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COLOR, INNOVATION BREAK OUT AT N.Y. MARKET.

NEW YORK-Some products stood out at the week-long home textiles market here: Some for their innovative designs, some for their packaging, some for adding value and others for their tech-savvy benefits.

Try selling a curtain panel with a matching decorative pillow cover, Richloom Home Fashions told retailers. And what about Veratex's adjustable bedskirt?

New constructions in bath towels -- from zero twist to low twist to WestPoint Stevens' Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton Fusion towel -- were evident at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and at the permanent showrooms. Different fabrications used in apparel and furniture were seen in the bedding collections of brands making their debut, such as Liz Claiborne and Jonathan Adler.

Vendors knew retailers were coming with tight purses. But despite the war and the health concerns in Asia, many agreed it was a good market.

WestPoint Stevens Shows Its Color

The color in WestPoint Stevens' showroom was found in its innovative towels and bedding products, as well as new initiatives in shower curtains, bath accessories and decorative pillows. It is the first time the mill is tapping the adult market for its bath shop, though it has always included a complete bath ensemble in its Disney line.

The new bath towels were not the usual stuff of which towels are made. One, called Fusion, had Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton combined; another had an anti-microbial finish; and a third with a low-twist construction sported a shaggy look. In fashion bedding, WestPoint presented a Reversible Bed-in-a-Bag. Everything reverses except the bedskirt. In basic bedding, there was a down comforter that considers the comfort level of bed partners.

Donna Karan's Line Extensions

Donna Karan's new showroom displayed an array of decorative pillows and throws, a prelude to what the designer brand, now under license to CHF, plans to do in the near future. Other product categories the company wants to offer are beach towels, home fragrance products and table linens. Color-blocking and linear designs were evident in some of the bedding ensemble introductions. One ensemble called Satin Kimono was a mix of texture and geometry. Luxury silks configured in black and ivory with bold architectural shapes and lines were layered in black, ivory and ruby.

Susan Sargent's Decorative Pillows

The much-awaited Susan Sargent collection from Mohawk Home offered 30 decorative pillows to complement the rug assortment. The pillow fabrics were taken from Sargent's Robert Allen fabric line, and include both printed fabrics and appliques. Available in two colorways, Spice and Bright, the pillows range from $24.99 for fabric with trim to $34.99 for applique.

Jonathan Adler Gets In Bedding

Jonathan Adler did what he said he was going to do. The soft launch of his bedding ensemble line was urbane, youngish, modern and not frilly. One bed set up by licensee Keeco showed a printed duvet in cotton canvas with narrow and bold lines in Adler's favorite colors. The duvet, faux-suede decorative pillows and other offerings are targeted to better department stores and specialty stores. A queen-size duvet or comforter has a suggested retail price range of $99 to $129.

CHF Industries Extends Peri to Hardware

Capitalizing on the success of its Peri soft window offerings, CHF Industries extended the Peri line to decorative window hardware this market. Four groups of curtain rods and finials, in classical, vintage, global and contemporary themes, are available in three expandable lengths, for retail from $19.99 to $29.99. Cafe rods are also offered. The rods are in resealable see-through packaging that includes rod and brackets. Clips are sold separately.

Park B. Smith Unveils Magic Blinds

Park B. Smith has added another item to its lineup: Magic Blind. What's magic is that it requires no hanging hardware or installation. Similar to Magic Pleats, introduced last market, Magic Blind is a one-piece, adjustable fabric blind with rod pocket top that can hang from any curtain rod. It's available in a variety of constructions, including velvets, faux silk, faux suede, satin dobby weaves, damask looks, solid chenille and a rib corduroy look, and at least five colors. It will retail for $59.99 for most fabric constructions, but may reach $79.99.

S. Lichtenberg Opens Bath Showroom

S. Lichtenberg has added a second showroom to house its new line of freestanding decorative shower curtains. Adjacent to its main showroom at 295 Fifth Ave., the bath space is merchandised by fabric, and has some crossover with Lichtenberg's soft window line. Natural bamboo printed suedes, waffle weaves with satin ribbon embroidery, laser-cut brown ultra-suede with cotton duck center, vintage crochets, voiles, romantic sheers and puckers are just some highlights from the line, which spans from promotional to upper-end.

Creative Bath Reveals Echo Line

Echo's scarf designs made their way into bath this spring. Creative Bath launched four licensed collections of bath accessories, shower curtains, embellished towels and bath rugs. One collection, Dancing in the Streets, features a black-and-white whimsical cartoon of scenes from cities around the world. The accessories are made of ceramic and the shower hooks look like jet-black beads from the 1920s. Also showing at Creative Bath were new Joseph Abboud bath products, such as Tango, a set of accessories made of milk glass with a black resin base. The shower curtain features a black sheer horizontal hombre pattern.

