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CMI gains Beck license for rug collections

CMI became the most recent licensee for fabric and home designer Leslie Beck last week, as it announced that it will manufacture her American Casual brand and others.

Under the agreement, CMI will manufacture and market a number of braided textured rug collections that coordinate with Beck's American Casual, Heartland Harvest, Children's Corner and Holiday Home design categories. They'll premier during the fall textiles and furniture markets.

In home textiles, CMI joins Dan River and Jay Franco, which will also debut Leslie Beck designs, along with a number of hard home fashions suppliers in dinnerware and stone coasters. Leslie Beck appeared at this month's Licensing 2003 show in New York in pursuit of additional licensees.

Dan River's Leslie Beck offerings from American Casual will debut in spring 2004 in finished bedding, decorative pillows, throws and soft window treatments. They will include her well-known Reminisce pattern, along with Highways & Byways, and Cherries Jubilee, Beck explained during an interview.

Jay Franco will make kitchen and bath textiles and accessories, including shower curtains and shower curtain rings, which will debut this fall.

Don Scarlata, president and ceo of Pawtucket, RI-based CMI, said "I think her style parallels ours and is a major reason why we're a good fit."

Beck, who's authored numerous books and published hundreds of patterns, has a family-oriented appeal. Her work incorporates techniques such as acrylics, watercolors and computer imaging.

"I design for families and kids who like to find the time to spend with each other at home. I design for middle America," Beck explained. "We work very hard to keep the hand-painted look.

Beck rose to national recognition in 1996 when she won a Tommy award for excellence from the American Printed Fabrics Council — the preeminent fabric design recognition. She's been nominated several times since and has been featured numerous times in crafts and women's magazines.

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