Haywin lines up new licenses

Marvin Lazaro, Staff Staff, July 8, 2002

Moving quickly to get its new licensed programs up and running, Haywin Textiles Products Inc. unveiled the inaugural selection of FUBU bedding, towels and beach product as well as the full Nautica Beach program. Meanwhile, it's readying its new Jessica McClintock collection for an October debut in conjunction with the unveiling of the luxury portion of the FUBU line.

The FUBU license is designed to appeal to retailers looking for a fresh new Back-to-School look. The Nautica license is for beach towels only, while the McClintock license is for bedding and bath. Haywin announced the signing licensing agreements for all three just prior to or during the April market. According to Maureen Granger, vp of merchandising, and Charlie Schlang, director of business development, both FUBU and Nautica will ship in October, while McClintock merchandise will ship by spring 2003.

All of Haywin's FUBU offerings will be marketed under one label, The Home Collection by FUBU. The bedding hits retailers' shelves as two distinct collections, Luxury and Young Adult, each of which targets a different demographic.

The Young Adult collection is further broken down into four groups — denim, embellished, twill and nylon. Each has its own unique look, geared toward the FUBU brand. The Young Adult beds heavily borrow details and resources from the FUBU line of ready-to-wear apparel, such as two-tone stitching and rivets taken from jeans. The coloration of the Young Adult line also borrows from FUBU's apparel line and includes colors like Carolina blue. And thanks to the Platinum FUBU line of apparel, the cartoon character Fat Albert and his friends make their collective appearance on a variety of ensembles.

The Young Adult sheeting is offered in several constructions, including jersey knit, printed cotton and cross-dyed chambray, and in a variety of fashion colors. Prices for the open stock top-of-bed range from $89.99 to $149.99, while the sheets are to be sold as sets for $19.99. A separate bed-in-bag, the line's sole printed offering, is also being developed with a $100 all-size price tag.

"This line is a complete departure from 'safe,' " Granger said. "This is exciting product with very broad appeal that is very saleable and will cause excitement on anyone's selling floor."

The Luxury offering includes a variety of fabrics and addresses more the upscale design and styling FUBU offers in its formal wear for more master bedroom looks. Suede, dupioni silk, and velvet and very wet, saturated colors, said Schlang, who characterized the line as "plush, lush and sexy," all add a very luxurious touch. High-thread-count sateen sheeting completes the category. Prices have not yet been set, but, Granger said, they will vary according to construction.

Rounding out the Home Collection by FUBU is a complete offering of bath and beach towels. The beach towels not only feature FUBU's signature coloration and looks but also several Fat Albert scenics. The bath towels are offered in 15 colors, ranging from the standard white to popular fashion colors like Carolina blue and purple, and several styles, including an oversize 30" x 60" bath sheet, a velour, a micro-cotton construction with a rayon border, and a standard cotton bath towel. Prices for the towels range from $29.99 to $14.99.

Haywin's new Nautica beach towel line is sku-intense, with roughly 65 skus being offered. Constructions range from fiber-reactives to jacquards with designs featuring Nautica's signature logo, its J-Class sailboat, florals and scenics. "This is a much larger assortment for retailers," said Schlang.

Rounding out the latest for Haywin is its Jessica McClintock licensed line, which has three different collections — Gunne Sax, Trousseau and Romance. Trousseau will be geared towards the bridal market with plenty of monochromatic white and sateen among the offerings. Romance will be more print-driven, with highly sophisticated, romantic florals making up much of the design element. Separate quilt and coverlet collections will round out the offering. Gunne Sax, like the apparel from which it derives it name, has a more youthful flavor, with fabrics and embellishments to complement it.

The McClintock towels are divided into five categories — printed, embellished, top sewn treatments, mono-chromatic jacquard and a scented line. Notably missing is a solid towel, which, Granger said, was deliberate since consumers already had more than enough solid towels to choose from. At least four skus are included in each category. The scented towel features the Jessica McClintock fragrance and will retain the scent for 30 washings.

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