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Vanderbilt Home again postpones launch

New York — When Gloria Vanderbilt Home Furnishings originally announced that the Vanderbilt name was making a comeback into the world of home textiles, the plan called for product to be ready by spring 2002. However, after a series of obstacles, fall 2003 has now become the target date for rolling out the line.

According to Susan Olshan, vp of marketing, the company is ready and waiting to roll out nine lifestyle collections bearing the Vanderbilt name, which had virtually disappeared from the scene. One of the problems, she said, may lie in the confusing images portrayed by Vanderbilt Home and the owners of the Vanderbilt name at the apparel level, Jones Apparel Group.

Olshan said Jones has recently introduced a complete apparel line that, although it bears Vanderbilt's name, is more of a generic collection than one which directly reflects the designer's lifestyle or tastes. In contrast, the line developed by Vanderbilt Home Furnishings is taken directly from influences and experiences from Vanderbilt's life. When Vanderbilt Home approached retailers about carrying the line, Olshan said many asked what the connection is between the two companies.

The second major problem that has arisen since Vanderbilt Home announced the rejuvenation of the name is actually being able to meet with the kind of retailer for which Olshan said the line is perfectly suited. "We've got to meet with someone ... who really decides on designating selling space on the whole selling floor."

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