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Next Creations to Produce Charisma

Iconix Brand Group has entered into a long-term license agreement with Next Creations for its Charisma brand to develop fashion bedding and bath products.

The agreement marks Next Creations' debut in the bath area, where “we will bring something unique to the market,” said Michael Vidra, president. “Both the bed and bath will bring added value. We're position the program at 'best and superior' in quality towels.”

After the development and launch of Charisma bed and bath, the company anticipates adding bath to its non-Charisma bedding product.

Vidra said, “We are partnering in towels with Alok of India which has one of the most sophisticated, state-of-the-art mills and work with long-staple cotton and Egyptian cotton.”

The license is for bedding products, coordinating window treatments, towels, rugs, shower curtains and bath accessories with the retail launch in fall 2010. “Charisma will be a significant complement to our line which is more embellished; Charisma is more classic,” Vidra noted.

The Charisma products currently are available at Bloomingdale's and fine specialty stores. Next Creations plans to make the Charisma program available as well to better department stores, catalogs and e-retailers, Vidra commented.

“We are excited to be partnering with Iconix on such a well-respected home brand as Charisma. Charisma is synonymous with luxury bedding and bath and we plan to continue in this tradition,” Vidra added.

“We are pleased to announce this new license agreement with Next Creations and are confident that their expertise in manufacturing and distribution will greatly benefit the Charisma brand,” said Carolyn D'Angelo, vp, brand management home division at Iconix.

D'Angelo added that the arrangement with Costco for Charisma “is a direct retail relationship for some bed and bath with limited skus as well as different quality standards — a different product — for the business model,.”

The Charisma brand license most recently was held by WestPoint Home. The brand originated in the '70s at Fieldcrest, which later became part of Pillowtex. It later was bought by an investor group along with the other Pillowtex brands and later acquired by Iconix.

For fall 2010, Next Creations/Raymond Waites Designs is taking a two pronged approach to its bedding collections — offering a more traditional, decorative look that is updated and less heavy than in the past, as well as a more transitional, more modern look for a younger customer.

“We're doing much more elaborate looks in fashion bedding especially with sewing and details,” said Vidra. “In this segment of the business, we're doing more traditional but updated, more livable and fresh forwards in design.”

In the second segment, “we're looking at more modern, more transitional designs and embellishments. There are some major retailers that can't sell full traditional looks. And even those that can, are looking for looser interpretations, not as detailed, easier.”

For both segments of the business, Vidra noted, “one of our strengths is in the development of embroideries.”

Another interesting point, Vidra noted, “is that we are selling a lot of decorative pillows for the bedding, some three or four to one in relation to the comforter.” And for both the retailers and the company, the pillows provide a high margin edge.

In the more formal side of the business, the company is launching a duvet cover program, a subtle cotton print with understated metallic accents in a range of colors.

In this side of the business, subtle touches of glitter appear either as accents on the bedding or as part of the array of decorative pillows designed for each bed.

In decorative bedding Phillippe is a classic polyester/rayon woven enhanced by jeweled embellished decorative pillows. Austin is a rayon jacquard with an open Jacobean motif, while Lansdale is a cotton sateen print in an open classic motif with metallic gold accents.

On the more casual side of the line, there are four new beds in the Regatta coiollection that debuted last market. Within the casual grouping, there are several embroidered beds, “and one of our strengths is in the development of embroideries,” Vidra remarked.

In the new collection Rialto features piecing with surface interest, a slight sheen and embroidery, while Natalia is a yarn dyed plaid with pleated edging and Gardner highlights the company's approach to a younger look bedding embroidery.

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