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Homestead Takes Lifestyle Approach

Homestead moved beyond textiles to present a total home scenario this month: an assortment of some 1,000 skus that includes tabletop, lamps, occasional furniture, décor pieces, storage, floor coverings and other small hard home categories as well a range of home textiles.

Homestead usually presents a stable of micro-brands in home textiles — either up-trending but under-the-radar lifestyle impresarios (such as organic oracle Mary Jane Butters) or sub-brands of upmarket labels (such as Peacock Alley and Nancy Koltes).

At this month's New York Home Fashions Market however, Homestead placed its bet on one micro-brand: fashion designer Rebecca Moses, a New Yorker who resides in Italy and specializes in the contemporary confluences between both sides of The Pond.

The point is to emphasize Homestead's scope now that it is a division of international trading firm Li & Fung, which acquired Homestead in late 2006 and has a long history in sourcing a wide variety of consumer goods.

"Li & Fung is an awesome power," said David Greenstein, president of Homestead. "It gives us a lot of flexibility in sourcing, so we're not stuck in a country that's gotten expensive or gotten difficult."

At market, Homestead set up a series of Rebecca Moses lifestyle rooms — master bedroom, children's room, bathroom, living room, foyer and garden — cross-merchandising hard and soft home pieces appropriate to each.

"We can do what lifestyle specialty stores do for themselves, but for the traditional retail base," said Greenstein.