We "tweeted" last week about how we were intrigued with our new Restoration Hardware catalog. Well, tonight we were invited to attend the official launch of their new Flatiron Gallery here in NYC and we were able to see the new furniture collection up close and in person. The verdict .... it's pretty fantastic. The Elle Decor sponsored party helped benefit God's Love We Deliver while introducing RH's exclusive Artisan line of large-scale, handmade antique reproductions as well as original crafts pieces. This is all worth mentioning because it's a pretty bold and dramatic move, especially considering the current economic climate. This "re-branding" was the brain-child of CEO Gary Friedman who decided rather than scaling back, to instead go against conventional wisdom and pursue an even higher level of craftsmanship and design. We applaud his risk-tasking, not only because their entire design concept has been on a serious lifeline the past few years, but also because there's a definite shift happening in the design community and it's time for furniture manufacturers to shake things up.
At tonight's opening, the Slinky's and down foot-blankets were out while sophisticated furnishings and arrangements that look as though they were masterminded by Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt were in. We'll be honest, we're still trying to reconcile our feelings with all of this. While Mr. Friedman and his company have created some highly tasteful furnishings and are clearly moving in a new direction, we're not 100% sure their client base will be ready to jump on board. That's what makes this story even more significant and equally intriguing. It's a huge gamble and if it turns in their favor, it will no doubt have a giant affect on other furniture retailers as well as high-end furniture showrooms and how they conduct their business. But that's what we love about this particular risk. We're living in very exciting times where new opportunities could present themselves at any moment. We're rooting for you Restoration Hardware! To read a full statement on RH's new direction from their CEO click here.