Hits and Misses
With Market Wrapped up, Suppliers Identify the Best and the Rest
By Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 8/20/2007 12:00:00 AM
Don Johnson, executive vice president:
Hits: In bedding, Monique, a solid quilted damask; Palmas, a large scale tropical print on cotton canvas; and Ringo, a multi-circle motif in the Young Adult collection.
In window, Wild Flower, a jacquard and burnout combination and City Lights, an iridescent solid.
Misses: In bedding, Meredith, a heat transfer border print was too blue. In window, Facets was too dull and conservative.
Amy Zemser, vp, sales and marketing
Hits: Our biggest hits were the Liz Claiborne Blossom collection, including the Meadow and Collage placemats and the Linen Floral and Linen Stripe collection.
Also a hit was the Lenox Anna Griffin Accoutrements collection, including the Repousse and Climbing Rose tablecloths as well as the Lenox Butterfly Meadow tablecloth and accessories.
Our pen-line hits included the indoor/outdoor collection with all the new skus, including the picnic tote, picnic mat and picnic blanket. In kitchen accessories, the Lobster Shack and Sunrise four-piece sets that coordinate with tablecloths were hits.
Misses: Our "Herb" terry kitchen towel in a multi-colored palette was a miss.
Loren Sweet, president
Hits: The hits were our whole "Nature study" program with the botanicals and natural fibers. I would also say our yarn-dyed stripe program in both pillows and window coverings were big hits.
Misses: The disappointment from market was the Hawaiian postcard print collection. I think we might get some play on it, but maybe it was too narrow for our customers, who generally come to us for basic-type stuff. It might work better for catalogs and tourist locations, but that generally is not our customer.
Joan Karron, executive vice president
Hits: Photo Real Stuffits shower curtains, lounge chair covers and Back to Cool bedding.
Misses: Fake quilted metals in bath accessories.
Bob Weiss, director of sales and marketing
Hits: Creative Bath had 44 collections of bath ensembles in the upstairs portion of showroom alone. Twenty-two collections are already in-stock and ready for selling, based on customer previews we did months before market. Eleven more collections have been ordered across the board based on other customer orders. Examples of some of our best hits were Wilderness Retreat and Shadow Stripe and Shadow Leaves.
Misses: The last 11 ensembles we are either reworking some color changes or making slight design changes based on customers' comments.
One example of these misses is Atlantis stripe, a Joseph Abboud bath coordinate collection.
Julie Brady, office of the president:
Hits: Onyx, a black and gold story with a different take on the patch; Royalton, based on the success of a bath style in chocolate and blue, a continuing trend; and Madeira, a heat transfer print on a jacquard in spice tones.
Misses: Sunshine, an embroidery that was off the mark in colors that were 'burnt.' Other embroideries did better.
Custom Comfort / 100% Pure
Trevor Rabkin, executive
Hits: Evergreen, a good clean livable print bed with an eco motif in soft gentle green colorings; Majestic, a large scale natural chenille textured bed with Solido, a trio of pleats; Chelsea Gardens, a bright cheerful tropical; and Taos, a classic master bedroom print.
Misses: LiboTeal was too edgy in coloring.
Angela Boswell, design director
Hits: Dena Designs, a collection of six styles in better priced, vintage embellished looks — velvets, trims, eyelets; Eclipse window coverings in three categories — Therma Weave, Therma Back and Therma Liner — with light blocking and energy reducing properties and new packaging.
Misses: Lightweight spring throws, which is not a viable category. Throws need bulk and warmth.
Ex-Cell Home Fashions
David North, vp, marketing development
Hits: The bath hits included the Dominique and Jasmine shower curtain collections, the Parisian bath accessories collection, the Gossamer Leaf bath coordinate group, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation collections' Sage Harbor and West Palm groups.
In the table linens category, the hits were Elizabeth and Ridgeway.
Misses: In bath it was A.M. Rush, a pop art vinyl offering that was probably too early for its time. The table linens miss were the plaid coordinates and prints.
Jeff Kamback, vp, national sales manager
Hits: Pure and Simple, a washable wool blanket at the opening price point of $59; Royal Carefree with a lifetime guarantee; Private label Outlast/cotton and Valencia, Outlast/wool.
Misses: Feathersoft weave in cotton was too similar to existing styles.
Bill Spencer, national sales and marketing manager
Hits: Embroideries generally were a huge hit, with Shalimar outstanding because of its bells and whistles and price points — a paisley pattern and embroidery on the sheets and comforter; Victoria, a very traditional style with ruching around the top in sage green; and Nepal, high-end fabrications with gold metallic printing and an ombre on the base cloth, all at $199 for the four-piece set.
Misses: Dallas, a woven stripe that was basically brown; Maxwell, too modern for our customers."
