When a trend becomes “core”
Recently, an industry CEO said that some “ubiquitous trends move softly into core” and this Millennial consumer could not agree more.
When I started to see more and more bouclé appearing in 2020 and throughout the years of the pandemic, I was ecstatic. At that point in time, I had just welcomed a baby girl and was looking for new seating for our family of three’s first home. I was done with the hand-me-downs and wanted to make sure my little girl was growing up in a home that was comfortable and memorable because to me, and most of my fellow Millennial friends, that is the style we are all craving in our homes: nostalgic comfort.
I believe that living a young adult life through the pandemic has taught many of us a lot of valuable lessons, one being that life is short and uncertain, and the other is that my home is the one place I do have control in. As it became apparent that this post-pandemic new way of life would have me and my little family spending much more time within the walls of our home, I increasingly felt that I needed to make sure it’s a place that we can all enjoy and feel safe in. Enter bouclé.
When I began sourcing through new High Point Market product submissions in 2021 and 2022, I kept seeing bouclé fabric EVERYWHERE on my screen, and I mean everywhere. I was not that familiar with the fabric then, but I was familiar with how it made me feel every time I opened a new product image with a seat covered in the soft, nubby, cozy fabric. It made me feel how I hadn’t felt in a while since the pandemic — safe. I quickly realized that bouclé is exactly what I wanted for my home. I loved it then, and I still love the way it looks and makes me feel now.
Here’s why I think bouclé is going to move into the “core” category:
- Not only does it make you feel good, but it is also such a great fabric choice for design. It usually comes in cream or white, which are both great blank canvases for designing a space. Millennials love comfort, but we also want to play it safe. Bouclé is a safe selection for a large seating option as it has a longer life span due to its neutral colors and unconditional comfort. We add color with pillows, drapery, wall art and accessories.
- The fabric screams bespoke luxury. Some may not have the wallets to dish out big money for the highest quality fabric, but we will gladly spend a little more on nice fabric that gives off a high-end vibe.
- As Caroline Hipple, Norwalk president has said, “I think bouclé is going to be core. We started seeing it in Europe in 2017, and it supports the desire to be cozy, a sort of upholstery ‘hug’ that corresponds with the evolution of hygge.” This validates exactly what my age group is craving within our homes. I don’t think there is any other fabric on the market currently that checks off all of the boxes like bouclé does.
Fast forward to 2023 and I still have the biggest crush on bouclé, and I still get excited when I see it around showrooms at markets. I have turned so many of my friends and family on to the fabric. I love it when I get messages from someone showing me their new bouclé piece.
So, manufacturers and retailers, this Millennial consumer asks that you don’t part ways with bouclé just yet. If we have our way, it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.