, "With our inaugural fair, Hamptons Contemporary has established the Hamptons as a Mecca for design, and the fair is now being internationally recognized and evaluated by luxury brands and esteemed design and décor professionals around the world."

For more Hamptons Contemporary details go to: www.hamptonscontemporary.com

Photo Courtesy Of: TalentWorks Art Photography / Lenny Stucker & Lisa Tamburini