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WPS aims higher with Disney Home

Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, October 15, 2001

AT THE NEW YORK MARKET — WestPoint Stevens revealed the next stage for its Disney Home licensed collection this market, unveiling a complete line of products for the bedroom and bathroom designed specifically for the department and specialty store level.

The West Point, GA-based mill had introduced its first Disney collection last spring, which was aimed at the mass market level.

Like the initial offering, the second step will focus on four different character groups: Buzz Lightyear, Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and Disney Princesses.

"This gives stores a real reason to effectively compete in this business," said Kathleen Cwirko, senior vp of marketing services. "This will set them apart and satisfy the already demanding needs of their customers."

The new bedding will feature solid-color "mouse ear" sheet sets with 250-count cotton jacquard construction in eight colors: Buzz blue, Mickey pants red, watermelon, thistle, lemonade, summer green, lazy day blue and white. Each of the new top-of-bed ensembles will tie in with at least two of the solid-color sheet offerings.

Comforters will be constructed from a 70/30 cotton blend with a 120-count and with wide-width panel prints. Printed sheet sets will be done with a 180-count, blended construction.

Rounding out the higher-level introduction, and taking advantage of one of the market's biggest trends, coordinating quilts will be offered in 100 percent cotton and with a good-better-best strategy. Many of the quilts are pieced and offered with dressmaker details, such as bows or outline stitching.

"It's a complete line, top to bottom," said Steven Hoffman, vp of licenses. "There's something for everyone, not just kids."

For the first time, Disney Home towels join its sister products. Eight solid-color jacquard "mouse ear" towels with double jacquard, fiber reactive or conventional jacquard designs are offered. Full-size bath towels, hand towels, washcloths and bath mitts make up the assortment.

WestPoint also unveiled a complete bathroom accessory line. Five-piece sets made from plastic are offered as well as four-piece soft vinyl sets. Stand-alone products include soap dishes, drinking cups, toothbrush holders and soap pumps as well as a complete shower curtain line. A gel pack Mickey shower curtain is among the key offerings while three four-color curtains, three vinyl and three fabric, are among the mix. Four different sets of novelty shower curtain rings, offered separately, complete the look.

For parents with the time, money and inclination, Disney Home accent rugs round out the introductions. Double-sided shag, cotton loop and chenille are all offered in various shapes, while some also feature sculpted stitching.

In conjunction with the department and specialty store focus, new packaging has also been developed. Character ensembles will continue to be color coded, but the tones will be subtler and stronger in keeping with the higher level of retail. Details of the product will be done in white, knock-out type.

"It's all offered under one roof," said Cwirko, "and retailers want that coordination. Every category is available from us. It's a true one-stop shop."

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