New Dan River label eyes older youngsters

Retail Editor 4, Marvin Lazaro, October 28, 2002

Taking aim at a new age group that is older than tweeners but not quite up to their first apartment, Dan River Home Fashions unveiled its newest label, Kaleidoscope.

The new collection was unveiled during the home textiles market in a newly redecorated section of Dan River's showroom at 1325 Sixth Ave. here. According to Faye Honor, design manager for Dan River's Home Fashions for Kids division, the major mill wants to take a step away from its juvenile and tweener offerings by designing an older line for a demographic that no other company is addressing.

"It was originally conceived with a more definitive age group," Honor told Home Textiles Today. "But it focuses on teenagers and can go up to 20-years-old or older, so it's really open-ended. I think the real niche is that kind of 13-to-20-year-old range."

Sunshine, Crushed Caper, Shimmering Sherbet, Oriental Box, Awakened Emerald and Awakened Amethyst are all part of the Kaleidoscope offering. Each bed has its own 100 percent cotton sheeting as well as its own dedicated line of decorative pillows.

"Everybody loved it," Honor said. "It certainly did make an impact."

Sunshine utilizes a sheer yellow fabric with a gold metallic printed dragonfly pattern. Crushed Caper is a blue jacquard on the top-of-bed, while the backing is a solid crushed fabric. Shimmering Sherbet features a sheer fabric layer over a solid with an abstract design printed in metallic silver puffy print. Oriental Box has a windowpane pattern in multiple colors on shimmery fabric in purples and oranges. Awakened Emerald and Awakened Amethyst are essentially the same pattern, but in two different colorways, green and purple. The top-of-bed here uses a crushed fabric with an iridescent satin-type fabric on the back.

In addition a core group of pillows, whose colors coordinate back to the beds, are also offered, as are a variety of area rugs and coordinating soft window coverings.

Only twin, full and queen sizes are being offered. And the earliest forecast shipping date is March 2003, since all of its beds are sourced from overseas, China in particular.

"All the fabrics are unique," Honor said. "They're all either sheers overlaid onto solids or crushed or woven in some interesting way so that it's really about the fabric and the feel and the look.

"It's dramatic and fun but not totally serious."

According to David Jackson, product manager for Dan River Home Fashions for Kids, the merchandising of the line, whether to offer it as bed-in-a-bags, comforter sets or open stock, has yet to be finalized. Dan River is gauging the reactions and preferences from retailers to determine that. Following that, the pricing is also undetermined, but Jackson did say the least expensive retail price point a twin comforter at open stock may be offered is $79.99, with $99.99 representing the most expensive. "So you're looking at what could be a $249 to $299 retail if you offer it as a bed-in-a-bag," Jackson said.

A new logo and packaging have also been developed for the Kaleidoscope line.

The next home textiles market will also see the realization of several new licensing agreements with Dan River Home Fashions for Kids. Hamtaro, a popular Japanese cartoon; He-Man and the Masters of the Universe; Galidor; Wiggles; and Madeline, all join the established licenses Dan River already produces, such as Star Wars, Spider-Man, Batman and NFL.

""We're constantly working on developing new things," Honor said.

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