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Christofle refines focus, while Dior expands bed, bath mix

Christofle premiered its latest table introductions at the Tabletop Show last week, while its Dior division expanded its Dior Collection Maison of bath and bedding products.

Though still dedicated to the table linen business, Christofle has narrowed its collection to fewer styles and prints, opting instead for more colors. "It's much more of a fashion item than our other items like china, flatware and crystal," said Dale Dewey, president, North America. "It has never been and never will be our biggest business."

"We've moved away from Asian fusion to more classic looks," added Gene Lawrence, regional sales manager.

Christofle also has begun offering place mats and napkins in groups of four, instead of 12. "It's more consumer-friendly," Dewey said.

The new introductions include Baltic, a cotton satin print that displays the casual spirit, in gray and blue. A 71-inch square tablecloth will retail for $170.

Other existing collections were expanded. Orangerie, a linen/cotton solid color damask and its table linen (71-inch square, $340), added more muted colors this market, with gold, pink and plum. Vague, which is French for wave, is a cotton damask, and is now offered in red. The sheer Geometrie style ($150 for a 71-inch square) expanded its palette to include mauve and gold.

The Dior collection, which includes bath and bedding, is working to expand its presence since its launch last market, said Xavier Barroux, director, international licenses, with J'Adore leading the way. This market, it added more feminine colors to the collection, including Dior's classic pink and a gray. A lace print bedding pattern, called Lace is set to launch in January and gives the collection a romantic look, he said, which "was missing in the original collection."

Terry bath accessories have also been added to the Dior collection, he said, "which we play close to the Dior fashion story." In addition, a new bath pattern, called Trotter, is featured in bathrobes, towels, decorative pillows, terry bags and slippers. "This is really the big theme of the year."

The Dior collection has been offered in the U.S. since June, when its giftware portion was placed within the Dior boutiques and a luxury department store company, he said. The Dior boutiques also have the bed and bath lines.

"We are still setting up distribution with specialty retailers and department stores," Barroux said.

It took a year to roll out the Dior collection in France, and "now we are ready to cross the ocean."

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