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Different, But The Same

Well, this home textiles market has come and gone.

And with few exceptions, one could have been dropped blindfolded through the ceilings of the showrooms and seen virtually the same stuff.

This time around, it wasn't same old, same old — but with the intensity of the repetition, the new might well quickly look old when it hits the retail sales floor.

Among the sameness trends were the brights — executed brilliantly at some companies, and just plain executed at others. Brights, done right, can be a major force in driving business for spring as well as even further down the road. But few consumers will turn their homes into Crayola boxes.

Tweeds were another direction signal, adopted both from the apparel runways but also from European home shows over the past year that highlighted a soft, textural look.

And for those that thought vintage was taking a holiday — it did, but only for a brief spell. This go-round it is back — not tea-stained and dark, but light and almost non-patterned in impact.

But the big surprise was the use of voile — or another similar sheer construction — as an ingredient in bed coverings and decorative pillows among the mainstream to upper moderate lines.

For several seasons the sheers have been a fashion statement in a number of luxury lines — contemporary and traditional — and the look now is filtering to a broader audience.

Among product categories, the youth craze definitely affected adult bedding with what some are calling casual, others contemporary. It definitely is a less fussy, over-embellished approach to bedding — and it opens up a vast audience that perhaps was bored with all the bells and whistles.

As for the youth segment itself, any retailer not moving to expanding in this dynamic business will definitely be left behind.

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