Scala spans broader spectrum
By Michele SanFilippo -- Home Textiles Today, 9/8/2003 12:00:00 AM
NEW YORK —
Scala International is tapping into luxury brand specialists to expand into a host of new product categories: fine Italian sheets, tremendously oversized Turkish towels, and intricate infant bedding as well as matelassés, coverlets, throws and blankets.
Partnerships and sourcing alliances include exclusive co-branded lines with Italian bedding manufacturer Pino Fiori and Turkish towel maker Forza, infant bedding from luxury producer Ges, and bed coverings from Spain's Revert.
"In each new category we enter, we tackle it with the same inspiration, putting our own look on the products," president Chip Scala told HTT. "We really like to be a little different here."
For the first time in Scala's nine-year history, it has entered the print market in bedding as well as the towel business through Turkish towel maker, Forza. The two have established a unique, exclusive towel line complete with bathrobes for the States known as Forza For Scala. Oversized towel dimensions best distinguish Forza. The double thread-loop bergama cotton towels come in nontraditional super large sizes that are particularly appealing to men, are plush and completely organic. In time for market there will be one solid towel available in a variety of six to eight colors as well as six to eight different jacquard and pieced towels. Price points on these towels will cater to mid-level to high-end customers.
In bedding, Scala has introduced a uniquely serene hand-painted collection from India currently available in four patterns: Trellis, with its modern circular-swirl soft pink roses; Picture Frame, with its bordered array of hand-painted flowers; Vine of Flowers; and the regal Chinese Garden, which features a merlot and cream flower motif with beading embedded in a delicate lurex. The comforter for the line is actually a quilt without visible stitching that is layered with hand-painted pieces on an organza overlay. These dupioni silk quilts will retail for $129 for queen, $169 for king. Shower curtains and window panels will also be offered for up to $229.
Another first for the company is its partnership with Italian-based bedding manufacturer Pino Fiori; the two companies have formed an exclusive bedding line known as Pino Fiori For Scala. Pino Fiori offers Scala a collection of high thread count (300- to 800-count) Egyptian cotton sheets, duvets, bed covers and matelassés that are artfully woven and produced in Italy but shipped from California for faster turnaround times. Pino Fiori's top of bed and sheeting are primarily jacquards that can be described as contemporary to classic and elegant in style.
"The marriage of Pino and Scala works because they have really good materials and ship from the U.S. This relationship offers us the ability to use our marketing and their manufacturing and raw materials," added Scala. "Plus we always want to do tasteful, high-quality fabrics here."
Scala has also started working with well-known Spanish matelasse and coverlet maker Revert, which is supplying a collection of matelassés, coverlets, throws and blankets.
A third new area for Scala is baby bedding, which is being supplied by Ges, a Turkish firm specializing in fine detail work. Through Ges, Scala will have three baby designs and two adult patterns this market. The line's look is clean with tucking accents and lace edging.
In addition, Scala is now offering white-on-white bedding and linens with hand-crafted embroidery, crocheting and delicate lace in its Old World "La Nonna" collection. They have also introduced a line of whimsical placemats in stripes and plaids, and unique Picnic accessory sets featuring full-sized hammocks, floor mats, cushions, napkins and place mats available in five to six different colors. Picnic, which will primarily be sold to catalogs, will come bundled in the actual fabric that comprises the hammocks.
In window, Scala is offering 60/40 polyester and silk blend panels featuring a wheat design embroidery, lurex and beading that comes in two to three other floral designs and is available in salmon. For windows and shower curtains, Scala is featuring Nyla, a crinkled cotton panel with contemporary tie-dye along the sides in blue, green, adobe and yellow.
Finally, Scala's fashionable and artsy line of silk decorative pillows features intricate jacquards, crunching and tucking techniques, embroidery, hand-painted designs, braided jute latticework, beading and sequins.
"Everything we do, we put our own personality and spin on, which can be described as more on the cutting edge, more couture with an eye on fashion basics so customers can layer back to basic solid sheets," explained Scala. "You have to layer your items by offering a basic component in every category. Even in our decorative pillows, where we take more fashion risks, 99 percent of them are reversible to a basic dupioni silk coordinate."
But overall, Scala wants retailers to come to the showroom and get a sense for the expansiveness of its offerings. "I want them to feel as if their customers can practically decorate the whole house with the various lines we sell," added Scala. "I don't know how else you can compete without offering lots of different categories for your customers to choose from."
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