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Divatex hooks Basso home line

Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, September 23, 2002

With an eye on capturing the moderate to high-end customer base Dennis Basso has built through experience in the fashion and ready-to-wear worlds, Divatex Home Fashions unveiled the full scope of his newest line, Dennis Basso Home.

Designed by Basso exclusively for cable television shopping channel QVC, the line includes top-of-bed, sheets, throws and decorative pillows in a variety of fabrics from around the world pulled together by Divatex's extensive sourcing operations.

Basso is considered one of the United States' premier celebrity fur designers, using both natural and faux furs in his designs. He has appeared on QVC many times over the course of his nine-year relationship with the channel.

Five beds are part of the initial introduction from Divatex, with three using faux fur extensively. The remaining two utilize faux fur as a complement to their cotton jacquard constructions.

The line debuted on QVC on Sept. 20. It is offered to consumers as four separate skus, a sheet set, a comforter set, a set of three decorative pillows, and throws. Price points for a comforter set start at $179 for a queen, while the rest of the collection hovers around $79. Also available are faux fur coverlets from $123 to $271.

Darlene Daggett, QVC president of U.S. commerce, told HTT the higher price points are not a problem to home shoppers.

"We've found that if you can explain the benefits to the customer, then they are more than willing to buy great bedding that's a little more than they would normally spend," Daggett said. She added that it "absolutely makes sense" to offer higher-quality bedding despite the country's economic woes as "customers are more than willing to pay for premium products."

Daggett added that QVC's home textiles business is very strong and is realizing double-digit growth.

Due to the widespread popularity of Basso, said Gregory DeLoia, domestics buyers for QVC, the channel fully expects to log over $300,000 in sales for the initial offering of Basso Home products.

The next installment of Basso beds for market next April already has completed some ensembles, which include sets featuring no fur whatsoever.

According to Avi Gross, president of Divatex, the strength of Basso's name, combined with the signature style of the beds creates a unique opportunity for both parties. Gross is so optimistic about the sell-through of the beds that he told HTT, "I fully expect double-digit growth every year from this collection.

"We're working with Dennis to create a whole home fashion collection," he continued, forecasting different bedding collections for each as well as a collection of basic Dennis Basso sheets that would be high quality and highly embellished.

"Home is just like fashion," Basso said of his latest foray. "It's a natural extension and progression to expand my business and express my idea of what the bedroom should look like."

Basso credited Divatex on its ability to fulfill his vision on the look of the products as well as fully executing the concepts involved. He also feels the collection will grow significantly in time and as he experiments with other constructions.

"I feel my collection is beautiful and luxurious more than cutting-edge," said Basso, who added the line is also "sophisticated and modern with a little bit of the traditional mixed in."

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