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Licensed designs take center stage

Licensed art and properties make a bold statement in the bath arena this market. Whether of a little-known artist or a recognizable icon, more manufacturers feel licensed art is a strong way to distinguish their lines at market.

Bacova will bow the work of Albena Hrivstova in its bath line. Represented in the permanent collection of the National Art Gallery in Sofia, Bulgaria, Hrivstova is an oil painter who uses texture and metallic paint to embellish her work. The ceramic bath accessories will feature decal work that highlights the artist's attention to detail. The shower curtains, bath mats and towels will all be heat-transfer printed.

Ex-Cell Home Fashions will debut the lines of several artists who have already developed other home programs. Paul Brent, Pierre Matisse, Christian Lassen and Sarah Frederking will all show lines that have been merchandised into categories for department/specialty stores or mass market.

Menswear designer Ron Chereskin will bring his look to the home as part of Mohawk Home's new licensed collection of bath rugs.

For beach towels, Home Based Creations will add two new properties. The art of Anne Ormsby will be available on fiber-reactive printed beach towels in six designs, including Surviving Stress. And as the result of an agreement with Pepsico, the company will debut 30 Pepsi designs.

Jay Franco & Sons will add such juvenile licenses as SpongeBob SquarePants, Bob the Builder and Strawberry Shortcake to its line of bath coordinates and accessories.

Ginsey Industries continues in that vein with its SpongeBob SquarePants collection, with decorative lid toppers, printed tub mats, decorative bath appliques and seats, and decorative bath rugs and contours.

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