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Designers help bolster bedding

BCST Staff -- Home Textiles Today, October 29, 2001

Manufacturers with a licensed collection or a designer name or those known for their luxurious lines were the center of attention for buyers this fall market, perhaps as retailers take note of the trend that as economic times grow more difficult, consumers spend more time and money on their homes.

In fashion bedding, luxury bedding maker Croscill Home, based here, got the nod from retail buyers as did the expanded silk offerings from Scala International, also based here. The purchase of new machinery by Veratex was immediately noticed, as one buyer called the Panorama City, CA-based company's line "outstanding."

On the licensed and designer side, Donna Karan, Serta, Designer's Guild and Karen Neuburger bedding all seemed to be what buyers noticed.

Basic and utility bedding manufacturers also were among those who got buyers' collective thumbs up. Carpenter Co.'s increased isotonic offerings, Louisville Bedding's "Elevate" products and Sleep Innovations' new "Novaform" line all got raves.

Lester Gribetz vp, home furnishings fashion director Bloomingdale's

"Design Works captured a design dimension that is appropriate for Bloomingdale's in color, quality and the elements of design. Calvin Klein was typically wonderful and Donna Karan was extraordinary with some especially interesting quality woven fabrics and accessorization."Peggy BaderbuyerBurdines

"I buy luxury bedding, and everyone had a really great line. I thought the market itself was great. Donna Karan was probably the highlight."

Rick Williams senior buyer, basic/utility bedding The Company Store

"I thought that Carpenter Co.'s expanded program in isotonic pillows was terrific. They have a very well-rounded offering of the isotonic products. Some of the things they've added on are terrific. And I thought that Louisville Bedding's Elevate program was great."

Allen Josephson buyer House2Home

"I liked what I saw at Veratex and Croscill — they're our main hitters in bed. They all had a couple of good things."

Charles Boyter buyer, bath towels, rugs and accessories, area rugs and basic bedding Luxury Linens

"Basic bedding was not really great this market. West Point Stevens has the Serta license, which looked okay. But there was nothing really great in basic bedding. The dust is still settling on all the consolidations, especially with West Point Stevens taking all that Ralph [Lauren] business."

Judy Bludworth buyer, bedding, window, pillows Pamida

"C&F had a quilt I thought was very nice. Springs has a couple of [juvenile] licenses that would be important. The new Designer's Guild showroom that WestPoint had was very nice. It wasn't somber like some of the other showrooms and was very cheerful and bright."

Scott Hughes senior buyer ShopNBC

"Scala International had some beautiful silk sheets and duvet covers. The stuff was gorgeous. One of the biggest things that caught my eye was Sleep Innovations' Novaform Naturals pillows and mattress pads."

Donna Aidekman vp, merchandising Strouds

"Veratex had an outstanding line. Their new embroidery machine will work out quite nicely. The Karen Neuburger line [from Guilford Home Fashions] came out really well. In addition, the new Charisma basic bedding introductions were very nice and saleable."

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