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Better bedding catches retail buyers' eyes

NEW YORK — Better sheeting and ensembles were seemingly high on retailers' minds during spring market.

Springs Industries, Croscill and Veratex, among others, all garnered attention for their market introductions which included silk dupioni looks, gold-colored thread, crushed voiles, velvets and opulent designs. There's no doubt that the rapidly expanding luxury category has captured both large and small retailers' interests and they are bringing that look to their respective stores throughout the nation.

"Unique," "distinctive," and "exciting" were only a few of the terms used to describe the looks that bedding manufacturers unveiled. Guilford Home Fashions' Jockey Home collection was mentioned by several retailers perhaps for its innovative and original styling.

The well-known designer names of Donna Karan, Laura Ashley, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein also seemed to be high up on retailers' lists, as each presented their signature lines and collections in a variety of higher-end looks, colors and styles.

Innovative designs and product tie-ins for juvenile bedding continue to spark interest as retailers try to tap into a plethora of potential buyers. CHF, Victoria Classics and Dan River were all noticed for their juvenile bedding introductions.

Quilts are back in the spotlight, as several retailers are seemingly favoring the old-fashioned Americana look but with an updated feel and style.

Sue Kelly

vp, linens

ABC Home & Carpet

"I would say that my favorite thing I saw at market was the new Donna Karan collection. I loved all the pieces, all the Essentials. The bedding looked great, the whole package was well merchandised."

Gene Kelley

buyer, soft goods

Belk

"Springs had an exceptional market. They have captured the better bed-in-a-bag business than others. Their style is on target. We liked many of them, especially their Bedroom Solutions collections."

Farley Nachemin

brand president

Domestications

"The kids program at CHF was really great; they've done an outstanding job at carving out that niche. Dan River also did a great job with the licensed product for kids. Guilford's Jockey bedding is pretty terrific, and Springs Custom Design had very clever ideas for sheets for sofa beds, etc."

Larry Zweigbaum

buyer

Fabricland

"Croscill had a very nice clean line. Veratex had a very nice line. They were more diversified than usual. It was a nice change from the neutrals and the mochas. We liked two or three bedding patterns from Sheridan Australia. Panorama had a nice tapestry coverlet that we'll probably pick up."

Maureen Ciacco

buyer, bath, kitchen and floor coverings

Fingerhut

"Victoria Classics had very unique looks for bedding, bath, window and especially juvenile."

Jim Whitehead

vp

HomePlace

"Sleep Innovations' better bed in a bag and Zucchi styles were exciting. Croscill looks good as always. Veratex has moved way past chenilles into more glitz, which was good, and Springs was strong."

Steve McKeever

senior buyer/bedding

JCPenney

"We were impressed with the continuing impact and growth of bright color, especially at Dan River with the Di Lewis items and Springs' bed in a bag. Quilts are coming back as a fashionable alternative for top of the bed. We like the trading up generally and the addition of embroidery like the quilts at Revman in Laura Ashley and the quilts at Peking Handicraft and Pem America. The continuing expansion of luxury as seen at Croscill and Veratex with velvets and crushed voiles moving beyond chenilles. Cottage is back and was strong in Revman's Laura Ashley collection."

Julian Tomchin

senior vp

Macy's West

"Without question, the major designers: Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger.

Burlington looked really wonderful with a red silk duppioni look and a green damask with gold. American Pacific's quilt/bedding in a bag was good, and Sunham's embroidery was outstanding. Pillowtex used real hemstitching on Charisma."

Mark Grand

vp, home fashions/floor coverings

Sears

"Veratex and Croscill both had some great stuff, Avi [Cohen] just takes another step forward in styling. Guilford's Jockey Home Collection also was exciting. And we made progress with WestPoint Stevens on our private brand Colormate program."

Thom D'Addario

buyer/manager

The Linen Store

"Holly Linens had some wonderful new things. Croscill has some excellent patterns. I think they were called Windsor, Old World and Masquerade. All of them were beautiful. Lawrence Home had La Scala and English Rose. Both of those were beautiful, too. Springs Wamsutta has a new Soiree collection. Gabriella, one of the beds in Soiree, was just outstanding. It's top of the line. It sets a tone and a look. It really was special. Columbine Cody always has some new exciting patterns, too [and] a couple of new matelasses that were really with it. Peacock Alley always has nice stuff. A paisley print bed covering was magnificent."

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