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Down Lite in Biltmore estate license

Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, March 3, 2003

The Biltmore Estate For Your Home line of branded products is expanding into down- and feather-based products through a licensing agreement with Down Lite International.

The Mason, OH-based Down Lite will introduce four basic bedding ensembles during the home textiles market later this month in New York. Comforters, blankets, throws, pillows and mattress toppers will be presented in four collections: basic white, embroidered, jacquard and printed.

Biltmore Estate For Your Home already has licensed home textiles programs with Kravet Fabric for high-end upholstery fabric, and Manual Woodworkers and Weavers for wall hangings. Licensed programs are also in place with Amarr Company, Craftique, Directional Publishing Co., DeNunzio, Katzenbach & Warren, NDI, Oriental Accent, Paragon Picture Gallery, Sadek Import Company, Southern Living and Tai Ping.

Christy Woodhead, business development manager for Biltmore Estate For Your Home, said two of the collections from Down Lite use designs that are representative of designs found inside and around the Biltmore House.

The third collection features embroideries taken from bed linens while the fourth collection features the high price point and thread counts and fine materials. "It's as if we're bringing linens from the Biltmore Estate into a consumer's home," Woodhead said. Price points have not yet been determined although Woodhead did say the collection is aimed at the specialty and department store retail levels.

A hang tag on the products will tell the story of George Vanderbilt, the original owner and builder of Biltmore House, while an insert will explain from where the design of the product is drawn. The 250-room house is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains here.

According to Woodhead, Down Lite was sought out as a licensee because it, like Biltmore Estate, is interested in building a long-term relationship and creating high-quality products. "Down Lite really epitomized that for me," Woodhead said. She added that Biltmore is interested building on the momentum generated by the Down Lite license and hopes to expand its offering for the bedroom to include synthetically filled coverlets, comforters and throw pillows. She also said window and bath represent other opportunities for the label.

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