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Elrene helps expand designer Adler lineup

Potter and designer Jonathan Adler — whose modern and organic-style artwork appears on the sets of NBC's "The Today Show" and "Will & Grace" — is broadening his reach to a larger consumer base by branding his name into a licensed line of goods for the home, with an emphasis on home textiles.

Under his new Jonathan Adler Happy Home brand, the artist is licensing some of his designs to home textiles suppliers and collaborating with them to market the collections in department and specialty stores. His newest licensee is Elrene Home Fashions for table linens and kitchen textiles.

Elrene is hoping to launch product for the spring New York Home Textiles Market, with shipments tentatively slated for fall 2003, Brian Siegel, executive vp, Elrene, told HTT.

All products will revolve around three of Adler's design themes: Pop, Natural and Deluxe.

Pop, Adler's collection of colorful looks, is the theme for which he is most recognized. It features many stripes and bright colorways. Natural is based on his Relief collection, which encompasses a variety of earth tones and organic patterns. Deluxe, positioned as the high-end design theme, is more formal and includes mostly white and platinum hues.

The first licensees under the Happy Home collection were The Zrike Co. for dinnerware and ceramic home accessories and Keeco for bedding.

"Once we had those two in place it was appropriate to go back to investigating placements and other soft tabletop and we really fell in love with Elrene — it is a great resource," said Robin Sayetta, co-president of Ripe Ideas, Adler's exclusive licensing agent.

Adler currently owns and operates three stores — located in East Hampton and New York, NY, and Los Angeles — all of which carry his private line of goods, including his pottery and a line of decorative pillows, throws, rugs and other textiles that he designs and imports directly from Peru.

He is using his Happy Home line to evolve his wares and bring them closer to a larger audience.

"This new licensed line will take him to a whole new customer base," Sayetta said.

Aside from table linens, kitchen textiles and bedding, Adler's plan is to continue expanding his Happy Home brand over this next year to include other home textiles like decorative pillows, rugs and bath products. Adler is actively seeking manufacturing partners for these categories.

Initially, the plan is to place Adler's Happy Home goods in specialty and department stores. "We may eventually look to expand beyond that, but for now that's where we'll be," Sayetta added. "We're looking to build a broad distribution with the possibility of offering some exclusive products to some retailers."

Elrene will produce tablecloths, place mats, napkins, napkin rings, runners, oven mitts, pot holders, kitchen towels, chairpads and barstool covers, Siegel said. Table linen and kitchen textile constructions will include rayon, silk and cotton, some featuring embellishments. Most of the goods will be imported from India and China, with some products being made domestically, he said.

Elrene's current roster of licenses includes Nautica, Villeroy & Boch, Wolfgang Puck and Warren Kimble.

Price points are estimated at $14.99 to $34.99 for tablecloths, $3.99 to $4.99 for place mats, $4.99 for kitchen towels, $6.99 for oven mitts and $4.99 for potholders.

"Jonathan Adler represents a look we aren't currently covering, and bringing on what his product represents will bring newness to the marketplace," Siegel said. "It's young, fun and hip, and it represents a look we wanted to add to our line."

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