WPS prepares to roll out 'solutions'

Marvin Lazaro, March 18, 2002

New York — WestPoint Stevens will be presenting at market next month in a manner that positions it as a house that focuses on offering "solutions" and fosters innovation.

The company's Grand Patrician, Atelier, Martex, Patrician Answer Beds and Martex bed-in-bags will all be boosted by the breadth of the introductions.

Leading the way for the major mill in 2002 are six new looks for its line of Grand Patrician bedding ensembles. Santorini, James, Jasmine, Villa, Winslow and Venice all utilize a variety of colors, looks, detailing and fabrics, including linen, silk and voile.

"We believe there's a trend for lighter-weight fabrics and that the market is getting away somewhat from the heavier, woven jacquard-type of goods," said Tim Shine, vp of sales and department stores, on the variety of fabrics used for the Grand Patrician additions.

Santorini borrows its theme from Native American jewelry and the popular Prairie apparel look. Done in a mix of white and teal cotton and linen, crochet detailing and beadwork are used throughout as embellishments.

Wide satin stripes colored in coffee and bronze tones make up the more masculine James. Adorning this ensemble is metallic embroidery, while pleated pillows complete the tailored look.

Layering, sheers and embroidered detailing are highlights of Jasmine, which will be offered in either ecru or soft mint. Decorative pillows embellished with smocking and satin flowers complete the very feminine look.

Also taking its inspiration from apparel is the pieced Villa, which uses appliqued ribbons of lace and crochet in shades of blues and greens. Matte and shine are alternated on the ensemble.

Rounding out the Grand Patrician introductions are Winslow and Venice. Winslow is finished in richer tones on a damask jacquard and complemented with faux fur. Pin-tucked and pleated silk dupioni in an orchid colorway make up the look of Venice.

"We are definitely launching premium product that will sell," said Bob Dale, president of WPS' bed and bath division.

For its Patrician Answer Bed collection, WestPoint is rolling out four new looks.

Graphics and Botanica are both designed by Larry Laslo. Aubergine, merlot, smoke, wheat and sage colorways combined with chenille in a grid motif make up the top-of-bed for Graphics, while Botanica uses subtle shades of platinum and gold for its decorative leaf design.

From WestPoint's own designers is Aubusson, which utilizes rose and ecru over olive green combined with a framed bouquet. Paisley combines teal with navy and olive along with a traditional paisley pattern.

All four ensembles are offered with coordinating 230-count cotton sheets and for a $279/$299 queen/ king retail price point.

In addition, the Grand Patrician 310-line of solid color sheets will be supplemented with a new quilt titled Bianca. Offered in three color combinations ranging from lighter tones to richer tones, Shine said the quilt offers retailers another way to supplement sales through good-looking coordinate items. The Designers Guild licensed line will also be supplemented with a line of quilts for its Guillemard, Hanna, Floribunda and Rosy Posy patterns.

On the bath side of its business, WPS is paying particular attention to its offering at the $14.99 price point — what it believes to be a critical price point. The overall line will also feature a "non-solid solid" look as solid colors are supplemented with sculpture, embellishments and decorative borders.

The Grand Patrician label will be bolstered with a "Prairie" line of colors combined with lace, ruffles and small-scale florals. Prairie sky, desert rose, thistle, juniper, walnut and canyon will be offered.

First in line for the collection of "fancies" is the Trousseau Collection by Grand Patrician. Three different styles, each offered in white and ivory, will combine lace and embroidery. Casablanca uses a lace insert in the body of the towel while Floranza features lace at its hem. Cameo Rose showcases a lace rose with tone-on-tone embroidery.

For the Grand Patrician jacquard line, Scroll, Ironwork Paisley Shawl, and Banded Herringbone are all new. Scroll features a hem border with rayon, while Shawl, also made from Egyptian cotton, utilizes a traditional Kashmir paisley border.

An embroidered rose with a sculpted, interlacing pattern makes up Ironwork, while Herringbone offers more contemporary styling.

The sophisticated mid-tones of mocha, amethyst, soft teal, new sage, indigo and merlot will all be added to the Seduction palette, which was offered in sherbet colors last fall. Also new for the line will be two jacquard constructions, Diamond Quilt and Bellagio, as well as a tub mat/bath rug.

Like the predecessors, Diamond Quilt and Bellagio will use micro-cotton for their construction. A textured lattice pattern finished with a tightly woven broad border will complete the look of Diamond Quilt, while a sculpted architectural shell motif with a subtle, ribbed texture will complete Bellagio. Diamond Quilt will be offered in white, ivory, linen, sage and amethyst, while Bellagio will come in white, ivory, light blue and lavender.

Rounding out the non-licensed introductions for WPS are two new towels for the Patrician line with a $10.99 retail price point, Chenille Plaid and East/West Stripe, as well as a new Martex towel. All three continue with the non-solid solid focus with Chenille Plaid using a waffle-textured body and East/West Stripe a bold horizontal stripe border. Offered under the Martex name at the more promotional price point of $7.99 will be the new Gingham Stripe, which combines terry gingham with an awning stripe.

For its Designer Guild licensed line of towels, WestPoint unveils two new jacquard styles that coordinate back to the original line of sculpted solids.

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