Plenty of Options at Market
April 25, 2005,
Interesting new fabrications and details, competitive price points and strong uses of color were among the impressions retail buyers took away from the recently held New York Home Textiles Market.
“Market was fantastic for Anna's. I saw a tremendous amount of innovation from a lot of the decorative pillow suppliers. The heavily embellished looks are coming into our price points, making what used to be department store-only looks available to our customers at prices they can afford. Brentwood and American Dawn really stood out for innovation and styling this go round.
“In tabletop, Elrene looked amazing with their terrific design, and Fallani and Cohn showed some new fabrications at competitive price points. Natco continues to be a competitive resource for fabrication coming from China.
“Area rugs are showing a renaissance at Anna's, and Natco, Mohawk and YMF had great new looks. The imports are amazing in their value quotient between price and quality.
“Madison Industries continues to be innovative with new furniture coverings in both the fitted and throw categories. They have gone in to some great new fabrications.”
Bloomingdale's New York
Joe Laneve, senior vice president, home
“Donna Karan's DKNY was one of the strongest it has offered. Pure was exciting, and the solid color program was strong — and there were some great beds throughout.
“Sigrid Olsen from W-C was young and fresh, and we're launching it in July. Kim Parker at CHF was terrific and Court of Versailles for Bloomingdale's from Springs was very strong.
“The new Charisma at WestPoint Stevens brought a fresh look to luxury, and Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein had a couple of strong beds.”
Ann Hinrichs, buyer, domestics
“Brights sell all year round. We have to get them into our department. It's nice to have something colorful to get the customer's attention.”
Jayme Janin, home division trend and product coordinator
“I think probably one of the most outstanding presentations was at Oriental Weavers. Its new patterns and color direction was great. It offered contemporary and transitional 'Anthropologie-type' looks for that growing 20-something customer. It had fabulous prints, geometrics, stripes – just great design.
“1888 Mills had an excellent new presentation of bath towels in both color and design. It was very good.
“I didn't see anything dramatically different in bedding at market.
“Foreston Trend continues to do a good job in terms of color direction for basic programs.
“And Newport looked fabulous. Its color stories, fabrications and details are excellent.”
Terry Handelman, interactive marketing and eBusiness product merchant
“I thought the technological advancements made in the Disney category at WestPoint Stevens were incredible.
“Also, the colors and lines at CHF and Waverly were superb. They were livable and fun and more contemporary and transitional, which are looks that are growing in importance.”
Steve McKeever, senior buyer, decorative bedding
“I really liked the way both Springs and WestPoint Stevens showed the trend themes — it was pretty cool and leading edge.
“There was a tremendous amount of apparel fabrics and treatments shown in home, getting away from chenille and jacquards for top-of-bed — sheers, brighter colors, microsuede, embroideries as an example. And it was interesting that as the top-of-bed became cleaner, the sheets were more embellished with embroidery and other techniques. Pem America, Hollander and Victoria Classics were the leaders in this area.”
Charlene Robnett, window coverings buyer
“Overall, the window area was a bit cleaner, less embellished, less fringe. It was more casual — trend-right. Linen was huge as well as silks and faux silks. We saw more grommets than ever. In color, brights are still important, but aqua, turquoise and citron (a let-down from lime) are growing.
“Among the standouts were Ellery's Versa Panelk, reversible panels from many vendors, Lichtenberg's double valance top treatments that are softer, tailored and its Louise Lace is a new interpretation of lace. Park Smith's Raincoat collection was important.”
Gary Nickolie, floor coverings buyer
“Generally, I thought there were an awful lot of updated looks and more contemporary designs and colors all over the place in area and accent rugs and doormats.
“Also interesting is the increase in raw material prices causing some domestically made products to be more expensive, but at the same time the imported product is going down (in price), like cottons and acrylics.
“There's been clearly an increase in petroleum prices and there has been an impact on fiber makers and consequently on the tufters. They've resisted price increases, but you see it in some product quotes. Prices generally are going up.
“Domestically made rugs are still a very big part of my business. My customers like machine-washable, latex-backed synthetic rugs.
“In terms of specific companies, Park B. Smith always has had very good color direction, and that is still the case. The company continues to be very good at that.
“Maples' product for fall was very well conceived with new color and design. Even though its business is a little more basic than others, Maples had a good new direction and focus.
“Shaw's shag program included a lot of variety.
“Nourison always updates its wall with new versions of its rugs, especially its kitchen-related rugs, and it had some new coffee, bistro and rooster looks. Roosters are still the top looks for us in kitchen (rugs).
“Lacey had a new space-dyed stripe program that was interesting and had good fashion-forward looking colors. It also had a good leather program, even though I don't know about the future of the leather accent rugs business.
“Bacova had a new direction on its heat-transfer prints, which were very strong — some new base fabrics it is printing on. Also, Bacova had a very fashionable wool accent and area rug program that was very nice and well designed.
“Natco offered some pretty exciting things. We were impressed with the breadth of what they offer. And it is very competitive in terms of pricing.”
Lisa Street, vice president of merchandising
“Good fashion bedding is harder to find, but those that had it really did a good job. A variety of styles were shown at market from florals to moderns to a lot of tropical looks we call fantasy prints, similar to ready-to-wear with bright colors and various flora and fauna prints. Also saw a lot of people getting into the high thread-count sheeting business, which is getting more competitively priced.
“One of our newer vendors we haven't looked at in a while, CHF, had some interesting fashion bedding in its Hippie Chick and Kim Parker lines.
“Calvin Klein's Laharia and Marwari looked good.
“Ralph Lauren is getting back to its traditional roots, which we really like.
“Waverly looked great. They are transitioning to a more modern, colorful look while retaining their signature style. We really liked the Metropolitan collection, Quadrants and Seaside Lilly.
“Bay Linens had a wide variety with a lot of colors and modern prints.
“Thomasville looked good. They had several beds that covered a wide variety of looks.
“Oscar de la Renta at Rose Tree was very interesting, colorful and very Oscar.
“Liz Claiborne looked good with some Shabby Chic floral looks plus coordinating bedspreads and quilts, so the customer has the ability to layer in whatever pieces they like and make the bed as they choose. We also liked Fashion on Fifth.
“Sure Fit looked good with some new styles that were higher end and not so mass market. The designs offered custom slipcover looks that can accommodate various numbers of cushions for a new fit.”
Saks Department Store Group
Bruce Morel, vice president, product development/textiles and housewares
“I thought Larry Queen's new company, QA, had some phenomenal bedding. Its pricing and styling was right on. It's good to see Larry Queen back in the bedding business again. He also had some nice sheets programs with a superior hand on a new finish — Bio-Finish — that is really something special.
“Baltic always looks good. Its Wardrobe collection is always fresh. Jane (Berger, vice president, bedding design) does a great job in styling.
“I thought things at Veratex looked great, especially the way they did the showroom with the moving boxes — very unique. The moving theme was well done. It showed the merchandise well and had a nice feel, knowing it was a temporary presentation.
“Universal Home had some really sharp looks and great pricing for top-of-the-bed.
“Dan River's Aviva Stanoff collection was phenomenal. It had a great, fresh look, well done styling and affordable pricing.
“In the bath world, Bianca had some beautiful jacquard towels.”