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Avanti joins Warren Kimble lineup

MOONACHIE, NJ — Towel manufacturer Avanti, based here, became the latest home textiles manufacturer to become a licensee of Warren Kimble folk art.

Avanti will produce embellished towel ensembles and towel gift sets under its licensing agreement with Menlo Park, CA-based Courtney Davis Inc., the exclusive licensing agency for Warren Kimble.

"It's a fairly simple reason why we chose Avanti," said Linda Balogh, president of Courtney Davis Inc. "We've observed something about Avanti that is unique to them in the industry — they have the ability to perfectly embellish icons onto towels. Because we are very conscientious about the integrity of Warren Kimble's artwork, we had to go with the company that translates it perfectly, and Avanti is it."

And the second reason, Balogh added, was the success of Avanti's new line of ensemble gift box sets.

"It's a great and creative merchandising idea," Balogh said. "We want to build on it."

The Warren Kimble license is the fourth licensed program for Avanti, and the second of Avanti's licensing programs to include gift box sets. Most recently, Avanti created embellished towel ensembles and gift sets for its Cheri Blum license of floral designs and introduced them at the New York Home Textiles Show in April.

"We had a tremendous success story with our new box set program with Cheri Blum at April market," Michael Tauber, president of Avanti, said. "It was a home run for us. We had almost 100 percent sell-through with our customers."

The gift box sets, including towels that are made of terry loop and are velour sheered with applique designs, are available in the following different styles:

  • One bath, one hand and one tip towel ensemble; or

  • Two hand towels and two tip towels ensembles.

The gift box features a design that coordinates with the towels.

The box sets retail for $29.99 each.

Although the gift box sets are mainly intended as holiday gift items for the fourth quarter 2001, Tauber said that Avanti will test a holiday collection of Fourth of July gift box sets of Warren Kimble embellished towels this summer at some of Avanti's existing retail partners — all department and specialty stores.

A preview of Avanti's new Warren Kimble line, which will launch with six to 10 collections featuring folk icons like lighthouses, the American flag, lodge looks and fish, is scheduled for early summer, "sometime in the next six to eight weeks," Tauber said. Delivery will be ready as of mid to late summer, he added. The official introduction will be during the New York Home Textiles Show in October, at which time Avanti expects to add another four to six collections to its Warren Kimble line.

"There's a big country out there and the Warren Kimble Americana flavor falls into many backyards," Tauber said. "Based on the success Warren Kimble is already having in other areas of the home furnishings market, we expect this to be a huge opportunity for Avanti."

Other home textile manufacturer licensees of Warren Kimble include Elrene Home Fashions, table linen manufacturer; Manual Woodworkers and Weavers, manufacturers of tapestry woven throws, decorative pillows and accessories; and Toland, decorative pillow, floor mat, flag, wind chimes and mouse pad manufacturer.

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