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Sferra goes wild with Nat'l Geo.

Sferra Bros. has teamed up with National Geographic to launch a new bedding and accessories collection, focusing on foreign lands in a line that is a "total departure," said Paul Hooker, president.

At an upper moderate price point -— a queen duvet will retail between $80 and $100 — the collection is endemic to the design and colors of India, Africa and Asia, he added.

"It's a real top of bed story; very textural," Hooker said. A safari collection, for example, includes an African toile but eschews the typical African motifs such as zebra skins. The African group has ivory and chocolate tones, while the Asian group consists of bright colors, including a teal hue for the sheeting. A red paisley will be seen in the Indian group.

Produced in Portugal and India, a new sourcing country, the line will ship in the first quarter of 2004. The line includes bedding, decorative pillows and throws, though it also has the license for table linens and bath.

The more upper-moderate pricing will give Sferra entrée to other distribution channels. "It's not for your typical specialty store," Hooker added, though some components of the collection such as decorative pillows and throws are suitable for a higher-end market. The collection suits such chains as specialty stores or department stores, he added.

With Lane Furniture as the driver of the licensees, the National Geographic collection will officially launch at the High Point, NC, show next month, but attendees of the New York Home Textiles Show at the Jacob Javits Center will be able to view it beforehand, as it will share a booth with Sferra's Tommy Bahama line.

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