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Izod keys new WestPoint Home debuts

At the New York Market – WestPoint Home’s new Izod license is a big focal point this market, although a new sustainable construction and the kitchen textiles launch also get attention.

“When you look at a lot of the successful brands in the marketplace, a lot of them go back to apparel,” noted John Piazza, WestPoint’s president and ceo.

WestPoint’s approach to the brand is to build around its “clean, causal energetic style,” said Albert Sardelli, svp of design. The company is showing all-cotton casual beds with apparel touches such as a double-needle along with beds in more of a master bedroom look. Core sheeting for the program is 300-count using WestPoint’s “super soft/wrinkle-free” technology. Layering pieces include an enzyme-washed cotton coverlet with cotton fill and all-cotton blankets.

Rather than creating dec pillows for each bed, WestPoint crafted a dec pillow collection that can work into any bed.

The collection also addresses what Sardelli terms “the young part of Izod,” catering to young adults with a number of all-cotton prints. Izod Collegiate features back-to-school sets in a zippered back. The sets include a comforter, sheets, a 16-inch dec pillow and a 26” pillow for lounging.

Izod basic bedding is being shown both alongside fashion bedding as well as in the classification area.

Izod towels all feature WestPoint’s Stay Bright and Dry Fast technologies in a broad range of colors. “It’s the first time out of the box, so we wanted to make it big and beautiful,” said Sardelli.

Beyond Izod, WestPoint is positioning its new products within five basic trends that research has shown to be important to consumers today, according to Nancy Golden, senior vp, marketing and brand management. They include:

Hiving, or building one’s life around home;

Back-to-school (beyond back-to-college), an opportunity to refresh the kids’ rooms;

Green Boomers & Millennials, people who want to do right by the environment but don’t know how;

Luxury, in this case a matter of little extras that elevate everyday items;

Smart Shoppers, consumers who recognize the value of products up and down the retail food chain.

Among the new products that address some of these trends: a 400-count sheet featuring WestPoint’s “super soft/wrinkle-free” and Fast Dry technologies, the extension of bleach-resistant Stay Bright into multi-color prints; the launch of the Eco Blend towel made of recycled cotton and recycled plastic bottles; and the Nature Renewed Towel, made of a blend of recycled and new cotton.

After a difficult first half to the year, Piazza said, WestPoint is getting some new placements and will be gaining traction in the fourth quarter and going into 2010.

“The only thing holding us back is the consumer,” he added. “I think our break-even points are the lowest they’ve ever been in this company.”

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