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Avonhome Tries On Aprons for Size

New York — The initial reaction to Avonhome's new line of figure-flaunting aprons: “Squeals.”

A far cry from what's normally heard from the modern career woman — often a microwave maven with little time to slave over a hot stove like her kitchen-clad grandmother, whose large apron served strictly as just another piece of functional — not fashionable — cooking equipment.

Not the case anymore, says Chris Mooney, evp, sales and merchandising, Avonhome.

“The category of feminine-chic aprons that hug curves — and are as equally at home in the kitchen as they are on the streets as part of an outfit — is a totally new area of opportunity,” Mooney explained. “[Based on the early reaction from friends and associates], I must have orders in-house for at least 75 units so far. People want to give them as gifts, wear them at their next dinner party or just wear them over their Capri jeans and white tank top. I heard the words 'Christmas gifts to all my friends,' probably 10 different times.”

Titled “In the Kitchen with Dinah” with a tagline that reads, “Serve with Pride and a Green Salad,” this new collection encompasses 15 styles, of which most are full-size and one-third are half-aprons for below the waist.

Mooney said all of Avonhome's styles this market were cooked up from authentic 1940s and 1950s apron patterns bought off the Internet from vintage pattern suppliers. Ladies' names are used for each design, such as The Leslie, The Suzy, and The Connie.

“To that traditional styling, we've done them in fabrics like camouflage, stripes, dots, bold florals, and interesting solids, and have treatments like ball fringe, rickrack, darting, gathering and puckering to make them totally up to date,” he continued. “We're aiming to sell these like dresses.”

They come in a three-tiered sizing structure spanning petites, mid-range sizes, and plus sizes.

“We've even had interest expressed from the garment industry by a company interested in selling them as an element of dress,” he said. “Our goal is to satisfy not only an existing apron customer by using familiar shapes or bodies, but also to add a brand new apron customer that's never even considered wearing one before.”

He said that the category of aprons has “essentially been ignored at retail except in the most novel or utilitarian ways.”

The line is poised for a good-better-best merchandising structure, with retail price points set at $14.99, $19.99 and $24.99 — the highest bracket reserved for reversible styles and pieces sporting special treatments.

As patterns become popular at retail, Avonhome will add coordinating pieces, including place mats, napkins and kitchen tiers.

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