Donna Karan brings Play to bath

Carole Sloan, March 29, 2004

AT THE NEW YORK MARKET — Following its mid-season introduction of Play in bedding, Donna Karan Home is introducing Play Bath, a collection of five color families — purple, green, yellow, blue and pink.

The collection is offered in three striped towels, printed towels with twill tape edging, a rag rug and space-dyed rug, robes with piping, reversible shower curtains, solid-color trimmed towels, enamel bath accessories, hangers and beach bags.

The Play bedding features a convertible queen/king sheet and pillow case concept that is patent pending, said Patsy Pollack, president of Donna Karan Home. The 17 print, two solid-color collection is a mix-and-match program that will be housed in a specially designed four-level fixture that holds eight patterns for each of the items in a 36-square-foot space.

Play is a key element in the Home Collection's goal of increasing its retail productivity, said Pollack. "It's not space intensive and doesn't require beds to tell the story" with the visual presentation that is integral to the retail display.

Play also represents a merchandise departure for the company, Pollack explained. "From a design viewpoint, we're very much about detail — embellishments, embroidery. Retailers look at us as a bed. Customers may want to buy pieces, and prints provide us another opportunity for a fashion-confident customer. They're vintage but updated in color."

Play duvet covers and quilts are $199, while sheets are priced at $59.

In Donna Karan Collection, Morning Light reflects an antique Moroccan inspiration with engineered embroidery on a Pashmina night spread, queen and king are the same size — a new classification for the company. A silk Euro sham repeats the embroidery motif. Pillows feature embroidery, bandings, and basketweave techniques.

City Sky, another Collection introduction, has as its inspiration an Art Deco kimono hand-dip-dyed silk with ribbed embroidery, reversing to cotton for the duvet cover. The silk Euro shams have ribbon ties and embroidered accents. The sheet is 525-count combed cotton with a pleated hem.

In DKNY Life, Dusted Moonlight uses a sheer embroidery duvet cover with burnout accents. Sequins, studded suede and metallic accents highlight the accessories. Throws are silk with wool embroidery.

Tweed Dreams is inspired from the tweeds used in the designer's apparel collections with much use of texture and dimension. Circular eyelet embroidery is used on the bottom panel of the duvet cover, which is a cotton/rayon tweed. The quilt and Euro sham are satin reversing to ivory. Accessories include metallic stitching appliques on pillows and felted wool trim on pillows.

Bath has been expanded with three new Pure Bath towels, Fashion Bath and two Collection bath designs.

Beds in Collection are $450 for the queen duvet and $279 for the DKNY Life queen, sale.

Business, said Pollack, "has been great, and especially in the last 90 days. This year, we're focusing on productivity for us and our customers." Currently, there are 249 DKNY Life doors and 70 Collection doors with nine more Collection doors scheduled for Macy's West this year, bringing the total to 18.

Collection also will be part of the Donna Karan Collection store opening in Manhasset, N.Y. next month, as well as in London in the fall.

As for new products, "We're very close on tabletop," Pollack said. "We're also working on concepts for core solid-color sheets for both brands."

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