Tibet sofa in green polyester boucle fabric on an upholstered base. The shape and design are glam, modern, deco, and boho all at the same time.
OAKLAND, Calif. — For Zuo Modern’s introductions at Las Vegas Market, the company looks to fashion first. “We like to consider ourselves more of a fashion company vs. a furniture company,” said Luis Ruesga, Zuo’s president.
For Zuo Modern, the current “direction” is less industrial modern and more “granny chic” according to Ruesga, who said that the company likes to “touch every style in the fashion industry especially with patterns, color and materials that aren’t used every day.” Retailers can expect to see a lot of these combinations in the company’s sofas, dining chairs and occasional furniture.
According to Ruesga, everything that is presented at either High Point or Las Vegas Market is available. The company is constantly creating new looks and does not use markets as a means of “testing” prototypes. “We don’t have space problems; we have new releases for Vegas and a new batch for October, and these new styles don’t wait,” said Ruesga.
Zuo Modern has partnered with the largest manufacturer of mattresses in the Dominican Republic with its own foam factory. “That is the most important component of a sofa so we can source our foam and fabric, legs, etc., from them and directly ship from a U.S. wholesaler,” according to Ruesga.
For Zuo Modern, upholstery is about the fabrics, textures and durability. Ruesga said the company’s customers are all looking for better ways of cleaning their upholstery, making performance a must. The collections showing at Las Vegas are coming from the Dominican Republic and can be produced much faster than those coming from Asia.
“Because this is a new venture in the Dominican Republic, we went with the safest frames already in the line and we dressed them up with current fabrics and fashions. We’re still growing our factory there and working on more shapes, but for now, we’re focused on classic modern shapes,” said Ruesga.
According to Ruesga, the color green is resonating with customers, adding that “it won’t be the color of the year, but people are really excited about green right now. White was dead for years and now is becoming a more important color on the commercial side, especially on performance upholstery so it’s easy to clean.”
In addition, vegan leather, with it’s cleanability, is positively accepted by customers, and Ruesga said the added benefit of not worrying about bacteria in a commercial setting is a bonus.
In terms of the fashion for metal, Ruesga said, “A lot of people are looking at darker finishes on metals — less gold and more blacks. A lot of our new intros have black finish vs. gold. Gold isn’t phasing out completely but slowly going away.”