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Eileen West Returns Home

At the New York Market — Eileen West is returning to home textiles.

The San Francisco-based designer of intimate apparel, dresses, and sportswear launched her first line of home textiles in the 1980s, first through Burlington, then following a merger, through J.P. Stevens. West dropped the line in the mid-90s, although she continues to offer a couple of luxury duvets through her website.

"We've been doing a lot of other projects. We have really been focused on sleepwear," said West, who also designs the Lanz of Salzburg sleepwear line.

The first components of her new collection are showing this week through licensees. United Feather & Down introduced down and down alternative comforters, duvet covers, and Lyocell sheets under the Eileen West brand. Hedaya Home Fashions is doing quilts. American Dawn handles towels, flannel sheets, and flannel duvets.

At the August Market, Park B. Smith will introduce window, shower curtains, and bath rugs. Negotiations are under way for a fashion bedding licensee.

"There seems to be a need for a more feminine look in the market," said West. "It lends itself so well to the bed."

Her home designs emphasize clean, soft colors and "thoughtful details," she said. In towels, Eileen West is showing a core group of jacquards in six "back-to-the-beach" colors.

The collection is intended for department stores and specialty store chains. Pricing will be bridge, she said. West isn't looking to become a lone retailer's captive brand. Instead, she said, she would prefer to go the route she has in sleepwear — create designs for each customer.

"It's so important to work with them and give each store something unique," West said. "This isn't just a designer saying 'Here's my name.'"

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