And the Oscar goes to Rose Tree

Carole Sloan, September 8, 2003

New York — Oscar de la Renta will make his home textiles debut in spring 2004 with a bedding and table linens license with Dallas-based Rose Tree Linens.

The designer launched his first home furnishings collection with Century Furniture in October 2003 at the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC.

The designer of couture and ready-to-wear apparel is known for his use of color, embellishments and luxury fabrics — all of which will be evident in his home textiles collection.

There will be three tiers to the launch: a couture collection called Oscar de la Renta with lots of detailing associated with his couture apparel and targeted to high-end specialty retailers;

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an Oscar by Oscar de la Renta collection for department stores; and a more mainstream program, still offering much of the signature detailing, Eliza Reed, vp, licensing explained.

As with the furniture collection, there will be three themes, Reed related, each involving the designer's homes. The city theme, based on his large pied-a-terre here, will be sleek in feeling. The island theme, based on his home in the Dominican Republic, will be contemporary and clean lined, and a country theme of flowers and bouquets will be inspired by his country estate in Kent, CT, Reed added.

Discussing the details of the collection, which is now in its planning stages, de la Renta remarked, "There are many synergies between my ready-to-wear and my soon to be introduced fashion bedding collection with Rose Tree. I plan on bringing the same attention to detail, color and femininity to my bedding collection that I do to my ready-to-wear collection.

"Luxury sheeting, tropical linens, textures and embroideries are some of the concepts I hope to introduce with the line with Rose Tree," de la Renta said.

The de la Renta license is a first-time program for Rose Tree, said Lydia Rose, president. "Over the years I've never wanted to do a licensing program, but Oscar is very polished, has wonderful details and executes his designs perfectly," she noted.

"He has a high fashion look that is a look of his own — urban and very European," she added. "The details and dressmaker effects of his apparel can be translated into bedding."

Late last month "we had our first design meeting, and there was a great meeting of the minds." And despite the marketplace tendency to commodity price points and product, Rose added, "There's always been room for quality product like sheets that are 500-count-plus cotton sateen from Italy with embellishments. We're going to feature good, better, best and all the product will be saleable."

Within the groups, Rose explained, there will be duvet covers and comforters. Embellishments will include signature embroideries, pleating for accessory pieces, and mitered effected, she explained. There will be silks and finer fabric constructions, especially for the couture collection, she added.

For the department store Oscar collection, Rose said there will be about six ensembles for the launch.

In addition, Reed said, "There will be lots of texture, pretty prints, details such as double layered bedskirts. And, since Oscar is known for color, lots of pretty colors for a bedroom."

One color that won't be in the collections, Reed remarked, "is black. But otherwise there will be a whole spectrum of color." Overall, she commented, "We want to offer the market something different, but practical."

Red is expected to be an important color statement, Rose said. "It's the No. 1 color in any of our collections. We sell more red than anything else. Red today is more orangey — fresher, lighter, toward pomegranate."

The bedding collection is the second piece of phase one on the Oscar de la Renta home licensing initiative, said Kerry Glasser, president of Concept Marketing Group here. Phase two will include bath, decorative fabrics, decorative accessories, area rugs and tabletop related products, he added.

"We invested considerable time identifying the most appropriate licensee for the de la Renta fashion bedding collection. What caught our attention is Rose Tree's dedication to detail as well as their desire to create product that accurately reflects his lifestyle, fashion expertise and design signature."

For the designer, "my concept of lifestyle is built on the foundation of my home," he said when launching the Century furniture program. "There is no more important expression of this concept than my own personal living space."

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