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Ed Hardy Line Gets Moving

Don Hogsett, James Mammarella -- Home Textiles Today, October 20, 2008

In a tough market for commodities, at least one bedding resource is determined to lead with fashion: Wholly Sheet, and its prime property, the tattoo-drenched works of Ed Hardy.

In October 2007, Ruth Mamane Abergel obtained the license to make sheets, top-of-bed ensembles and related accessories using the designs of fine-art tatooist Don Ed Hardy. Along with home textiles industry veteran Alan Gordon, she and her husband Blaise Abergel formed Wholly Sheet, LLC to launch the enterprise, with Hardy works translated into textile looks by fashion designer Christian Audigier.

Just one year later, the Ed Hardy duvet sets by Wholly Sheet are checking out fast at Macys.com and are headed into Macy's stores.

"The duvet sets-in-a-box had a 12% sell-through in the first week, unadvertised," said Gordon, vp of Wholly Sheet.

The duvet mini-sets (no bedskirts, just sheets and duvet cover) are featured in Ed Hardy art-emblazoned reusable boxes. They have been offered in six styles: four prints and two embroidered models. At the Macys.com online store these have been offered as high as $352, $289 sale for the queen. Sheet sets are $210, $179 sale for the queen.

Blaise Abergel, managing member, Wholly Sheet, noted that Dillard's will soon stock the mini-duvet prints (embroidered goods may be added) along with open-stock pillowcases, and ceo Ruth Abergel added that the company will consider making custom items for the retailer.

Bed Bath & Beyond will shortly offer Ed Hardy dec pillows and Euro shams from Wholly Sheet, said Gordon, as will Macy's brick-and-mortar stores.

Beach towels — made by a separate Ed Hardy swimwear licensee — are headed to Bloomingdale's, he added.

In terms of marketing, Gordon said the Ed Hardy sales are driven by word-of-mouth. The brand is already a Hollywood-based sensation among a fairly young, hip consumer demographic. At Macys.com there is a robust assortment of Ed Hardy jeans, T-shirts, sunglasses, sneakers, fragrance, watches and other fashion accessories.

"Christian is a master promoter," said Gordon of designer Audigier, noting that various celebrities at one moment or another favor Audigier-interpreted Ed Hardy goods from jackets and hoodies to barware.

Beyond the current range of home textiles products, Wholly Sheet plans to roll out comforters for spring 2009, said Gordon. And while the current range is in 300 TC all-cotton sateen, "We are toying with silk," he said. "We are in discussions with higher end retailers."

The company is determined to keep the product line fresh. One recent innovation is the pocket pouch, or stash pocket, sewn onto the back of an Ed Hard pillow sham. A little devious, a little clever, a little Wholly Sheet.

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