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Don't call him Raymond Waites any more

High Point, N.C. - The designer formerly known as Raymond Waites is changing his name to Artemis.
And the Frederick Cooper division of Wildwood Lamps has launched the first Artemis collection at this week's High Point Market, called Art-Lite, a mix of 26 lamps and 20 accessories, developed from hand drawings by Ray, Artemis.
Here's the story behind the legal name change, according to the prolific designer.
About six years ago, Waites was suffering from cancer and "I thought I was a goner," he said. So he sold the rights to his company - including the name - "lock, stock and barrel," not realizing that someday he might want to get back into the business.
But Artemis said he has been cancer-free for six years and is ready to get back to work. His lawyer came up with the idea of changing his name, and Artemis liked Artemis for a few reasons. For starters, his Frederick Cooper collection is "very Greco-Roman, very classic." Also, Artemis is the Greek goddess of the hunt, and the designer said he's always on the hunt for new beautiful objects.
"Part of it is it's just fun," he said. "Madonna has Madonna, Cher has Cher, Prince has Prince. I thought I'd have Artemis."
He said he's still in the legal process of the name change.
The Waites name has been around the industry for more than 30 years and is still used on outdoor collections by Lane Venture, including one new collection, under a grandfathered-in arrangement. The same goes for a Raymond Waites rug line at Jaipur.
"In the future I may change everything over to Artemis, but this market, since the name is such a new thing, those two manufacturers have the legal right to use the Raymond Waites name," he said.
Home textiles supplier Next Creations produces Raymond Waites fashion bedding.
But back at the Wildwood and Frederick Cooper space at 200 N. Hamilton St., staff has strict rules against using that other name for legal reasons and sticking to Artemis.
"We're actually quite intrigued by the whole thing," said Wildwood/Jonathan Charles Creative Director John Cunningham. While the company first announced plans for the collection as a Raymond Waites line, the name change doesn't appear to be affecting it in anyway.
"The reception has been amazing, and we look forward to great success with the collection," Cunningham said.
Sure there's some sadness about leaving his old name behind after a long run, Artemis said, but he added that he's not going to live with regrets.
"You have to move forward," he said.

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