What to Watch: In Search of Home Time

Home is where the heart — and money — are at.

The homeware sector is expected to reach a market value of more than $200 billion by the end of 2031 with an annual growth rate of 5 percent from 2021 to 2031, according to market research firm Fact.MR.

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The fashion industry has been quick to cash in and invest in homeware since the start of the pandemic as a substitute to expand growth in when the whole world was closed down.

Even as lockdowns have gone away, the homeware category remains stronger than ever with more and more brands and retailers entering the sector.

bianca saunders At.Kollective
Bianca Saunders for At.Kollektive

At.Kollektive — the design project made up of designers Natacha Ramsay-Levi, Bianca Saunders, Isaac Reina, Kostas Murkudis and architect Bernard Dubois — will launch its e-store in January with made-to-order products and then a physical retail store will open in June.

The collective was assembled by Ecco Leather, an extended arm of Ecco, the Danish shoe manufacturer and retailer, tasking each designer with developing a capsule collection featuring ready-to-wear, footwear/accessories and a design piece.

“Fashion designers are people with a very close relationship with culture and society, maybe that’s why we have a great facility to widen our field of creation, it’s a playful and entertaining change,” Reina told WWD, adding that it’s “always very stimulating to change the field of work” into new territory.

“In my personal case I am developing small leather objects for the home to enrich our range and our general offer, I am very attracted to this category because it is still a field with many forms and functionalities to explore,” said Reina.

Designer Murkudis has been experimenting with glass from an early age — which at first started with objects that were part of exhibitions and videos in the context of fashion.

Emilia Wickstead home
Emilia Wickstead Home

New Zealand-born fashion designer Emilia Wickstead opened her London store to homeware in December following the success of her brand. Items in her line include heavy crystal water and wine vessels hand blown in Tuscany by artisan glassmakers for Giberto Venezia; table linens featuring embroidered geometric motifs produced in Tuscany by her mother Angela Wickstead; porcelain plates, made in Limoges, France, by heritage manufacturer Leglé, and silver plated cutlery handmade in small batches in Sheffield, England.

Australian accessories brand Poppy Lissiman is extending its homeware selections running up to June; swimwear label Oceanus is launching embroidered cushions, and Paul Smith, who has shown no sign of slowing down, is already growing his home fragrances and homeware collections.

However, it’s the smaller brands that are nurturing the idea of homeware by adding a spiritual touch to it.

“I feel that our customers who buy fashion and beauty want an entire lifestyle. People are spending more time at home and want their homeware to match the cool fashion and beauty brands they have,” said Joanna Nicole, founder of online Oxygen Boutique, which stocks Farm Rio, MZ Skin, Emma Lucky Rocks and more.

Nicole shifted into the homeware space in 2021 to create a 360 world for her customers. She’s searching for new homeware brands and will be expanding her own collection, Cacuro, which combines crystals with ceramics.

Alemdara home
Alemdara Home

Mariella Tandy, founder of luxury jewelry brand Alemdara, specializes in symbols of luck and protection with the use of the evil eye and hand of hamsa showing up in every piece.

Tandy started producing bowls and platters during lockdown as a means of procrastination as she was spending so much time with her family cooking. The idea quickly turned into a sold-out run within the first 24 hours online.

“Feedback from customers was that they loved the multipurpose aspect of our products — our small bowls in particular can be used for everything from a jewelry keeping bowl to serving starters,” said Tandy, adding that it ushered in more requests for custom orders for wedding and baby showers.

Cocktail size napkins have also become a hit with the Alemdara’s customers — in 2023 the line is extending and the brand is launching jewelry boxes in the first quarter of the new year.

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