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Raymond Waites reorganizes

New York – Raymond Waites Designs has reorganized its design responsibilities with Waites himself creating the designs and design direction for the fledgling Raymond Waites Couture, while Stacey Testa, senior vp, design, heads the design group for the balance of the company’s home furnishings activities.

“I felt I wanted to go out and do things that were much more specifically design oriented,” explained Waites. With that in mind, he said than Laneventure, a long time furniture licensee, “would become the backbone of our Couture collection. They have the prototype customer for what I’m planning – the best store in town, privately owned and staffed by interior designers.”

The other licensees to date in the Couture program are John Richards and The Phillips Collection.

Discussing the existing licensees, which target the more mainstream in terms of design and price points, Waites emphasized, “Stacey is a very creative and talented designer and she will oversee everything. She has been with me from the beginning, some 14 years.”

Current licensees include Swavelle/Mill Creek for decorative fabrics, Next Creations for bedding, Toyo for accessories, Allure for bath accessories, Cambridge for flatware, Certified International for dinnerware, Framed Picture Enterprise for wall art, and Enchante for storage and albums.

Waites, president of his namesake company, said of Michael Vidra, executive vp, “Michael is doing a great job and the company is doing well. I wanted to step back a bit.”

He added, “I always wanted to work with John Richards and what I plan for The Phillips Collection – it’s going to be sculptural and edgy – things people have never seen from me before.”

Another project on the agenda is Raymond Waites Artworks Gallery for fine art that will be launched at the next High Point market. Galleries are planned for Palm Beach, Fla. this winter and one in the Hamptons on Long Island next year.

Discussing the bedding business, Vidra said that Ying Shen has been named design director for that segment, “and our bedding business is on a very good course.”

Overall, Vidra noted, “Stacey has stepped into very big shoes but Raymond will be overlooking all of the business. The changes are a healthy and unavoidable situation as we get older.”

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