ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan Return in May with New Leadership Team and New Vision

Excitement is building for the upcoming International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), North America’s premier contemporary furnishing design fair, and WantedDesign Manhattan, a ‘show within the show’ dedicated to high-end North American studios and international emerging designers. Taking place at New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center May 21-23, 2023, this will be the first edition of the fair under new leadership. Emerald, the owner and producer of the shows, recently promoted Kevin Gaffney to Group Vice President of Emerald’s Design Group, and co-founders of WantedDesign, Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, to Brand Directors for ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan.

The leadership team has defined a new vision for ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan, including a more cohesive and interactive event, better visitor experiences, and cutting-edge design. The May event will also include an edited floorplan, reorganized by theme and categories, and featuring newly designed spaces to meet, lounge, and eat such as the media lounge, a welcome area, a new restaurant, and a pavilion that showcases American design.

“ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan are known for original design and innovation in the residential, contract, and hospitality markets,” said Hainaut and Pijoulat. “We’re looking forward to expanding on that reputation to include a strong focus on sharing best practices, educating the community and the next wave of designers, enhancing the role of design for the future, and creating an incredible experience for our attendees.”

Known around the world as the “hub for NYCxDESIGN, NYC’s design festival,” and “the place for international conversation,” ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan will showcase what’s new in design from up-and-coming and established brands, including furniture, lighting, kitchen and bath, textiles, seating, wall coverings, carpet and flooring, accessories, and materials.

“There is tremendous interest and enthusiasm for international brands, especially from Europe, to exhibit at the fair this year,” said Kevin Gaffney. “The diverse mix of more than 300 exhibitors from more than 20 countries will include a new country pavilion from Morocco, joining pavilions for Brazil, Norway, New Zealand, Romania, Portugal, and more.”

“We see strong potential in expanding both Launch Pad featuring emerging designers and Look Book that highlights North American design. We believe that New York City is the perfect meeting point for the Americas and as such we will create a special spotlight on American design to allow attendees to discover a more complete design landscape of the US across ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan, from small studios to established brands. It’s an exciting time to attend the fair as the globe’s most important design ideas are on display in New York,” said Hainaut and Pijoulat.

WantedDesign Manhattan will again tap into the expertise of designer Rodolfo Agrella to create the look and feel for the fair, including Wanted Interiors and the Lounge, as well as the ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan Talks stage. This year, Agrella will also design the Oasis space and the new show floor restaurant.

New in 2023, DIFFA’s DIFFA by Design (DBD) fundraiser, a celebration of inspired design, cocktails, and community, will be co-located with ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan at the Javits Center. For four decades, DIFFA has harnessed the design industry’s resources and talent to create legendary programs and events like DIFFA BY DESIGN in support of its mission to raise awareness and funds for organizations providing treatment, education, and assistance for people impacted by HIV/AIDS, homelessness, hunger, and mental health issues.


ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan Talks will take place on a stage sponsored by Turf, with a lineup of panel sessions, keynote presentations, and conversations that examine the future of residential and commercial design. Highlights include a deep dive into the metaverse and interior design, a panel on educating the next generation of designers, a trend presentation by WGSN; a keynote from Snøhetta; a panel discussion with Be Original Americas; Look Book Live moderated by Ben Dreith of Dezeen; the Emerging Designers Showcase led by Amy Devers from Clever; a talk on what’s next with Pam McNally of NKBA, and much more.

Oasis, designed this year by Agrella and furnished by Normann Copenhagen, returns in 2023. Oasis is where visitors can relax and listen to intimate panel discussions.

ICFF Editors Awards will be back to celebrate the best products across both ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan. The awards recognize the top designs in 12 categories: Body of Work, New Designer, Furniture, Seating, Carpet and Flooring, Lighting, Outdoor Furniture, Materials, Wallcovering, Accessories, Kitchen and Bath, and Best Overall Booth. All category winners will be considered finalists for Best in Show and recognized during the awards ceremony held on May 22 at 5 pm on the Talks stage. The ICFF Editors Awards is open to all ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan exhibitors. Judges from trade and consumer design media to be announced.

To celebrate outstanding design work, ICFF will host the 43rd Annual ICFF Interiors Awards and present the distinguished Designer of the Year Award on May 21 at 6:30 pm at Gotham Hall in New York City. Over its long history, the program has launched and supported the careers of some of the world’s best designers.


