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Sargent puts in showroom cameos

Designer Susan Sargent was on site here Sunday at the showrooms of two of her new home textile licensees — Mohawk Home and Springs Industries — to co-host the launch of her new collections in bedding, decorative pillows and rugs.

But also making a stronger statement, through these new textile product lines, this market is Sargent's new and more subdued spice color palette — considered a slight departure from her signature bright color palette and whimsical style.

Sargent explained that she recently added her new spice palette to help make her home textiles offerings "more versatile."

"[A consumer] can take one of my quieter colorways and punch it up with a really strong yellow from my more vivid palette," Sargent added. "But what's important is that it all coordinates. The spice palette has much broader appeal but the way I've made it is that it's still recognizable, it's still me. I'll never do beige. Someone scared of color won't buy my product anyway."

For Mohawk Home, the Susan Sargent collection marks a major milestone for the company as it breaks into a upstairs price bracket.

"This is the first time Mohawk Home has launched a product line in this price range," Merle Johnson, vp of marketing, told HTT. "It appeals to a younger, trendier set of customers than a lot of our merchandise. We felt [Sargent's] style, her look, her design perspective is so different from what we currently have in the Mohawk line. It's a fashion line that focuses on color, color, color, and this year color is proving to be very important."

The partnership was formed last year just prior to the fall market in New York. However, this is the first time Mohawk has shown new product for the line for the line. "This is brand new. We haven't even previewed it," Johnson said.

The initial product offerings include assorted area and accent rugs and decorative pillows. The collection is divvied up into two colorways — spice hues and bright colors.

The decorative pillow collection is composed of six appliqué decorative pillows set to retail for $19.99 and 12 embellished styles that employ the fabrics of Susan Sargent licensee Robert Allen Fabrics. These pillows feature different types of decorative trims and are set to retail for $19.99.

There are 15 hand-tufted 100 percent wool area rugs, slated to retail for $599.99 for a 5' x 8'; 15 hand-hooked 100 percent wool area rugs for $349.99 for a 5' x 8'; 20 acrylic hand-tufted scatter rugs slated to retail for $24.99 for a 2' x 3'; and 20 printed scatter rugs, each made with a plush base, set to retail for $24.99 for a 2' x 3'.

Target retailers for the collection span mid-tier through department stores and include gift, specialty and independent furniture stores.

"It represents a dramatically higher price point in rugs than Mohawk Home has ever carried," Johnson said. "We typically top out at $299 for a standard woven polypropylene area rug in our Velvet Impression collection. We did also carry temporarily an imported hand-tufted wool rug for $399 at one point, but that's it."

Mohawk Home's Susan Sargent collection will cross coordinate with the designer's other home licensees, especially Lexington Home Brands furniture.

"Our merchandise can be a wonderful decorative accessory on a solid-color couch or for a simple and sedate room," Johnson said. "You pop a couple of the decorative pillows onto that couch and — pow — your room comes to life. Susan Sargent's style just makes you want to smile. It's fun and it's happy, and God knows we need some happy right now in the world."

Mohawk Home will add throws to its Susan Sargent Collection in October.

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