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Standard Textile’s Joshua Frankel on Trends, Legacy and the Future

CINCINNATI—At Standard Textile, it’s a family affair with quite a legacy. Joshua Frankel’s tenure at the company began when he was a 15-year-old intern. He’s a fourth-generation family member to work at Standard Textile—his great-grandmother was the first seamstress for the company. Today, Frankel serves as VP of business strategy and operations in the interiors group.

“I have always been proud of my history with Standard Textile, because the company holds a unique heritage, deep expertise and long-standing passion for the textile industry,” said Frankel. “I’ve held many roles within the business, including being a hospitality sales consultant, and came into my current role based on my success and understanding of the interiors market in the Boston region.” 

Frankel was drawn to this industry because he likes the process of continuing to learn and evolve. In hospitality, change is constant and the elements of design must evolve along with it.

“I enjoy the challenge of coming up with something new and innovative and fresh. Hospitality is not a market that stands still for very long. There’s something exciting happening almost every day,” he said. “To maintain relevancy with our customers, we must create and adjust to meet their needs. It’s always interesting. At Standard Textile, we believe everyday experiences should be extraordinary experiences. That’s why we’re passionate about creating innovative textiles and services that provide people around the world a healthier, more gratifying and more inspiring life.” 

In a Q&A with Hotel Business Design, Frankel shares his textile know-how and what’s coming next for Standard Textile.

What are some of your proudest achievements at Standard Textile?

I’m proud of our growth, particularly how we’re growing with brands on a larger scale. It is a significant achievement that we can provide truly one-stop, turnkey solutions for our customers, which puts us in a unique position within the marketplace.

We’re coming out with innovative and intriguing new products—everything from custom-printed roller shades to crossover fabrics that are different from what else is available today. I’ve witnessed the evolution of the hospitality marketplace in recent years in moving toward interesting, unique guest experiences, and we’ve been able to not only evolve with it, but also have been at the forefront of the changes.

One example is our Circa product, which came from a desire to provide hoteliers an affordable option for modernizing guestrooms. We created Circa as a solution that gives the illusion of a high-end platform bed, without the expense.

Tatami Fit is another example of innovating for our customers. Designed as a modern alternative to a bed skirt and boxspring cover, Tatami installs in minutes without the need to lift a heavy mattress. Its one-piece design is constructed of sustainable bamboo that provides a clean, structured, stay-put fit around the box spring and bed frame. Rich fabric provides the finishing touch.

What’s the roadmap for the future of Standard Textile?

Our goal is to continue to provide new, exciting, innovative products to become an industry disrupter. We’ll continue to go back to the marketplace and solve problems driven by thoughtful questions: What’s the next great thing we can provide to impact the guest experience and create something new and fresh?

We’re going to continue developing and showing new things that no one else is really thinking about today, as well as providing services and capabilities that others aren’t able to offer.

Let’s talk new product. What is the inspiration behind the brand’s newest collections?

Inspired by the sophisticated pop of color on a necktie or pocket square, the new Meg Fiora Fabric Collection for Standard Textile provides bold designs as well as more subtle, classic elements for drapery and top-of-bed projects.

Our current vibrant and colorful collections evoke surprise and excitement. They offer both high-end style and a luxurious hand at affordable prices. We are also introducing a more extensive line of multipurpose/multiuse fabrics for the hospitality industry.

Designers have a plethora of options when it comes to textiles. What should a designer look for when shopping for textiles? 

Understanding the long-term implications of the fabrics you’re using in terms of longevity, quality, and originality is important. All of our fabrics undergo extensive institutional testing. And because we manufacture the final product, we have a unique perspective on the fabrics we offer. When our team is selecting and offering new fabrics, we have a full-circle view and approach to the finished products due to our intimate relationship with our manufacturing team. 

What are some tips on picking the right textile for hospitality?

Knowing the application is absolutely key—and understanding the expectations of the hotel guest. Those two factors impact what ultimately becomes the right textile choice for your project. 

How does Standard Textile work with designers?

We work in sync with designers, because we’re right there, constantly searching for trends in the marketplace. Designers can be confident that we’re putting out fabrics that are on-trend based on a tremendous amount of research and experience in the marketplace. As a global company with operations around the world, we are able to offer fabrics designed specifically for contract that are diverse and original. All of our fabrics are tested to ACT standards. 

What’s trending in textiles for hospitality? Darker, moody hues seem to be popular in terms of paint colors. Is there a similar trend toward darker colors, or bold patterns in textiles, or what are hotel designers looking for?

The thing is, everyone wants to have their own unique look, so we see a great deal of variety across the board. We still see textiles trending toward neutrals, white and clean.

Heavy texture is a consistent trend in seating fabrics. We see texture rather than color as a predominant trend in hospitality. Color trends can vary depending on region, type of property and target guest. 

The challenge for hotel designers is how to remain relevant in a disruptive world—a world where aesthetics and design are becoming increasingly more important and sophisticated.

We believe that the hotel environment is the primary driver of guest satisfaction and are working with designers who wish to surprise, connect and often humor guests with unique design features that create memorable experiences.