Baltic brightens up with Andrea Bernstein

Hires Gunshor to head sales

Retail Editor 3, September 9, 2012

At the New York Market - The forecast for Baltic Linen Co. this market is bright.

The longtime bedding and bath supplier has partnered with also-longtime industry player and artist Andrea Bernstein to bring in the sunshine at the company's showroom during the New York Home Fashions market.

Together, they have created a new collection of vividly-colored, watercolor-like, graphic and contemporary bedding and bath styles that appeal to younger consumers. Bernstein, who owns and operates Millworks LA in Los Angeles, created the patterns and designs for the line.

For Baltic, the new collection "fills a void," president Kevin Kuehl told HTT.

"We are extremely excited to have Andrea and Millworks LA as part of the Baltic assortment," he said. "She brings a fresh and necessary aesthetic to the marketplace that the customer is looking for. Her play on color and design will provide a unique perspective to the retail landscape. And for us, her collection rounds out our assortment."

Baltic already offers a master bedroom collection for more mature shoppers with its Robin Wilson Home program. And for kids, the company carries the Stinky Kids licensed collection.

"Andrea Bernstein positions us in a strategic and competitive place with young generation of shoppers, from older teens through first-home buyers," Kuehl said. "We are now filling that void that Baltic wasn't addressing."

The bedding side of the collection consists of: comforter sets - each including a comforter, two shams and a bed skirt, sheets, and blankets.

The bath components include: bath accessories, bath towel ensembles, and shower curtains.

Also part of the collection is a wide array of decorative pillow styles that can stand alone or coordinate with the bedding patterns.

Fabrications include cotton, cotton blend, and cotton duck for bedding, and cotton terry for the towels.

At $149.99 for a comforter set, the price points target retail customers with the department and specialty stores levels.

In total, there are eight to 12 designs set for launch this month.

Bernstein explained to HTT that all of the designs "are my own paintings. They come from me. I literally paint them by hand. I get my inspiration from walking around my neighborhood in Beverly Hills and seeing the plants and flowers. My aesthetic has always been modern. I am a modern botanical painter. And the designs I use for this new line will never go out of style. [As designs are added over coming seasons], we want to organically increase the color story. Nothing will ever look dated. There will be different looks but they will always match back and never look dated."

For Bernstein, her collection with Baltic represents her foray into home textiles. She said she is looking to expand into other categories with other supplier partners in the near future.

In other company news, Baltic Linens recently hired 35-yeat industry veteran Jeff Gunshor as its new evp of sales. He was formerly with Divatex working in sales.

"We look forward to having his knowledge and expertise on the Baltic team," Kuehl said.

Gunshor officially joins Baltic in September during market week.


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