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Designer Chereskin feels at home

With an eye on the price points and taste niche not targeted by the present cadre of licensed home collections, men's clothing designer Ron Chereskin announced last week licensing deals for bedding, bathroom items and table linens — the apparel label's entry into home.

Britannica Home Fashions and Chereskin are currently developing the bedding line and plan to unveil the full scope in time for October market, although some products may be revealed prior to that. In the meantime 12 different beds, each with Chereskin's influence and viewpoint, are being worked on. In the future, these may be pared down.

"I bring saleable visions that are authentic and fresh," Chereskin told HTT. "I really feel that my research and my background bring something to this industry. And I feel home textiles really is another canvas to me.

"And I feel that [home textiles] really is a tremendous growth area."

In addition to the licensed bedding line, the Chereskin Home label will be seen on licensed lines of shower curtains, place mats, table linens, wall coverings, china, flatware and glassware from various manufacturers. The shower curtain line will be manufactured by Maytex Mills, while sister company Tobin Home Fashions will handle the table linens and place mats.

"He's right on target in being a little forward but also absolutely commercially viable in our business, and that's not necessarily true of all designers," said David Baines, president of the Maytex Mills business.

Acting as Britannica's design consultant for the new Chereskin Home line will be Victor Hollingsworth, whose credits include consulting for rug manufacturer Couristan.

According to Larry Queen, president and coo of Britannica, based here, the initial Chereskin Home offering will include "totally accessorized" beds, although the exact determination of items has not yet been determined. Britannica's sales force will be responsible for the marketing and selling of the ensembles with Chereskin himself contributing to the sales effort.

"It's the first time that I can remember where the actual designer will be helping to sell the products," Queen said.

For Tobin-Maytex, which makes its first foray into licensed product with the Chereskin line, "the decisive factor was Ron. When we met with him and realized the depth, longevity and hands-on approach he brings, as well as the product samples he had put together, we felt this had a huge, huge potential," Baines said.

Like Chereskin's popular line of men's clothing, the home collection will be offered to department stores, looking to tap Chereskin's present relationships with that particular channel. Price points, although not yet set, will fall in the mid- to upper-moderate range, depending on the amount and variety of fabrics used as well as constructions.

Flannels, jacquards, quilts and little details that add perceived value and plenty of surface interest are all promised as part of the offering, which will not be necessarily masculine in feel.

For the bath and table lines, at least two "significant color statements in tablecloths, place mats and bath" will be offered, Baines said. Complementing the line will be coordinating bath basics such as rings, liners and tension rods, as well as coordinating bath accessories.

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