A new festival planned for next year in the Big Apple aims to do for flowers what New York Fashion week has done for fashion: elevate, inspire — and encourage consumers to work more of it into their daily lives.
Last week in New York, organizers of the Leaf Festival held a multiday launch event— dubbed #NYFlowerWeek — to generate excitement for the event, which is planned for June 2020.
Founder Moira Breslin said she hopes the festival makes the city a site to the kind of flower love already seen in other major international cities, where flower and garden festivals have long taken root.
“New York is home to so many incredible florists, designers and curators, and with the floriculture market currently in full bloom, it felt like a miss that our city was without a place to showcase their work in the way other global cities celebrate great floral design,” Breslin said.
The ticketed festival will include pop-gardens, retail markets, “epicurean experiences,” and floral installations. The event will also include programming aimed at consumers and opportunities for “florists to create displays and growers to exhibit their product,” according to organizers, who directed industry members interested in participating to visit LeafFlowerShow.com to learn more.
“Beyond 2020, we hope for Leaf to become an annual event New Yorkers look forward to at the start of every summer,” said Breslin, the founder of Articulate Productions, a public relations and communications firm. (Breslin does not have a formal background in the floral industry but does have a “passion for flowers,” she said.)
Last week’s launch included pop-installations by acclaimed floral designer Lewis Miller, whose surprise street designs have fascinated (and delighted) New Yorkers.
“We decided to announce the launch of LEAF this year to generate excitement across the city and within the local floral community ahead of next year’s festival,” Breslin explained. “Nature is a luxury that everyone can enjoy and this June, we brought a riot of color across Manhattan.”
Miller was on hand at the opening reception and shared a few remarks on his efforts, and his collaboration with festival organizers.
“When you work with flowers all the time, it’s generally for a select few to actually be able to enjoy it, so it’s the most gratifying thing to do this and to have people love them…and it’s just there for no other reason but to make you smile,” he said.
Mary Westbrook is the editor in chief of Floral Management.