by Madeline Luckel
Today, the Winter Show is announcing some important updates to its January fair. The nonprofit organization, which seeks to raise funds for East Side House Settlement with its annual art-, antiques-, and design-focused event, is releasing the full list of exhibitors for its January 2020 iteration. But it’s also making some interesting shifts in order to better serve interior designers and design professionals.
While designers have always been involved in chair capacities at the Winter Show, the fair is introducing its first-ever Designer Committee. The committee will be chaired by New York magazine’s design editor Wendy Goodman—a longtime supporter of the show, according to fair director Helen Allen. Goodman will be joined by three committee co-chairs: interior designer Amelia Handegan and AD100 honorees Brian J. McCarthy and Annabelle Selldorf.
The all-star committee is not, however, simply a show of metaphorical support. Instead, it is intended to help represent and advocate on behalf of designers’ interests. Allen will be giving designers and design professionals new levels of access to this year’s fair. In addition to the fair’s Opening Night Party and Young Collectors Night, this year the fair will also be offering a Designer Breakfast, which will be limited to members of the trade. Finally, designers will receive early access to the fair on weekends, as well as invitations to additional Winter Show events over the course of the year.
“We want designers to have time to browse, come back multiple times, and think what clients would be appropriate to bring,” Allen explains of the changes. She notes, too, that providing such new levels of access stems directly from feedback she received when consulting her colleagues in the trade.
McCarthy, for one, sums up what the Winter Show means to many interior designers. “The first time I attended the show was back when I was still a student at Pratt in the early ’80s, and I could only dream of being able to actually purchase anything there for a client—let alone for myself,” he tells AD PRO. “Over the years, the Winter Show has remained one of my do-not-miss design events.… I love the wonderful, eclectic array of dealers and lectures that make it one of the best antiques shows in the country.” And, thanks to these new changes, perhaps more designers will soon feel the same way.