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Maxim tries its hand at home line

The men's lifestyle magazine known for its saucy tone and scantily clad cover models is launching a lifestyle line of home textiles next month under the brand Maxim Living.

The collection will debut next month at Foley's and Filene's with comforter sets, duvet sets, bath mats, bath accessories and shower rugs. Bath towels and beach introductions will follow up the effort, according to Barry Pincus, brand development director for Dennis Publishing, parent of Maxim magazine as well as Stuff and Blender.

The home textiles line will be produced under license by Pem-America. It follows the launch at retail last October of Maxim Living ready-to-assemble furniture by Z-Line. The RTA furniture is currently carried by Staples, Circuit City and West Coast consumer electronics retailer Fry's, Pincus said.

The bedding and bath collection "is definitely a department store brand," he said, adding that it could also be appropriate in the specialty store channel. Comforter sets, which include shams and a bed skirt, will retail between $200 to $300, depending upon construction, he added.

Maxim's readers range in age from 21 to 35 years old, with a median age of 27 and average household income of $64,000.

"This is a customer that hasn't traditionally been marketed to (in home). Our guys trust us," Pincus said.

However, the product is also meant to appeal to women, he said. The magazine has 3 million female readers whose demographics closely track those of the average male reader. "We want something that a woman would be likely to buy for a guy. Women hold a lot of sway."

The product styling will be contemporary and modern, according to Heath Hart, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Pem-America. Launch designs will include strips, flocked velvets and pintucking, he said.

Maxim plans to expand the Maxim Living Home brand further in the future, said Pincus, who was once chief financial officer at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

The company looks for licensees with a strong design sense, the financial wherewithal to back a program launch, an understanding of the Maxim brand and strong retail connections, he added. "Someone with the ability to do it all."

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