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Buyers drawn to diversity

NEW YORK — Both manufacturers and retailers went into the spring market bent on pursuing uniqueness, and HTT's post-market round-up of what hit and what didn't suggests that diversity won out.

There is no one overarching theme to define the hit items of the recent market. Embroidery was all over the place, and for some such as S. Lichtenberg and Stone Cline, it proved a big success. For others, it was cited as a big disappointment. Chenille worked for Ex-Cell, but not for some others this market. Animal patterns — so dominant last year — were mentioned as a big winner only by Ashford Court this time around.

Rather than one or two key trends driving the market, most of the winners seemed to result from a confluence of factors.

Berkshire Blanket's rayon sweater-knit throw proved a winner by combining a great hand and an attractive price point. Dan River's ensembles from Alexander Julian benefited by adding a cotton yarn-dyed sheet to the package. Richloom credits the success of its Jamestown pattern to a combination of "the right color, the right fabrication and the right packaging."

American Blanket Corp.

John Ginn

vp, sales and marketing

HITS: "The heavyweight Serenity blanket, the 85% acrylic/15% polyester high-pile. Despite the $40 retail, it was surprisingly strong. We had good response to our new packaging, and in our first printed throw line we had a hit with Highland Falls, one of our lodge looks."

MISSES: "We had some plaids and geometrics in our print line that weren't colored properly. We need to work on those."

Arley Corporation

Jerry Pittman

executive vp

HITS: "From the window division, the Jazz program and also our American Explorer collection. Jazz is a price item and American Explorer had some very innovative top treatments. In bedding, our prints and our scalloped prints continue to get a lot of placement. We've had very good success in our bedding line."

MISSES: "In window, we did some novelty sheers that look like they're not going do anything."

Ashford Court

Neil Zuber

president

HITS: "All our extended animal lines. We introduced 30 new animal patterns and skin looks and they all did great, especially the groups of elephant, giraffe, camel, zebra and leopard tapestries. Also, our kilim Moroccan looks were good."

MISSES: "Our cotton floral prints with tulips and lilies did not do well. In fact, after the first two days of market, we took them right out of the showroom. We had them in jewel tones, and we thought they were very pretty, but we got no interest from anyone.

Avanti

Michael Tauber

president

HITS: "Everything related to our Cheri Blum license was a hit, from our open stock to our box set program. It was all a huge hit for us. Other hits were the long stem flowers, our gingham collection and our tweener collection."

MISSES: "Ensembles of our oversized classic florals in bold colors. We were a little ahead of our time with these. They are more a part of a European trend, and I don't think buyers here are ready to receive it yet."

Baltic Linens

Vivie von Walstrom

executive vp, retail division

HITS: "We had two big hits. Our 100 percent cotton yarn-dyed sculpts in white and natural was a big hit, and so was our Viva line of line-combed cotton towels from Turkey."

MISSES: "Our wheels design was not well received."

Bardwil Linens

Gretchen Dale

executive vp

HITS: "We had two home runs. One was called The Garden, a heat-transfer jacquard that has fruits and flowers in an ivory background. The second, Berkshire, is a poly-cotton fruit print in a navy and natural background."

MISSES: "We didn't have a miss because we only introduced four new prints. If the other two were home runs, the last two were doubles: Chamomile, a botanical print on an off-white ground, and Provence, a traditional French provincial print in yellow and blue."

Bay Linens

Dianne Morris

president

HITS: "Our hits included Zandra, a gold and rose paisley pattern with silky and chenille elements; Melissa, a beautiful romantic design in line with what Bay Linens is known for; and Bergamont, another romantic pattern that is printed, woven and then crinkled. They were all well colored and had a lot of interest in their complex fabrications as well as the details seen in the shams and decorative pillows. All of them focused on romantic opulence, our theme for this market."

MISSES: "Equinox was a geometric pattern in shades of bold red and gold that perhaps was too intense. One retailer is planning to do it in another colorway, however."

Berkshire Blanket

Ellen McNulty

director of marketing

HITS: "The best was our Rockwell pima cotton program. It really put us in a quality cotton game and was very well received. The timing was really right for this, and that was our great placement. The other was our rayon sweater-knit throw. It has a really great hand, and we hit a really attractive price point."

