• Andrea Lillo

Delia's matures with new bedding

Known for its fashionable apparel for young females, Delia's has redirected its home collection to bring a more sophisticated flair to its pages.

"It's a tremendous opportunity," said Nancie Samet, who recently joined as svp, merchandising, Delia's Lifestyle. Though the number of items basically remains the same, she said, "we put more emphasis on being true to who the Delia's customer is. We were more honed in assortment."

Called Roomwares, the collection — which targets 13- to 20-year-olds — is featured in several spreads in the two most recent catalogs of 92 pages each. The line revolves around four bedding themes with coordinating soft and hard items. Previously, patterns had a younger, tweener look to them, she said, but now "it's much more grown up."

Zen, for example, taps into the yoga lifestyle trend, she said, and "is very strong for us." Along with Meditation sheets, which are a leaf-and-blossom print on a gray ground, this group includes correlated accessories such as a yoga mat, a Zen lamp, a box of 50 instructive yoga movements, and a bath set.

The new Taj bedding is designed to bring rich colors in Indian-inspired prints to the pages.

"Our most sophisticated beds are our best beds," Samet said. "We're so pleased with that."

The Taj accessories include solid-color cotton sheets ($18 to $24 for a flat sheet); an embroidered cotton throw ($54); a velour decorative pillow ($18); a poly-acrylic 28" by 34" floral rug ($26); as well as a stamp and paint kit with Indian symbols.

The two other new releases focus on daisies with Pop Art, a design of a graphic blue daisy, and Daisy Contemplation, which repeats a photo of a single daisy head. Accessories include a striped rug, a yarn ball lamp, and a mirror.

All of the printed sheets, which are of 200-count cotton and imported, retail from $24 to $32 for a flat sheet, depending on the size. Most patterns are available in twin and full sizes, though the Taj sheets also come in twin extra long. "We're now catering to the dorm," she said. "That's the first time we're doing that."

Flannel sheets with a star were previously the best selling sheets, Samet said, and are still featured in the catalog, with the addition of a striped pattern to coordinate. A flat sheet retails for $24 for twin and $32 for full.

Related accessories complement each theme, and are an area that will likely grow in the future, she said. The retailer will also look at expanding into products from other rooms its audience enjoys decorating, like the bathroom or where they do schoolwork.

Though the collection has appeared in the stores before, at the moment it's available only on the web site and in the catalogs, though Samet believes that a limited assortment may roll out to stores at some point next year.

The company mails out about a dozen regular priced books a year, she said, and home is emphasized in the latter part of the year, with new items generally appearing on two of the four year-end books.

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