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Elrene takes Nautica into kitchen textiles

Apparel and home furnishings brand Nautica and table linens and kitchen textiles manufacturer Elrene Home Fashions recently forged a licensing partnership to produce a new line of table linens and kitchen textiles that will launch in April at the spring market here.

"Table linens are the next logical extension of our very successful home collection business," said David Chu, founder, designer and vice chairman, Nautica. "The Nautica concept is a complete lifestyle approach. The design and feel of our table linens will directly complement existing home collection products for a complete home look."

For Nautica, the table linens and kitchen textiles collection will represent the company's third home textiles product segment. Nautica currently works with licensee American Pacific for bedding and bath products, including towels, shower curtains and accessories. And the company said it is actively pursuing partnerships with other home textile manufacturers and importers to expand the breadth of its home goods offerings.

Nautica formed the partnership with Elrene though its licensing division, Nautica Apparel.

For Elrene, the partnership represents the company's fifth line of licensed goods. Its other licenses are Villeroy & Boch, Warren Kimble, Sue Zipkin and Carol Scheiber.

The table linen and kitchen textile line will be composed of place mats, napkins, napkin rings, tablecloths, table runners, chairpads and bar stool covers. Elrene will import the majority of the line from overseas.

The launch will feature at least six collections reflecting designs that are inspired by looks in Nautica's other product categories, including sportswear and bedding, and will also include two tiers of merchandise — casual and dressier.

The line will cater to department and specialty stores. Price points include $2.95 for napkins, $6 for place mats and $20 to $25 for tablecloths. Price points for chairpads and bar stool covers have not yet been determined.

"Because of Elrene's excellent reputation in the retail environment, innovative product development team and proven track record in the table linens arena, they are the natural partner for Nautica," said Christopher Heyn, president, Nautica Apparel. "We feel that this will be a very successful partnership."

Ex-Cell Home Fashions previously was Nautica's licensee for table linens and kitchen textiles, but the two companies did not renew their contract last year.

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