MISSES: "The ball fringe. We thought it would be a huge hit, but it just didn't fly."

Bianca USA

Shannon Lucas

designer

HITS: "Our tweed stripe and tweed towels had a lot of interest. The tweed stripe towel is a side-woven chambray stripe, and the tweed towel mixes a lot of menswear looks together, like tweed and houndstooth. They're both nice patterns that cover the whole towel without being too much. And people loved the purple colorway."

MISSES: "Retailers expressed more interest in the fall collection than the spring one. They liked the spring but were not planning them in at this time."

Brentwood Originals

Loren Sweet

vp, national sales manager

HITS: "Velvet was a hit, but everyone is buying out of the fringe or the cord. Velvet pillows for fall and Kyoto, a new printed dobby that we did in windows and pillows."

MISSES: "The ruffled velvet was a miss, but because of the ruffle. Customers just aren't ready for ruffles again."

Burlington House Floor Accents

Charles Bowers

executive vp

HITS: "We had two major hits. One was from the accent rug category — the Studio Design, inkjet-printed hand-carved featuring Bacova designs. The second one is a molded rubber floor mat called the Waterstopper. It was designed to serve as a decorative floor saver."

MISSES: "We showed a series of imported natural coir woven mats, and that was the category that was unsuccessful."

Burlington House Window Div.

Myron Bass

vp, marketing, windows

HITS: "Hopscotch Plaid is an updated large-scale casual plaid with heather tones that coordinates with solid-color hopscotch, also with heather tones. Crushed Taffeta is a very deeply crushed version of our successful Taffeta that we introduced last market. Alpine is a contemporary matte crushed texture in a fresh, natural color palette. Allegro is a crushed heat-transfer floral printed sheer in deep jewel tones that also coordinates with our Taffeta."

MISSES: "Philadelphia and Delta, an open-weave casement, as a solid and a print, did not get a favorable reaction."

Carpenter Co.

Dan Schecter

vp, sales and marketing, Consumer Products Division

HITS: "Our Isotonic folding bed. It's just like our isotonic mattress for under $100. Our Slumber Wave mattress pad. It's the only pad in the market with a real lumbar pad support. Our First Isotonic was a hit, because it hits a new demographic and it has great packaging. The Isotonic Four Position was a hit, and the Egyptian cotton collection in polyester bed pillows and mattress pads were also a hit. The Four Position is a great pillow in visco-elastic foam, and there's nothing like it. And the Egyptian Cotton had new packaging. The Back to School collection had very unique packaging, too."

MISSES: "We did a wool-blend pad, a cashmere-blend pad and a silk-blend mattress pad that didn't do too good. And our Respond phase-change products just fell flat."

Cecil Saydah Co.

Peter Katz

director of marketing

HITS: "Our biggest hit in the kitchen category was our Hydrangea feature, which was offered in two color palettes in an assortment of prints and fabrics. Both were equally liked and sampled. Our Juvenile Bath coordinate Starry Sky Bears was also really well received. We see the juvenile bath market growing for several years to come."

MISSES: "Our biggest miss was a retro kitchen clock pattern that was done in retro colors such as avocados, oranges and yellows. I think it was a little too far out there."

Charles D. Owen Mfg.

David Hollowell

director of marketing

HITS: "The Wamsutta line in total, especially the Egyptian cotton blanket, which is especially interesting given the price point. We're going to place these blankets in lots of places very quickly."

MISSES: "The jacquard bedspreads really eclipsed the dobby bedspread, so we think the one dobby we have left in the line won't do all that well."

Creative Bath

Rick Lipton

national sales manager

HITS: "Garden Sampler and Linea, high-end vinyl shower curtains, were overwhelming successes. Our bed bath coordinates, especially Primavera in Pamela Ferrari and Tobago in open line, in higher-end lines received higher-end customer response."

MISSES: "Two out of three of the embroidered sheers — Day and Night, with their coordinated accessories — did not receive the response we were hoping for."

