Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Friday, December 16, 2011
As my father and I prepare for 2012, I keep coming back to one primary concern: Europe.
My concern is not so much about whether or not specific countries default on their debt, the EU finds a way to muddle through somehow, or even if the currency falls apart. My main concern is about lending and the crisis’s effects on confidence and spending. Unfortunately, uncertainty about the various possible outcomes have already had an impact in this area – European banking institutions have reportedly been shoring up their balance sheets by repatriating assets and curtailing lending and there are also reports US institutions are curtailing their daily overnight lending to those same European banks.
If this condition persists and credit becomes less and less available, it will work its way through the European and US economies down to the level of small firms’ and individuals’ sources of credit. The prospects are similar to 2008, when central banks increased funding to banks to help them weather the mortgage crisis: that increased credit did not continue much further past the banks’ balance sheets. Our experience was that the impact of this on our industry seemed to be felt about a year or 2 later, in late 2009 and 2010, which, besides natural lags, was I think probably due to the lead times associated with most projects.
So, our concern is: the longer the uncertainty of any resolution to the European crisis persists, we will have a continued general reduction in the availability of credit. And I believe this uncertainty will translate into reduced economic activity, in a broad sense. However, within our industry, recent activity seems to give reason for some optimism. Our experience is that this activity has been centered around the higher end spectrum – either truly style defining pieces or commissioned pieces that address a clients exact needs. In both cases, pricing has been essential to reinforce the value proposition of a piece or project to the client.
Here is what it boils down to in our in house discussions:
- We expect the euro to lose value against the dollar for at least the 1st half of 2012
- We are watching for borrowing costs to start increasing in the US sometime near the middle of the year.
- To insulate against any potential slowdown, we suggest modeling budgets around flat and/or lower revenue expectations for 2012.
- Cutting costs associated with high cost/potential client marketing – in other words cutting expensive marketing efforts with limited potential client exposure in favor of efforts that enhance our web presence.
- Pricing pieces and projects to reinforce the value represented by a piece to clients will remain key.
- We believe we are only seeing the beginning of a new-ish trend focusing on the unique character of a piece. We believe that clients will be increasingly sensitive to owning items unique to them or to a very limited number of people. Items that set them apart from their peers and define their home or taste.
Freddy & Tony
Friday, October 28, 2011
We hope you enjoy our first effort at it!
FPV Holiday 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
We recently re-discovered a custom pair of our model R644 end tables and it got me thinking it might be fun to see how we have adapted the model over the years. Fortunately, we have images of some the various ways we have made this model for clients.
This black and white image below is of the original my grandfather made in the 1950’s with a Rouge Royale marble slab top over a single drawer with 2 drawer fronts and a partially enclosed shelf.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Here are some photos from the opening evening at our pop-up installation at The Silver Peacock last week. The pop-up is a collaboration between FPV and The Silver Peacock, so most of the furniture you see is ours, while most of the objects and linens are from The Silver Peacock. With all the pieces we brought in and the abundance of items already there, the whole effort could have easily fallen into chaos. But we were very fortunate to have the talented Christopher Boshears's eye to style and edit the space so harmoniously - not an easy task!
We promise to post more images, and perhaps a video, of the space itself soon! In the meantime, please come by and visit it for yourself if you are in town. The Silver Peacock is located at 1110 Park Avenue, between 89th & 90th streets, 212.426.2610.