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Seymour's line takes uptown train

Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, January 12, 2004

New York — Jane Seymour's 4-month-old home collection for Saks Department Store Group is moving uptown — to Saks Fifth Avenue.

Two of Saks Inc.'s top-drawer Saks Fifth Avenue stores will pull the nascent home collection into the mix next month. Saks' Mission Viejo, Calif. and Fort Worth, Texas stores will debut the collection, although it's possible other SFA stores would add to the group in the future, said Howard Winkler, senior vice president, home, Saks Department Store Group.

"It's the first time (SFA) has done anything out of the department store division," added Winkler.

In the meantime, SDSG later this month will roll out Seymour's second exclusive collection — called Coral Canyon after the actress' home in Malibu. The casual counterpart to the more formal St. Catherine's Court, Coral Canyon will add about 250 skus to the stores, and two new patterns: Pacific Floral and Malibu Sky.

Due to customer demand, Winkler said, 41 department stores will offer furniture for sale as well in February, also a first for the majority of the department stores.

"Customers have said, 'I love the bedding and I want the bed, too,'" said Winkler.

In New York last week to film a guest appearance on "Law & Order: SVU," Seymour is clearly excited about her newest collection, in which everything is inspired by something she owns or has painted. "Nothing is picked randomly here," she said. "Everything is specific to my environment." The sea-foam green color in the Malibu Sky pattern is also in her Malibu house, for example.

Everything in Coral Canyon centers on the bed, and the accessories tie into that. Due to initial response, the latest grouping includes a deeper assortment of such items as lamps, bath accessories, and flower arrangements. Sheets, towels, decorative pillows, throws and frames and candles are also included. Printed sheets will also be introduced for the first time, coordinating with the Pacific Floral pattern as well as the existing Sommerset Garden, and made of 350 count cotton sateen.

SDSG may also extend the cross-merchandised vignette concept used with Seymour to other designer collections, Winkler said.

"We're putting a specialty store in the middle of a department store," he said. "That's how the customer shops ... We broke down those barriers of a department store" where the categories are kept separately from each other, "and the customer is saying, 'We like this.'"

The collection works because it fills a niche for consumers who don't want to spend on custom made items yet want more than a bed in a bag, says Winkler. The strength of the collection is top-of-the-bed, he added, and categories such as lamps have also been strong performers.

Seymour has incorporated many of the collection's products into her homes, and gives others away as gifts. Her friend Barbara Walters said the price tag must be missing a few zeroes.

"You're able to change out the bed without completely redecorating the room," Seymour added. "You never get bored with the bed. We find that people come in and buy the look. It's high-end style at a price they can afford."

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