Croscill Home

David Kahn

president, ceo

HITS: "Windsor and Aubusson, Masquerade, Josephine and Isabella and Cheri Blum's Calla Lily, Essence and Quarry were all hits. Napoleon bath was a huge hit. Synergy, a metal and glass collection we did was huge, too. In window, Sara Clip, a sheer; Claremont; and Mohair; a hairy sheer; and a silk shantung look called Shantung all did well."

MISSES: "Hennessey, a pretty yellow floral bed. I liked it. I don't know why the customer didn't. And Bolero, a novelty jacquard with cocoa and brown tones in it, didn't catch on. Fresh Cut bouquet and Topiary were both misses, both were by Cheri Blum."

Crown Crafts

Glen Giordano

director, corporate sales/merchandising

HITS: "Bali, Hydrangea and Lilacs. They all had good styling, and we feel that prints and yarn-dyed jacquards were important this market."

MISSES: "Ginshi. Sometimes you don't get a print right, and there wasn't enough customer interest to go forward with it."

Dan River

John Hall

senior vp, sales/marketing, department/specialty stores

HITS: "We had a really positive response for the Di Lewis introductions. One was called Charmaine, which was very timely for color, and the spirit of design was right on. We had very positive response on the yarn-dyed ensembles from Alexander Julian. Ocean Bluff and Coral Reef were both very well received."

MISSES: "We missed with the chenille pattern called Baroque. Market liked the look, but said chenille wasn't earning consumer acceptance in bedding. Vivienne, a 200, seemed to confirm the fact the market is looking for things other than traditional floral looks."

Down Lite International

Mike Pirkle

vp, sales

HITS: "We introduced solid-color down blankets with a satin trim on them in down and Primaloft, and both of those went over very well. In our high-end comforters, we introduced a new silk design, called Silk Elegance with Siberian white goose down, and we also had a high-thread-count damask that went over really well. And we also had down-top featherbeds, and we also introduced some pastel stripes that reversed to soft pastel solids."

MISSES: "Some high-end German Silks weren't received quite as well as our other stuff. Price points, more than anything, made a winner or a loser."

Elrene

Mark Siegel

president

HITS: "Under Elrene, our Everyday Luxuries collection was a tremendous success with both our department store and specialty store customers. Our mix-and-match collection of easy-care products at popular price points was exactly what our customers were looking for. Under the Newbridge name, our new Casa Azule collection for Villeroy & Boch was very well received. This new program will be a continuation of the success we are already experiencing at retail with the Villeroy & Boch product."

MISSES: "Our Tatami place mat program may have been ahead of its time."

Ex-Cell Home Fashions

John Panariello

vp merchandising, decorative pillows

HITS: "For Madison Landing, many of our collections were hits. We've had a great reaction to our purple/plum line. The parrot pattern in the mineral line has done very well. Our best pattern of all was Wilson Road, a chenille base pillow with flowers, birds and branches in the design. And the nautical group did exceptionally well. For the Ex-Cell line, the hit was the Cottage collection, an all-woven group of solids, stripes, plaids and embroideries."

MISSES: "For Madison Landing, a pattern called Hidden Birds was a miss. And the misses in the Ex-Cell line were the brightly colored animal prints."

Georgia Tufters

David Record

vp and national sales manager

HITS: "Our biggest hit was our new faux flokati collection of shaggy, brightly colored nylon rugs for the tweener market. Buyers liked them for their back-to-school promotional lines.

MISSES: "We had a new nylon print pattern called Op-Art, a very contemporary stark black-and-white pattern that was cool. But I guess it was too far out for the mainstream."

Guilford Home Fashions

Steve Castella

vp, design

HITS: "Jockey was a huge, huge hit, much more than we had anticipated. We're really doing well with embroidered top of bed and velvet top of bed. In velvet, Phoebe was a ribbon embroidery on velvet that is an addition to our Indulgence line, which was a solid quilted velvet program. Our Karen Neuburger license was phenomenal. For window, cotton embroideries were a huge success. And we had enormous success in embroideries as well as we with airbrush. We had a great reaction to our Fluffy Dobby. And we also had huge success with Popcorn, a tie-top textural 100 polyester cloth, and Rosebud, a ribbon embroidery sheer with ribbon tie-top."

