Wearbest shifts residential focus to Bella-Dura
Retail Editor 2 -- Home Textiles Today, February 7, 2014
New York - Textiles producer Wearbest Sil-Tex Mills announced it will cease the creation of new product for the residential market, with the exception of its Bella-Dura brand. Wearbest has been weaving decorative upholstery fabrics for the residential and contract markets since 1980.
"This was a strategic decision that came after much thoughtful consideration," said Irwin Gasner, president of Wearbest. "While we have enjoyed many fruitful years serving the residential market with our core Wearbest product offerings, the time has come to streamline our business and refocus our investments.
"We want it to be clear however, this is not an exit from the residential market overall. It is simply a shifting of our residential focus into the performance arena where we believe the future of the industry, and our company, lies. We can better serve our customers and ultimately their customers here, with our award-winning Bella-Dura brand."
This suspension in core residential operations applies solely to new developments, and will not affect any reorders, which the company will continue to produce for the full term of agreement with its customers.
On the heels of the announcement, Wearbest also unveiled a new brand identity for Bella-Dura, including a new logo and tagline, "Performance by Design."
"Over the course of the past few months, we have been taking serious steps towards elevating Bella-Dura and our overall business in a smart and thoughtful way," Gasner said. "With the promotion of designer Melissa Battah to director of contract and the appointment of MJ Ramos as senior stylist for residential, clients have already begun to see major changes and differences in our product offerings.
"The re-branding efforts are being spearheaded by Susan Lobel, brought on board in June as VP, marketing and brand development, to help set the strategy to drive demand and strengthen our position in the market."
Lobel said she believes one of the best ways to appeal to designers, beyond actually feeling the product, is through the use of bold, rich photography, graphics, videos, and a strong design sensibility, which also positions Bella-Dura as an all-around performance fabric, not limited to outdoor use.
"I am very excited about the strides we are making, taking Bella-Dura to a new level," Lobel said. "It's essential for designers to understand that Bella-Dura fabrics go beyond the ordinary, and that they can be used for any application, from residential to contract, indoor to out."
Lobel said she hopes to foster more interaction with designers to educate them on the brand. "For purchasing, we always lead designers to our distributors (a list of whom can be found on our website)," she said, "but it is our job to make them aware of the brand and its features so they will ask for it by name when shopping and specifying for their own projects."
The Bella-Dura website features new videos outlining the fabrics' performance attributes and highlighting the easy cleanability, while new collections and technical information are being regularly updated.
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