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Mohawk wins the Waites game

The newest licensee for designer Raymond Waites' growing collection of decorative home textiles is Mohawk Home, which will produce accent and area rugs, bath rugs, throws, decorative pillows, wall hangings and matelassé top-of-bed products.

"We have a lot of demand from our customers for full bathroom ensembles and more coordinated products," Michael Vidra, Raymond Waites' executive vp, said. "Mohawk Home will help us achieve that."

Dalton, GA-based Oriental Weavers was Waites' first licensee for accent and area rugs. But the designer transferred the license last month to Mohawk Home to better coordinate all the new product lines, Vidra explained.

The Mohawk Home programs will serve mid-level to department store customers and will employ Waites' varying house brands — Raymond Waites for the high-end goods and Chelsea Creations and other brands for more affordable products. Also, some private label offerings will be made available.

A soft launch is expected in September in time for the New York Home Textiles Market. The official introduction of the complete line is slated for April 2004, according to Merle Johnson, vp of marketing, Mohawk Home.

"We are so excited to be working with such a great designer who has such a great look," Johnson said. "His look complements our approach with our other licensed brands [with designer Chris Casson Madden and artists Susan Sargent and Thomas Kinkade]."

The breadth of new product will include printed and woven accent and area rugs, cotton and printed bath rugs, coordinating woven throws and decorative pillows, tapestry wall hangings and matelassé top-of-bed goods.

Mohawk Home will domestically produce and import the Raymond Waites collection.

Vidra said Waites is currently in negotiations with several prospects to produce and supply a licensed line of bath towels for launch in April 2004.

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