MISSES: "Mardi Gras, a 100 percent polyester taffeta jacquard. It was just one of those trend items that possibly people are steering away from. Our Spa shower curtain, which is a 100 percent cotton pique, I think was too plain. And Nicolette. I don't know why people didn't like it. It was gorgeous. It was an Asian feel chenille with a leaf jacquard design."

Haywin Textiles

Maureen Granger

vp, marketing

HITS: "Everything new on the show floor will be placed. We had the right looks, they were on target."

MISSES: There was one photographic print, Farrell, that might not be placed. It was a design that probably a lot of people are showing.

High Country Linens

Tom Ferrisi

vp

HITS: "We had a nice response to our 400-count damask product in sheets and duvets. It was our first foray into thread counts. It's new and fresh to the marketplace. The hand on the product is truly exceptional. We had some interest in the 300-count, yarn-dyed product. I think yarn dyes are new and fresh, too. You also get a really nice positive/negative effect with those. It's a unique look."

MISSES: "We showed a number of different stripe sheet sets and duvet ensembles that aren't unique to the market. They already had fair representation in the marketplace."

Hollander Home Fashions, Fashion Division

Bob Levitt

president, fashion division

HITS: "Kashmir from Nob Hill. From Broadway, our promotional end jacquard, the hit was Francesca. In our Park Avenue collection, it was between Athena and Phoenix. From Vandome, Persia was the big hit. In Hollander Kids, it was Simply Divine, and from Hollander Teen it was Pixie Chicks. Nob Hill and Broadway had prices that were very enticing to retailers. Kashmir was just a good neutral look. Athena had that new blue everyone is looking at. Phoenix was a Southwest look in hunters and burgundies. Persia was a chenille with a tapestry-type look. Simply Divine just stood out, and the colorations and scale were exciting."

MISSES: "In Park Avenue, it was Cinema. From Vandome, it was Square One, which was a boxed pattern in brown and neutral tones with slubbed yarns. From Hollander Teen, it was Horizon."

Hollander Home Fashions, Basic Bedding Division

Dave Stewart

senior vp, basic bedding division

HITS: "The Wooly Bully wool comforter was by far the biggest hit. I think everything about it was right on. We see that down alternative part of the business as a rapidly expanding category. I had great reaction to my down throws and down blankets and my oversize down comforters, too. I think they give you a better drape and better coverage on those newer, thicker mattresses."

MISSES: "I would say probably some of our 233-count print comforter shells were our weakest showing."

Home Source International

Keith Sorgeloos

president

HITS: "The Towel was a hit. It's the most absorbent, softest towel on the market. Another great hit were the 100 percent merino wool, lambswool and 50/50 wool/cashmere throws from Eastern Europe. Another hit was the linne bedding. These are unique and differentiated products that are very value added. A 70" x 92" beach blanket/towel was a big hit, too."

MISSES: "The placements that we did. I think it was the fact that it was bamboo styling, and I don't think people are ready for that, yet."

John Ritzenthaler Co.

Howard "Chip" Steidle Jr.

vp, sales and marketing

HITS: "We introduced some more seasonal products that were well received. They were embroideries and flat jacquard wovens with little themes that addressed Valentine's Day, Easter, spring, summer, fall and Christmas."

MISSES: "Beach towels. Because we introduced a limited amount of product at April market, we've chosen to withdraw beach towels until next market."

Louisville Bedding

David Roshberg

director, merchandising

HITS: "We had a wonderful reaction to our new DuPont programs, Atmosphere and Elevation. We have worked very closely with DuPont to develop two special, proprietary fibers (DuPont Microsilk and DuPont Ultralift) that, when used in bed pillows, best address consumers' desires according to our most recent focus group studies. We are offering both of these fibers in the DuPont branded programs mentioned above, as well as ingredients in Beautyrest and Croscill branded products. We are also offering DuPont branded mattress pads that offer the same features and benefits as the pillows."

