Sandow to manage NYCxDesign festival from 2020
Times Square during NYCxDesign 2018

Sandow to manage NYCxDesign from 2020

Media company Sandow will take over management and operations for the NYCxDesign festival from 2020, following a public call for proposals issued last year.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), which has overseen the annual event since its inception in 2012, will hand over the reigns during the coming year to Sandow.

The company was founded by Adam Sandow in 2001, and lists publications Interior Design and Luxe, consultancy Material ConneXion, and retailer Fred Segal among its portfolio of brands.

Sandow chosen after extensive search

Sandow was selected after the NYCEDC put out a search for prospective candidates to grow and develop the initiative, both in size and revenue, in summer 2018. Interested parties submitted proposals and underwent interviews before a decision was made by the NYCxDesign steering committee – composed of leaders across the city's creative community.

"In Sandow, we found a partner that was not only a true leader in the design industry, but also a company that passionately loves New York City, which is something for us that was extremely important," said Alex Costas, NYCEDC's senior vice president of marketing. "Sandow has a lot of key influential media brands... as well as a lot of companies that are at the forefront of design innovation."

The decision to shift the management of the festival from a city-affiliated organisation to a private company was made to enable its expansion, according to NYCEDC's chief marketing officer Ed Hogikyan.

"The success of NYCxDesign in a relatively short time has just been tremendous," said NYCEDC's chief marketing officer Ed Hogikyan. "It's also forced us to look at its unrealised potential, and determine that the programme could probably best realise its full potential through oversight from an outside entity."

Sandow vows to improve festival's diversity

Acknowledging his "responsibility" to New York City's design community, Adam Sandow aimed to reassure that his company will maintain, and continue to improve, NYCxDesign's diversity and accessibility for all.

"It's always tough to go from public sector to private sector, and I could imagine initially that people might get nervous and say 'Wow, is this going to become so privatised and focussed on profit?'" he said.

"The operation and leadership of NYCxDesign will be completely agnostic, it will be separate and distinct from all of our brands, and we will work with our own brands in the same way that we would work with outside brands – whether it be other media properties, other organisations, other companies."

The news was announced at a press conference at Parsons The New School of Design on 10 January 2018, when plans for the upcoming 2019 edition of NYCxDesign were also revealed.

NYCxDesign to return for 2019 edition in May

Taking place 10 to 22 May, the festival will comprise exhibitions and events across the city's five boroughs. Returning to the schedule will be large-scale fairs like ICFF, WantedDesign, Brooklyn Designs and more.

A series of installations will be placed in Times Square as part of the Design Pavilion series, and a range of talks will tackle topics relevant to all sectors of the industry.

Showrooms in the city's designated design districts will host launches and parties on different evenings during the festival, and retail opportunities will be available across the city.

Also, Parsons and New York's other top design schools will exhibit graduate work, while museums will be hosting concurrent exhibitions for visitors to attend.