Schools Exhibit: In support of the next generation of designers, WantedDesign Manhattan will once again offer an area to present young design students from design schools worldwide. In addition to presenting their projects, the students will have the opportunity to receive feedback, mentorship, and networking from established design professionals. This feature also creates a dialogue for academic recruiting, exchange programs, and partnership opportunities. As presenting partners, Design Milk and Alessi will review the projects to select the “students to watch” and announce the winners at the awards ceremony on May 22nd at 5 pm on the Talks stage.

Launch Pad: An ideal platform for emerging designers to showcase new concepts and prototypes of furniture, home accessories, and lighting. Launch Pad is presented with media partners Design Milk and Clever and is sponsored by American Standard. It will include nearly 70 projects from designers hailing from more than 23 countries. The Best of Launch Pad winners will be selected by a jury of renowned industry professionals led by Amy Devers from Clever.

Jurors include:

  • Giulio Cappellini, Founder, Cappellini
  • Andrea Cesarman, Co-founder, Design Week Mexico
  • Jerry Helling, President and Creative Director of Bernhardt Design
  • Jean-Jacques L’hénaff, Leader, LIXIL Global Design AMERICAS
  • Jennifer Olshin, Founding Director and Partner, Friedman Benda
  • Kia Weatherspoon, President and Founder, Determined by Design

Look Book: As the dedicated program for high-end North American designers, makers, and studios that serves as an in-person portfolio for the A&D community, Look Book returns for 2023 with more than 50 participants and is presented with media partner Dezeen. Ayumiya, Caleb Ferris, Concrete Poetics, Ian Love Design, Mana Sazegara, NJ Roseti, Simon Johns, and thehighkey are returning, and new exciting exhibitors include Ayako Aratani, Bestcase, Costantini Design, Elizabeth Lyons Glass, Forces at Play, and Natan Moss Design.

Wanted Interiors: Participants include Turf, Heller and a selection of international studios in interactive and immersive iinstallations. The Lounge, designed by Agrella, is sponsored by David Weeks Studio and Ligne Roset, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic Togo, designed by Michel Ducaroy.

ECO Solidarity, a multidisciplinary design movement with a focus on making a better world, will present several European studios at Wanted Interiors. ECO Solidarity continues to strive for unity through design thinking focused on ecology, climate change, equitability, sustainability, and more.

To support the idea of a cohesive Design Week, the NYCxDESIGN Festival returns to coincide with ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan from May 18-25, 2023.


Sunday, May 21: 10AM-6PM
Monday, May 22: 10AM-6PM
Tuesday, May 23: 10AM-5PM

Registration is open to trade professionals all three days and to the public on Tuesday, May 23. The badge will allow you access to both ICFF and WantedDesign Manhattan. Detailed program schedule to follow.

Health and safety requirements for ICFF can be found here.

For more information about ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan and to register, please visit icff.com.

About ICFF

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is North America’s leading global platform for contemporary furnishing design.  With its emphasis on original and sustainable design, the ICFF presents exhibitors of furniture, lighting, seating, carpet and flooring, wallcoverings, outdoor furniture, materials, kitchen and bath, and accessories to an audience of architects, interior designers, retailers, distributors, developers, and press. ICFF is owned by Emerald.

About WantedDesign Manhattan

WantedDesign is a platform dedicated to fostering the international creative community at large throughout the year and is a constant and staunch supporter of emerging design in the U.S. Launched in New York City in 2011 by Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, WantedDesign Manhattan has quickly become the destination for discovering new talent around the world and the place to engage with a diverse professional network and initiate new collaborations. WantedDesign Manhattan began its partnership with ICFF in 2019.   www.wanteddesignnyc.com / www.wanteddesignmanhattan.com

About Emerald

Emerald is a leader in building dynamic, market-driven business-to-business platforms that integrate live events with a broad array of industry insights, digital tools, and data-focused solutions to create uniquely rich experiences. As true partners, we at Emerald strive to build our customers’ businesses by creating opportunities that inspire, amaze, and deliver breakthrough results. With over 140 events each year, our teams are creators and connectors who are thoroughly immersed in the industries we serve and committed to supporting the communities in which we operate.  For more information, please visit www.emeraldx.com.