Mandarin Sq. to test U.S. market
Cecile Corral -- Home Textiles Today, June 23, 2003
Working from their studios in a converted ancient Buddhist temple in Beijing, the designers of Mandarin Square LLC will produce a new line of luxury all-silk decorative pillows, floor cushions, table linens and upholstery fabrics to launch for the first time in the U.S. market in July.
The company has been manufacturing these textiles products as well as other home decor items (including desk accessories and storage boxes) for the Asian and Australian markets. In February it established its U.S. offices, based in New York, to help it break into the American market.
"We are treating this market differently than our others because the competition here is more severe," Diana Wu David, president of Mandarin Square's U.S. offices, told HTT. "We are creating more unique offerings for this market, focusing on contemporary Chinese designs that have clean lines but are not minimalistic. They are in bright and rich colorways."
The launch of the new line is scheduled for the Atlanta International Gift Show in Atlanta in mid-July.
New items include all-silk coasters — a new product category created solely for American retailers — as well as place mats, coasters, runners, chopstick rolls for a gift set of six chopsticks, floor cushions, decorative pillows available in both solid boucles and button designs and obi pillows.
All of the products coordinate and are constructed of 100 percent silk brocade, Shandong silks and organza, some with hand-sewn embellishments. Pillows are filled with feather and fiber inserts. And all the products are made in China. The fabrics — all custom-made — are produced at a partner factory south of Beijing. Mandarin Square makes its textiles at its own warehouse in Beijing.
Mandarin Square has about 125 skus across 22 product categories, David said.
The company has some of its wares on sale at small boutique shops here but is looking to partner with larger chains, as well, mainly high-end specialty and department stores and independent boutiques.
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