• Cecile Corral

Oxford, Wilhelm coordinate on bath collection

Oxford Bath Products and artist and children's book illustrator Hans Wilhelm are teaming up to produce a full collection of coordinating bath products that includes towel ensembles, shower curtains, accessories and bath rugs.

New York-based Alaska Momma Inc., the licensing agent for Wilhelm, and Oxford Bath signed the licensing partnership in January. Oxford Bath's launch is scheduled in October for the New York Home Textiles market, said Mary Schafer, director of design and product development.

Oxford Bath's new Wilhelm design collection will launch with only one design stemming from his Safari Collection, which targets the general market, not juvenile.

"Usually when we pick up someone new of his caliber, we'll start with one design, see how it's received and expand the line accordingly," Schafer said. "He is an extremely creative, intelligent man, and I look forward to working with him."

The Safari Collection was inspired by the 30 years Wilhelm spent living in Africa.

"I've seen a lot of African designs in America but nothing that really captured the true spirit," Wilhelm told HTT .

Schafer said the collection's constructions and price points for the different products have not been finalized. She expects the towels to be 100 percent cotton terry, the rugs 100 percent cotton, the shower curtains 100 percent cotton duck and the accessories to be made of ceramic with either hand-painted or decal designs.

All the products will be imported from Asia, Indonesia, Turkey and elsewhere, Schafer said, with the exception of the shower curtains, which will be made domestically.

Price points are expected to average about $30 for a shower curtain, Schafer added.

Schafer said Oxford will be targeting specialty and department stores with the new collection.

Oxford Bath is Wilhelm's first American home textiles licensee, but his designs have previously been licensed to Kurt Adler for Christmas ornaments and Newlins Mill for posters.

Alaska Momma Inc. told HTT it is looking to expand Wilhelm's home line to produce bedding, accent and area rugs, decorative pillows and other home textiles.

"Hans' work lends itself well to home," said Shirley Henschel, president, Alaska Momma.

Cecile CorralCecile Corral | Senior Product Editor, Home & Textiles Today
ccorral@homeandtextilestoday.com

Cecile B. Corral has been a product editor with Home Textiles Today since late 2000. She covers the area and accent rug, kitchen textiles, table linens, beach towels, decorative bath and decorative pillow categories, as well as some retail subjects.

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