Abboud adds new Environments

Joseph Abboud Environments unveiled a differentiated bath towel line through new licensee Canning Vale and announced its launch into tabletop under a licensing agreement with The Excel Group — the latest fruits of an effort that began two years ago to bring cohesion and a distinct point of view to the brand.

"We're learning exactly where our niche is in the industry — modern classic sophisticated American design," said Maria Vicari, vp of licensing, Joseph Abboud.

Now that Joseph Abboud Environments has restructured its licensee base, it has also begun pushing out into new product areas as it works to build a complete lifestyle brand.

The new towel line — Joseph Abboud's re-entry into that business since former towel licensee Davidson Cotton went out of business — introduces five towel groups, each crafted at retails between $16.99 and $29.99.

"We're targeting key price points," said David Crowley, general manager of sales and marketing, Canning Vale.

Cable collection is a 17-pound cable weft jacquard using a 218-pile yarn for density and absorption available in 10 colors, priced at $19.99 for a 30" x 56" bath towel.

Mitered Square, also $19.99 for a 30" x 54" bath towel, uses a black weft to create a contemporary shot pattern and is available in nine colors.

Cashmere is a weft jacquard paisley in six shades with a retail of $16.99 for a 27" x 52" bath towel. "It's the type of fashion look that can change seasonally," Crowley said.

Lanusei is a zero-twist offering with an all-over diamond jacquard pattern. The 16-pound bath towel retails at $24.99 for a 30" x 56". It is currently available in one color, limestone.

Tanami is a followup to the Joseph Abboud ultra-suede bed now shipping to stores. The towel is an Egyptian cotton pile with a weft jacquard for an embroidered effect, with a semi-sheered cuff. Available in four colors, the 27" x 50" bath towel retails at $29.99.

In bedding, Joseph Abboud Environments is introducing its second collection of bedding under licensee Divatex, which now also holds the quilt license for the collection.

Divatex is showing six Environments beds this market.

Angara features a pin tuck silk duvet complemented by opulent jacquard sheets and subtly contrasting jacquard accessories.

"It was very inspired by the Ice Palace scene of 'Dr. Zhivago,'" said Abboud's Vicari. "I kept drawing back to the fact that they're so great at executing jacquards."

Ostia offers a washable tuck-quilted wool coverlet backed by faux shearling in heather chocolate brown offset by soft heather gray sheets and accessories.

Tango features a black and cream stitched top-of-bed in a contemporary, tailored look over a sheer bedskirt. Sheets are detailed with embroidered borders and cuffs.

Almaz evokes Dr. Zhivago's icy Russian winter with a silk striped top-of-bed in icy blue, purple and silver. Rustic accents and suede and leather play against the coolness of the palette.

Palomino makes a sensuous drape statement with a faux pony skin coverlet trimmed in whipstitched leather accompanied by honey and chocolate herringbone sheets. An oversized printed cashmere paisley throw tops off the bed.

"I think you see a heightened level of sophistication and detail with this collection," Vicari said.

Long-time bath accessories licensee Creative Home Fashions is pleased with the new sense of direction, according to national sales manager Rick Lipton.

"This is probably the most complete and well-thought-out line we've introduced. It all has to do with the direction we're getting from Joseph Abboud corporate. We're allowing the customer to put together their own coordinates, but we've led them in the right direction," he said.

Creative Home's decorative pillow division this market is showing coordinates to each of the bedding lines that also have the ability to stand on their own as a classification business.

Palomino includes offerings in a ruffed-edge leather, a tweedy chenille, a tooled leather and a silk. "It's a story of layering textures and playing light against dark," said creative director Mike Tamblyn.

The Sienna group also works in leathers and tweeds along with a burnished and glazed fabric collection. Ostia keys off a mossy, slightly distressed leather, silk taffeta with a touch of shine and French knot embroidery and silk taffeta with pieced embroidery. Almaz offers a linen with ostrich trim. And Tango includes a woven tuck pillow mixed with black suede.

Abboud's next lifestyle step will be unveiled in the fall with the opening of a 6,500-square-foot, two-story Joseph Abboud store in New York's Columbus Circle. While apparel will dominate, home categories will be offered, including dec pillows, throws and accessories, Vicari said.

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