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Abboud inks new agreements

Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, September 16, 2002

New York — As a result of its manufacturing partner for bedding shutting its doors last year, Joseph Abboud comes to October market with a new bedding agreement in place with Divatex Home Fashions.

In addition to the licensing partnership with Divatex, which will manufacture, distribute and sell the Joseph Abboud Environments line for bedding, Abboud also announced a new partnership with Creative Home Furnishings Inc. for the manufacture, distribution and sale of Joseph Abboud Environments decorative pillows.

"We are very excited about this new partnership," said Avi Gross, president of Divatex. "The strengths that the two companies offer create the perfect partnership. The Abboud signature is all about subtle contrast and attention to detail with many different elements of fabrics used to complete the look."

Maria Vacari, vp of licensing for Abboud, echoed Gross' statements, adding that Divatex brings its "incredible sourcing, developmental, distribution and marketing capabilities to the table." In return, Abboud offers Divatex its design elements, signature and well-known look and its own marketing expertise.

"Together, our two companies can make a lot of noise," Vacari said.

The line is expected to be on retail shelves by spring 2003.

The Divatex license includes top-of-bed, sheets, coordinating accessories and throws. The sheets have undergone a slight upgrade from 380-count cotton to 400-count pima cotton with a palette of 14 colors offered in open stock. According to Rich Yanowitz, vp of Divatex, a variety of fabrics sourced from around the world make up the constructions for top-of-bed, so much so that one bed may contain product from as many as five countries. Wool, silk, micro-suede, jacquard cotton, linen blends, silk blends and dobby cotton, Yanowitz said, are all scheduled to make their appearance in some fashion.

There is also the possibility, Yanowitz said, of new yarn-dyed flannels and heathered jersey sheets, both of which would represent Abboud's first usage of either material.

In order to accommodate the Abboud line, Yanowitz announced an expansion of Divatex's showroom space at 295 Fifth Ave. According to Yanowitz, Divatex has leased the 1,500 square feet space next door and dedicated it solely to Abboud. Keeping in character with the design statement presented by Abboud, a team of its architects designed and remodeled the space, which includes the eight-bed assortment offered by Divatex for the October market.

The line continues to be geared toward department and specialty stores with retail prices ranging for a full/queen duvet from roughly $200 to $400.

The agreement for decorative pillows is the second with Creative Home Furnishings, Inc. Abboud already has a license with Creative's sister company Creative Bath Products for a line of bath accessories.

"We are enormously pleased with our ongoing relationship with Creative Bath," Vacari said. "We look forward to equal success in our collaboration with the team at Creative Home Furnishings."

But, said Vacari and Traci Young, vp of marketing, public relations and creative services, Abboud is looking to further increase its presence at the retail level. Agreements for a furniture and broadloom license are also in the works. In addition, the Joseph Abboud retail operation, encompassing 7,000 square feet of apparel and home-related products, will open in the Columbus Circle area here sometime in August 2003.

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