What a night in Atlanta!
April Cornell fashion and home designer of colorful and artistic apparel and home furnishings, was honored with an ICON Honors Lifetime Achievement award. ICON Honors are awarded to individuals and companies of distinction who have impacted the gift and home industry. Icon Honors is the signature event of The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®. The gift and home Industry’s most celebrated recognition was presented by Arianna Huffington, the keynote speaker at the event.
April Cornell is known for her signature prints and whimsical, joyful, and romantic style and has been a designer presence in the retail world since the 1970’s. Boasting hundreds of vintage inspired prints designed from her own watercolors and works of art April Cornell was recognized for her contribution as a creative entrepreneur with a knack for niche markets and a special attention to the retail experience. She has always had a global outlook with deep roots in India, where she owns her own factory, and retail and wholesale markets in both USA and Canada.
She sites her love of nature, love of color, affinity for beauty and desire to make women’s lives more joyful as a driving force for her design. She often speaks of customer’s as kindred spirits with creative hearts. She is known for her philosophy of ‘finding beauty in the everyday.’
April, like a poet, sensitively capture’s nature’s many moods and splendid colors with strokes of a paintbrush. April’s travels throughout the world, particularly, India where she does charitable work, has also given a unique her craft unique flavors. Throughout the years I have admired her, timeless ever evolving, unformulaic brand signature which is why I licensed her work years ago at Silvestri and continue to collaborate with her now. This award is well deserved recognizing April’s innate ability to translate her love of nature into a recognizable feminine lifestyle brand with an ever -growing populace of customers worldwide.
For more than 40 years she has pursued a love of beauty.
Her early start in the business in her 20s began while following the ancient silk route of Central Asia, with the culmination of her travels centering in Afghanistan. Heavily embellished nomadic dresses in colorful Russian chintzes, hand woven antique kelims and old Turkoman jewelry set in motion her love of color, décor, craft and the rich variety of design detail including both the exotic and the simple.
Starting in Montreal Canada in 1975 with one upstairs shop, she grew her company to over a 100 retail stores in the USA and Canada. Celebrating, a complexly beautiful, romantic, feminine and artistic brand, with a hallmark of inclusiveness for women and children of all ages.
In 1992 April Cornell opened the first 100% foreign owned company in New Delhi. Since then her woman owned and woman run company has produced a quality product in a socially compliant environment to a world class standard. She considers the many skilled employees who have created her product as key contributors to her success. Today her factory manufactures for many worthy companies around the globe.
Working in Asia for so many years has developed a thankfulness towards the world, and especially India. She has created a foundation called The Giving World Foundation. April Cornell contributes with every item she manufactures to the betterment of women and children in India. Her philosophy of giving a hand up, not a handout is at the heart of the April Cornell business.
In 2006 the company stumbled and restructured. April stayed in and fought for the company, and successfully brought it back to where it is today with key employees and family members.
Today the company boasts a vibrant online business, a licensing division and a wholesale business as well as 6 retail shops in both USA and Canada.
Her factory, with its deep pink façade continues to make beautiful product.
Her birthplace of Montreal Canada added a french flair and fashion insights, and her love of nature, influenced her development of her own unique prints and color combinations. April Cornell is truly an artist’s brand.
April’s sons and family members continue to contribute their passion and talent to the ongoing April Cornell story.
ICON Honors Celebrates Global Innovation in the Home and Gift Industry and recognizes supreme achievement across a wide spectrum of accomplishments.
Honors were conferred upon those in the industry who turned their dreams into reality – those who achieve success through ingenuity, integrity, creativity, energy and hard work.
ICON Honors award recognizes individuals and companies of distinction and is presented by AmericasMart, Progressive Media, and The Gift and Home Trade Association.