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Hot bidding war for iconic Textiles Building sign caps a big night for home textiles industry


New York – The sold-out HFPA/HTT market party on Tuesday evening celebrated the return of a robust New York Home Fashions Market.

The jointly held event at The Harvard Club of New York sold out its tickets late last week as industry execs convened to catch up after three years of mostly virtual meetings. The gathering honored HTT’s 2022 Trailblazers & Titans honorees: Lowe’s, At Home, 1888 Mills and Triangle Home Fashions. And the event raised funds for the HFPA Foundation’s scholarship program via ticket sales, raffle items and a silent auction.

But the pinnacle of the evening was the live auction of two plaques that once adorned the from of former showroom hub 295 Fifth Ave., officially The Textile Building. The auction was called by Barth Getto, partner at Akcel Partners, whose Intellifresh textile technology was the headline sponsor for the scholarship fundraiser.

The first plaque that went up for bidding was the address plaque: “295 Fifth.” Bidding was lively, topping out a $2,250 as Nayan Dala, CEO of TLI Home claimed the prize.

Jenny Zhu and Rob Sayre

Jenny Zhu, left, and Rob Sayre, the final bidders for the “Textile Building” plaque, struck a playful pose after the auction concluded. Photo credit: Rosanna Arias, Triangle Home Fashions | Lush Décor

Then Getto opened the bidding for the “Textile Building” sign. Several bidders jumped into the fray and the price rose quickly, passing $5,000, then $6,000, then $7,000. After the price passed $10,000, most bidders dropped out. At $20,000, the contest came down to two people: Rob Sayre, CEO at 1888 Mills, and Jenny Zhu, founder and CEO of Triangle Home Fashions/Lush Décor.

The bidding continued to climbing incrementally, until at last Getto turned to Zhu and encouraged her to make the leap up to $30K. She did, and she prevailed.

In total the night raised over $67,000 for the HFPA Foundation, which will be used for scholarships for students in the home textile programs at FIT and other schools.

Sponsors for the fundraiser also included Allergy Standards, , Cotton Egypt Association, , Keeco, Milberg Factors, TriNet and Triangle Home Fashions.

Sponsors for HTT’s Trailblazers and Titan Awards included Supima (Platinum), Cotton Inc. (Silver),and  230 Fifth Avenue, BKS Textiles and Heimtextil (Bronze).

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