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Collier Campbell Reprised by Li & Fung

Life in Colour Collection Debuts

James Mammarella -- Home Textiles Today, March 9, 2010

If the current home textiles fashion market is looking for fresh takes on color and pattern, Collier Campbell is ready to deliver, in a new revival through sourcing titan Li & Fung.

Indeed, the founding partners, sisters Susan Collier and Sarah Campbell, were dubbed “the queens of pattern design and color” by Jerry Sacher, ceo of Nylon Designs, a London-based design and branding company retained by Li & Fung to develop new business and launch new product lines for this 1970s vintage designer label.

Collier and Campbell “really did revolutionize the home design scene” in the U.K. decades ago, said Sacher, recounting Collier's early work on dress fabrics for Yves St. Laurent and then as design director of the iconic London department store Liberty.

The sisters teamed up with their own company and before long extended their brand from apparel and fabric design into home textiles, stationery, luggage, and a world of other applications. The brand has appeared in home textiles in the U.S. market in the past, including a phase several years ago under the aegis of the Homestead brand development company, which was subsequently acquired by Li & Fung.

What is remarkable, Sacher told HTT, is that while their work looks as fresh as any new young designer today, they are still “a traditional old house in the sense that they still paint everything by hand — there is no computer or CAD work at all.”

Debenhams department store took up the brand in the U.K. for spring 2009, and Nylon Designs has since introduced a whole new look for this spring — which Sacher said received strong reviews upon its unveiling in London last month. Now the U.S. debut is taking place this week in the 7W New York (7 West 34th Street) showroom of Collier Campbell, suite 614.

Cathy Dezelon, Li & Fung U.S. account manager for the brand, said that Life in Colour, the launch collection here, is printed on 200TC cotton percale and “is the most comprehensive collection to be introduced for many years.”

“Freedom of thought is captured through fresh brush marks, spontaneous painting skills and as always their distinctive color palette,” said Dezelon. Along with Nylon Designs design manager Eva Vincent, Dezelon will be walking buyers through the line this week.

Three key themes, among the 10 new patterns for Life in Colour, are:

Herbaceous Border — A riot of color inspired by a fully bloomed garden, with dazzling flowers set against a clear blue sky;Cleo — Glamorously sophisticated, a fresh and delightful adaptation of a traditional chinoiserie;Brixham Harbour — Inspired by shimmering horizons and bunting dancing in the breeze.

Bedding comprises the selection for this market, with an assortment of sheets, comforters, shams and related top of bed products. Sacher said besides showing to retailers, Li & Fung will also be taking inquiries from vendors interested in the Collier Campbell brand for other merchandise categories.

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