MISSES: "The more lukewarm reaction was toward the Olympic queen-sized merchandise we introduced. Not until this new size is embraced by the mattress merchants will it become a legitimate size for basic bedding."

Maples

Arnie Stevens

vp

HITS: "The hits were some looks in printed rugs with Kroma-jet technology, both in the quilted and floral."

MISSES: "We introduced some new cotton that we thought would have done better, some solid-color cotton, that we found didn't get interest we expected."

Melange Home Fashions

Scott Shafranek

national sales manager

HITS: "In embroidery, we introduced a 260-count mitered called Bamboo, which was a big hit for us. In our embroidered mini-duvet sets, Autumn Leaves did well. From our 200-count, Botanical Boxes, an embroidered and appliqued satin ribbon, did well, too. In bath, I would say that the pieced, embroidered, nylon shower curtains were a huge success. We're in production for 10 patterns. The other thing that was hot for us was our high-end Plaza collection, in bed and bath."

MISSES: "One shower curtain, Celestial, didn't do well. We were a little disappointed with that. It was a little too fashion forward. And we had a floral/geometric embroidered pattern in the 260-count, Springfield, that we really liked, but it might have been a little too busy."

Mohawk Home

Patrick Moyer

vp, marketing

HITS: "Scatter rugs was very big. The tufted textured scatter rugs were among the hottest that we introduced. We've also seen tremendous success with wildlife tapestries in dec pillows. In throws, the embossed velvet was very much a hit. Our new licensed juvenile character throws were popular."

MISSES: "The bound rug in solid, a carpet cut rug, was too bland. Our message pillows, with computer messages like 'LOL,' 'BRB' and 'Ou...La...La,' were misses. And our Everyday Heroes collection of throws, based on different professions, was a miss."

Newport

Corey Faul

president

HITS: "For dec pillows, silk was definitely a hit. And for bedding, Kensington, an Arts and Crafts design, was a hit."

MISSES: "Our faux fur animal dec pillows in purple, pink and blue for tweeners was a miss. So was our Vintage basic damask jacquard in bedding. It was too 'Me, too,' if you know what I mean."

The Northwest Company

Stan Mieszkowski

vp, sales

HITS: "Clifford the Big Red Dog was a big hit in throws, pillows and carry bags, and Spongebob Squarepants was really good. We also had a great reaction to our expanded Barbie line."

MISSES: "Franklin the Turtle looks kind of slow. Given the importance of the television show, we were disappointed."

Park B. Smith Ltd.

Valborg Linn

director, design and merchandising

HITS: "We had many hits. In window treatments, Window Magic was the biggest. Button-Up Blind and Draw-tie Swag were tied for number-one. For Bedding, Eco-River was a hit. In bath, it was our new tufted shower curtains, especially the Ducky Ducky and Swimming Around designs. In rugs, carved chenille and heather weaves were hits. And in table, kilim with chenille was a hit."

MISSES: "For window treatments, it was our new embroideries. For bedding, Eco-Morisson. Noodles, a hand-woven rug, was a miss. And in table, Somerset was a miss."

Perfect Fit Industries

Tom Berenger

vp, sales/marketing

HITS: "Our SoftHeat automatic warming blankets and pads continue to be our shining star. We introduced a new collection of 300-, 400- and 500-count bed sacks with coordinating cluster pillows that are doing very well. Our Foam Core pillows also got strong placement. Our woven throws Aspen, a boucle, and Waverly, a jacquard chenille throw, and Indochine, a cotton bedspread, and Chantilly Rose, a tufted bedspread, also did really well. Color, pattern and texture made them all strong."

MISSES: "Four pillows were weeded out prior to market based on previews. Some bedspreads, and two or three throws also got edited out."

Pillowtex

Stacie Cronin

vp, marketing, bed division

HITS: "From Charisma Select, Hemstitch was hugely successful along with Dauphine, from our Court of Versailles, Empress collection. The whole high-end seems to be where our forte is, and it does very well for us."

MISSES: "From Royal Velvet Interiors, Madeline and Straffield were misses. I think pattern design is what held them back. In each case it was the coloration or the actual motifs."