Saturday Knight Launches Jenny and Jeff Bath

Designer duo Jenny and Jeff launched Make Waves, a new bath collection, with Saturday Knight Ltd. Make Waves is a fish and floral pattern in soft shades of blue, green and purple. The collection includes hand-painted ceramic accessories, a shower curtain, embroidered towels with a Rick Rack trim, decorative fish shapes with suction cups that function as wall art, hooks, and a fishshaped rug available in cotton and acrylic. Jenny and Jeff signed a license with Saturday Knight in January. The designers were previously in a licensing agreement with Oxford Bath & Home.

Barth & Dreyfuss Introduces Warhol Table Linens

At its new showroom in 261 Fifth Ave, Barth & Dreyfuss unveiled its line of Andy Warhol-licensed table linens. The four patterns feature illustrations taken from the Warhol archives. Julie features butterflies; Sam features cats; Luxe is a Warhol floral pattern; and American Supermarket is a retro black, white and red story with images based on Warhol's well-known soup can. The four patterns are available in full kitchen and table linen collections, and include kitchen towels, oven mitts, tablecloths, placemats and napkins, among other items. According to Tom Orr, senior vice president of merchandising for Barth & Dreyfuss, the table linens will be targeted to better specialty and department stores.

Raymond Waites Table Linens Make Debut at Avon Fashions

Avon Fashions has introduced around 500 SKUs as part of its Raymond Waites license. The kitchen and table linens, which feature prints, plaids and solids, include kitchen towels, aprons, placemats, and vinyl-coated and yarn-dyed tablecloths, among other items. There are also tablecloths with rich prints on damasks, placemats with treatments such as braided cord and skirted suede edgings, placemats that reverse to leopard prints, napkin rings and ties, and cork-backed placemats. According to Chris Mooney, vice president of marketing and design for Avon, the line will be targeted to specialty and department stores.

Springs Offers Royalty Line, New Towel Program

The five-bedroom house that Springs built for its Wamsutta brand was all about the French luxury of the Court of Versailles: elegant and detailed without being overly ornate. Silk, velvet, linen and cotton were among the fabrics evident in the bedding ensembles, which also featured scallop embroidery, hemstitch, double hemstitch and vermicelli stitch. Duvets, quilts, coverlets, sheets and other bedding accessories were complemented with window curtains and area rugs, plus a full line of bath products.

Four bedding ensembles for adults and one for baby were set up by Springs. Sheeting constructions for the adult bedding were either in 220-thread-count cotton/linen blend for $69.99 queen size or 500-thread-count cotton sateen for $89.99, also queen size. The sheets are to be sold open stock and come in 14 colors. A 27-inch-by-52-inch size towel, in cotton/rayon construction, has a retail price of $12.99.

Also new for Springs' Wamsutta bath is a Supima solid-color towel program. The 30-inch-by-56-inch towel comes in 12 colors and has a retail price of $15.99.

Ron Chereskin Gives It Another Go With Bedding Ensembles

Ron Chereskin and Britannica Home Fashions, its licensee in bedding, stayed away from the jacquards and made a statement on pieced fabrics with a lot of menswear details. Corduroy, velvet and chenille were used in combination with stripes, plaids, checks and paisley.

"This is a whole generation of bedding. It is a learning curve for me," said the designer of the six new bedding ensembles that he describes as urban comfort and definitely menswear. This is the second time Chereskin has tried his hand at bedding; the launch last fall was not up to the expectation of buyers.

Joseph Abboud's New Towels

Joseph Abboud Environment's five collections of solid-color towels shown for the first time this market come with stylish contemporary details using different type of constructions. Licensee partner Canning Vale Weaving Mills Ltd., an Australian manufacturer, features cable, rib, squares and chevron details in the towels that come in 10 colors. One collection is of zero-twist construction that aims to give the towel a soft touch.

In bedding, Divatex, the designer brand's supplier, showed a variety of fabrics, such as silk, viscose, cotton and faux leather to interpret a contemporary lifestyle. Among the six bedding ensembles is Palomino, a pony-skin-inspired coverlet trimmed in whip-stitched leather, coupled with honey and chocolate herringbone sheets. Three new quilts that complement the ensembles are also being offered. A full- and queen-size quilt will retail for $179 to $199.

Tommy Hilfiger Offers Spa-Inspired Towels

Under its Home Crest Collection, Tommy Hilfiger introduced its spa-inspired silk, cotton and modal solid-color towels. The 30-by-54-inch towels, which come in nine colorways, will retail for $19.99. The company said the silk content gives the towels an elegant luster and vibrant color quality, while the natural modal fibers keep it thick and thirsty.

In bedding, the designer brand is building on its 400-thread-count cotton sateen sheets by adding lace details. Tommy also introduced three corduroy duvets with felled seams and leather patches. The corduroy was also in shower curtains. Bath accessories were corduroy-inspired and styled to portray a woven leather look.
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Author:Leizens, Leticia; Honores, Crystal; Meyer, Nancy; Webb, Carla; Goldbogen, Jessica
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 7, 2003
Words:1724
Previous Article:ALL WINNERS HERE; HFPA AND THE NEW YORK HOME TEXTILES SHOW HONOR THE INDUSTRY'S TOP RETAILERS.
Next Article:CLAIBORNE SHOWS FEMININE SIDE IN LINE.
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