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Claire de la Lune eyes U.S. children

Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, November 4, 2002

The juvenile bedding collection of Claire de la Lune is crossing the border as the Canadian company introduced its wares to the U.S. market as a newcomer at the recent New York Home Textiles Show.

Danielle Arbour, the company's designer, and her sister, Lisette Veall, who handles production, currently sell to upscale boutiques in Canada such as Kids at Home and feel that the line of whimsical designs are an appropriate fit for American rooms as well.

Inspired by mermaids, peacocks, cowboys, robots, and other fun characters, Arbour translates the looks into fanciful patterns for the bed.

"We try to make it childlike but not too babyish," Arbour said.

The designs also have to pass muster from the company's focus group, Arbour's five nieces and nephews, ranging in age from 7 to 13.

The made-in-Canada collection currently contains eight designs, including Canadian Tails, a woodland creature pattern that was the company's first, and On the Millpond, a marsh menagerie colored in greens. The two patterns popularity is due to their unisex designs, said Arbour.

Inspired by the outdoors, Camp Maplewood is another offering in a khaki-colored style, decorated with embroidered badges depicting camp activities. The duvet comes with zippered side pockets. Arbour added that the boys' patterns seem to be more popular, "because it's harder to find nice boys' things than nice [things for] girls."

Other styles include Siren's Song, of a little mermaid; the Wild West-inspired Campfire Round-up; Enchanted Dreams, which is a depiction of a cat; Paisley Peacock; and, for space nuts, Astronods.

More than sheets are offered in a pattern, however, for total room coordination. Each pattern has matching accessories, which can include shaped and square pillows, wall art, toy chests, lamps and wall borders.

The collection targets infants and kids up to 14 years old, she said, though she added that some enthusiasts, such as Star Trek fans, like the Astronods sheets, regardless of age.

Made of 220-count cotton, the bedding is available in twin and full sizes, as well as crib sets, which include a fitted sheet, a duvet cover, a skirt, a breakfast pillow and a fill bumper. A full sheet wholesales for $30, while a crib set goes for $120.

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