Richloom Home Fashions, Global Sourcing Division

Todd Cella

director, sales/marketing, Global Sourcing Division

HITS: "Jamestown. It had the right color, right fabrication and the right packaging. Suede also had the right color, and the makeup of the bed was unique for a comforter. Butterfly was priced right."

MISSES: "Nantucket was a chenille pile fabric. It got no reaction."

Scala International

Chip Scala

president

HITS: "All the silk products - sheets, duvets, decorative pillows, window panels and the shower curtains — did well. I think it was timely, and it looks like this seems to be the right time for everything. Our Egyptian Cotton line did well, too. And we did some great hand-blocked quilts."

MISSES: "Our hand embroideries on wool, linen and silk. I guess they were kind of pricey. They just didn't do very well."

Shavel Home Products

Dawn Rochelle Fields

director of marketing

HITS: "Our bedspreads — the Colonial Classic and Colonial Traditions. Both are made in classic bedspread sizes long enough to cover the bed pillow. Both sold incredibly well."

HITS: "The quilted velvet coverlet. Although it had a great response, the bedspreads really stole the show."

S. Lichtenberg

Carl Goldstein

senior vp

HITS: "Avery, an attached valance embroidered panel. Briana, a heat-transfer print on voile. Chambray, a casual tab-top solid-color cloth. Courtney, a tier curtain. Elaina, a pole-top sateen. Katherine, a pole-top or rod pocket taffeta. Lauren, an iridescent organza, solid-color fabric. And Phoebe, a heat-transfer print on voile. They were all items that really stood on their own. Lauren and Katherine were on two new cloths."

MISSES: "Camilla, a pigment print on organza. Florentine, a woven jacquard semi-sheer. Helena, a sateen and velvet jacquard. Lena, an iridescent modern mini-plaid. And Provence, a stripe voile panel. They just didn't catch on."

Springs Industries

Ted Matthews

director, public relations

HITS: "As a total collection, Soiree was a hit, particularly Beaujolais and Gabriella. In the Bedroom Solutions Level II, Kirna and Chiara. In Level I, hits were Chablis, Manchester, Gwyneth and Siena. In general bed-in-bag, Aquarius, Sweet Dreams, Kirkley and Lily. In solid sheets, 400-count sateen and the 320-count Supima stripe did well. The new Harry Potter introduction got a good response. In bath, the ensembles that did particularly well were Evening Sands, Palms, Prismatic and Byzantine."

MISSES: "In Bedroom Solutions Level I, Tanda. In Level II, Innsbruck. In general bed-in-bag, Ambrose and French Quarter."

Stone-Cline

Denise Stoughton

director, product design & development

HITS: "Echo, a 100 percent cotton melange with felt embroidered leaves; our colors, we had a natural and a gray, were beautiful. The customer was also attracted to the leaves. And we had Eternity, a coordinating polyester organza with a cotton opaque cloth with embroidery and tufted flowers. It was very three-dimensional. It has a really unique quality compared to other embroidery because of the tufting. Floret, which was a 100 percent cotton, heavyweight burlap-type of goods with tonal embroidery with long, leggy stems. It was more novelty, and we're finding our niche with these types of items."

MISSES: "I think we didn't get as good a reaction on some felt panels that we introduced. Those are looks we saw at Heimtex, and we thought we should try it in panels; but I think they may too heavy in weight for the window."

Sunham Home Fashions

Vanessa McBride

design director

HITS: "Our Lifestyle Collections were big hits this time, including our embroidered quilts, which really took off. Kaleidoscope, part of Lifestyle, was a hit. The introduction of the chambray done in bright colors is something a little different. Embroideries, and the way they were done, is what caught peoples' eyes."

MISSES: "Some of our more traditional quilts. I guess because the customer is looking for more modern and contemporary patchworks."

Tessile

R.T. Towner Lapp

national sales manager

HITS: "The Tessile line, we're all going to go forward with those. They got a fairly broad reaction from across our customer base. Feather Vest from Mount Vernon collection got exceptional response. It was embroidered, which is very popular, and the comments we got said it was a different, softer look, very much colored for fall."

