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Dante Living going nationwide

Dante Living is eager to gain a sort of dual citizenship — one at home in Europe and a second here in the United States — for its line of luxury throws, blankets and cushions.

For the past year, this six-year-old manufacturer, with its factory and head offices based in Germany, has started gaining ground in key American markets with about 60 high-end independent retailers to date in New York, Washington, Florida, Texas, California, Illinois, Utah and other states.

"We would like to have a larger distribution throughout the United States, maybe up to 180 retailers, but not much more because we like to keep our products as exclusive as possible," said Hans Wernli, partner, who is based in the company's U.S. offices in Miami.

Dante Living, which made its first appearance at the New York Home Textiles Show, is now hoping to expand into more stores and markets nationwide through its new Lhasa collection of 100 percent cashmere blankets in natural colorways, which are set to retail between $1,200 to $1,400 for a 90" x 106" king size.

"For the launch of this product we are offering retailers a special wholesale price of $440 for the king size," Wernlui said.

The queen size is 90" x 87" and the twin is 59" x 79".

Also gaining ground on these shores is its luxury line of throws bedecked in Swarovski crystals. Through a strategic partnership between Dante and Swarovski, the former has created a line of high-end throws that incorporate Swarovski crystals into the design. The majority of the throws in this line are cashmere, with a few made of wool blends. The average retail for a Swarovski cashmere throw is $1,600.

"We feel we have a very strong potential here in the United States," Wernli said. "Our clientele here is similar to ours in Europe; they appreciate a very good European brand and high-quality product."

Dante's product offerings in Europe compared to the United States differ only in colorations. Otherwise, constructions and pricing are the same.

"Here, people prefer brighter colors and more pastels, like pinks, whereas in Europe we sell mostly neutral and what I call serious colors like a plain brown," Wernli said.

In Europe, Dante's market includes Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and France.

Dante's open line includes cashmere throws that retail for $400, wool blends for $120 and silk blends for $150.

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