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Cecile Corral

New spins on grand brands

WestPoint Stevens is shining the spotlight on its Grand Patrician and Martex brands this market in all of its product categories, existing and new, re-establishing them as lifestyles for the home.

Bath and bedding are at the forefront with the first-time introduction of two major categories — quilts, which employ luxury fabrics and embellished handiwork for the Grand Patrician brand and more basic cotton fabrics for the Martex label, as well as 13 fully coordinated bath collections that include accessories, shower curtains and solid-color bath rugs that match with solid-color bath towel programs.

"We've been in this business for years through Disney and we know the business well," Cynthia Lerner, vp of bath, said regarding the addition of bath accessories and shower curtains. "It made sense for us to expand it for [these brands]."

Of the bath collections, eight are Martex and five are Grand Patrician — including the Seduction, Five-Star Hotel.

Another new category that launched this market is stand-alone decorative pillows, made in eight families hat are available in a variety of fabrications that include chenille, faux suede, faux leather and silk for Grand Patrician and linen, cotton and wool patchworks for Martex. WPS' Utica brand also has a small offering of lower price point petit point designs.

Aside from new product categories, the company is making a strong statement with innovative products in existing bath and bedding categories. New towel programs include Fresh, a 100 percent cotton anti-microbial aromatherapy towel; Fusion, made of 50 percent pima cotton and 50 percent woven Egyptian cotton; and Chenille Loop, a zero-twist plied yarn that is woven diagonally to resemble a chenille construction. Also for bath, the embellished towel program has been "refocused," Lerner said, with 12 new styles in five design themes.

And the new Martex Convertibles collection of reversible bedding designs, available in four sets for the launch, offers "two totally different looks in one bed," said Jonathan Orr, vp, bedding design, with fashion-forward designs. Bedskirts will be the only non-reversible components in the collection.

"We've have brought innovation and design to this concept avoiding the obvious stripe-and-polka dot combination," Orr said. "It's really eight beds that we've designed. We cover fresh master bedroom florals, masculine architectural contemporary, ethnic tapestry carpet looks and novelty celestial."

Other new product perks include WPS' "Answer Bed" line, which has boosted its thread count for the sheet coordinate in the Grand Patrician brand to 275 from 230 while maintaining the price point at $279 for a queen size. Also, each of these ensembles has been paired up with coordinating window treatments, as well as wallpaper borders.

New and sleeker packaging that is color coded based on price point levels is also playing a major role in the repositioning of Grand Patrician and Martex as lifestyle brands as well as for the company's Utica and Lady Pepperell brands.

Finally, the company has topped-out its down offerings in its Five-Star Hotel brand with the introduction of its new pillow-pad top feather bed, which has a 300 thread count white goose down top and a 233-thread-count featherbed underneath. It's suggested retail price point is set at $79.99.

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