MISSES: "Delaware Crossing, from the Mount Vernon Collection, we're probably not going to do. It did not generate a lot of response. Our customers said they had seen that look out there. It wasn't totally different, and I guess the pattern definition was totally there."

Thomaston Mills

Steve McGee

vp, retail sales

HITS: "Our hit was the launch of our 230, 60/40 complete bed sets. Danielle, Elizabeth, Artisan and Miranda. They were very contemporary looks, florals and geometric looks. They were just new and really fresh looks, unlike some of the looks we had seen at market. Rap, Gypsy and Awesome were very hip and trendy; a real '60s kind of throwback, Gen Y look. Our 200-count, 100 percent cotton, textured solid sheets. They were very upscale colors, and we also offered coordinating comforter sets with them."

MISSES: "Cheyenne, a tool suede duvet cover; Shadow Square, a 100 cotton duvet cover; and the Symphony, a bed scarf. I don't think retailers thought consumers would really understand it. There was not a big reaction to any of those."

Town & Country

Frank Scalice

senior vp, president of bath division

HITS: "Our hits were the matelasse Notting Hill, Regatta, chenille tufted Spring Fling and Tropical Punch."

MISSES: "Cosmos, a printed flower design on denim fabric, was a miss."

Town & Country

Judy Neu

design director, decorative pillows

HITS: "Our faux fur and faux leather collections were hits, especially the ostrich, boa, snakeskin. So were our embellished pillows and our chenilles. We also got some Christmas business."

MISSES: "I guess you could say our colored denims in oversized shapes."

United Feather & Down

Brandon Palmer

executive vp

HITS: "A real hit for our company was our line of down blankets with our branded Insuloft Down and Down Select. Both are offered in high-thread-count cottons and a rich color palette. We also had wonderful response to our European Elegance Down Collection, which features the ultimate in down materials that we collect in areas of Europe where our company has a long history. The down is encased in very special fabrics such as Lyocell and Silk. The last hit I want to mention is the great response to Joseph Abboud."

MISSES: "I guess the item I would say we need to modify is a new micro-fiber throw. Everyone loved the feel, but we need to figure out how to properly use this fabric with down. The reaction to the touch was good, but we still need to work on the construction elements of weight, size, trim, etc."

Veratex

Dale Talbert

vp, sales

HITS: "In bedding, Etherial, Isabella, Carthage, Imperial and Chalet. Their styling set them apart. In the Beverly Glen line, DiLoria and Laura. At those price points, we brought in color as well as texture. In Guess, the biggest hits were Midori and Woolen Plaid. Texture was important here. In the bath area, the biggest hits were Chateau, Lyric and Ruching."

MISSES: "Chainmale, Jaipur and Paladium. I don't think these were so terrible. It's just that the other things were so good there was no room for them. In Beverly Glen, Sophia, Brooke and Cheyenne. The other stuff was too strong so they got left out."

WestPoint Stevens

Kathleen Cwirko

senior vp, marketing

HITS: "Disney, Disney, Disney. Seduction, all products, towels, sheets and top of bed. The Answer Beds, Odette and L'Arabesque. In towels, we're making four out of the six new colors in Grand Patrician. Asher Square, Iris, Bias Plaid and Terrazzo."

MISSES: "The jury is still out on the remainder of the line. We have a number of products that are still on people's style-outs."

Whisper Soft Mills

Scott Schwarz

vp, marketing/sales

HITS: "The hits were Glitterama, Cool Hearts, Jessica's Garden, Garden Party, Sweet Dreams. It's really because of the patterns and designs. Glitterama literally glitters. Cool Hearts has those purples and aquas that are very popular. Sweet Dreams also has those aqua tones. All three had a very dynamic top-of-bed and a real soothing sheet. Jessica's Garden was just kind of a bold, new color for a mono-chromatic floral. Garden Party was young traditional floral in pastels with attached hems that made it a little bit younger. It was good because everyone is focusing on the older, teen look."

MISSES: "Olivia was a '60s retro bandanna look that was maybe not as fresh as our customers might have wanted it to be."

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