Jesse Galili, vice president
Hits: Aurora, Alexander Julian's next generation of his Watercolours Collection was a hit with mix and match all-cotton printed top with coordinating sheets. It was right on trend with its hot new marbleized colors; Urban Chic, a unique ensemble with great textures and woven yarns of silver, taupe and russet and solid suede and damask accents.
Misses: Laguna, a bed with printed underwater motifs missed the mark as too regionally/customer specific.
Lawrence Home Fashions
Chris Chrisiansen, executive vice president
Hits: Anastasia, an elegant and luxurious ivory diamond design that reverses to a subtle stripe print and has jumbo shirred cording; Tremor, a contemporary mix of rhythmic design with an embroidered overlay and a subtle stripe on the reverse; and Archeology, a print drawing on nature with textures and neutral colors.
Misses: Glamour, a jacquard that was competing with a few like it in color and fabric.
Gretchen Dale, chief operating officer
Hits: Luscious, a two-ply, low twist with a whole new approach to low twist and high absorbency; Sensuous, a silk/Egyptian cotton blend with a heavily embellished jacquard border; and lots of general interest in Supima, Pima, and Egyptian cotton constructions.
Misses: Exotically Egyptian didn't have much going for it, and generally weak in plain Egyptian cottons.
Arnold Stevens, vp
Hits: The runaway winners were the different constructions in the Invista Comforel Two Point 99 yarns and the bath color story we presented was received very well.
Misses: We did a new construction in a solid shag called Devon and it didn't show the interest we thought it would because there are a lot of solid shags already in the marketplace. A lot of people already have placement in solid shags.
Michael Vidra, president
Hits: Chateau, a fresh embroidered look with a design motif of four branches covering the width of the bed; Lenox, an overall paisley but subtle in coloring and touches of channel quilting.
Misses: Salon, a charcoal and silver bed that missed completely; it had no reaction.
Park B. Smith
Park Smith, ceo
Hits: Eileen West's eyelet shower curtain and coordinate rug; Pfaltzgraf's Napoli and Blue Meadow in table linens, kitchen textiles and rugs.
Misses: Contemporary design in tapestry rugs were a total miss; tapestry and contemporary don't work.
Mark Grand, president
Hits: Cottage Collection — three beds were sold exactly as shown to one retailer; our better quality quilts, designed by Kathleen Field and other designers were strong.
Misses: Chelsea, a bed in reds and oranges was too hot.
Paul Sullivan, senior vp, sales and marketing
Hits: Our new Veranda Breeze and Wunda wool collections were big hits. The customers thought the product was excellent and offered tremendous value.
Misses: In our Magic assortment of opening price point polypropylene rugs, the Linger design was a miss.
Chris Ann Ernst, co-founder/vp
Hits: Visco 2 molded pillows were a big hit for us. Everyone liked the feel and squeezability of the foam. Mattress Transformer — with three inches of memory foam to turn any mattress into a bed — was another. Because of the economic climate, people are tentative about big purchases and this addresses it.
Miss: We put out a pressure mapping device to demonstrate the difference between sleeping on foam vs. a regular mattress, and everybody said: "I'm not getting on that thing!"
Softline Home Fashions
Jason Carr, president
Hits: Remington, a faux silk in 14 colors with four general valances had the right colors; Borgatta, a faux silk in a strie yarn dye slub in 31 colors and 108-inch and 120-inch length panels for puddling are becoming more important than 84-inch lengths.
Misses: Some new organzas that were too flimsy for drapability; and Sangway in eight colors.
Dan Cacella, executive vice president
Hits: In slipcovers, better basics in basic fabrications with better make-ups.
In window, Greenhouse, our eco-friendly presentation; Paradigm, a clean, modern look; Covington and Tripoli, good chenilles, and Montauk, one of the new blackouts in suede with embossing.
Misses: Laurel was too high style; Hampton Court was too opulent.
Dale Talbert, vice president
Hits: Morgan, the coloration was great and it's carpet friendly, it has an octagon-shaped motif, not a medallion; Royal Palm, a print with chocolate palms on duck that was clean, distinctly classy; Horizon, a non-traditional flocked design.
Misses: Ziani and Yasmin were in the wrong colors; we tried different colors that didn't work.
Chip Scala, president
Hits: Temple of Flora, a Williamsburg design on pique blew off the map; Vendome, a Waverly jacquard was more elegant design; and Waverly's Forever Yours Spring was a totally spring-like mood.
Misses: Linen Patch was a cut and sew patch and Prussian Dot had lots of interpretations elsewhere.
Frank Snow, vp, operations
Hits: From a construction standpoint, one hit was our 300 thread count stripe with an overprint called Canterbury for its cleanness of execution and something just slightly differentiated. From a design standpoint, Anzibar with the yard-dye insert was big. Bond Street, with a herringbone weave, struck customers as being unique.
Miss: Caprice, a damask jac. The difference that this product had from others out there most felt could not be detected by the consumer.
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