Britannica Home signs Bill Blass
By Michele SanFilippo -- Home Textiles Today, 3/1/2004 8:00:00 AM
NEW YORK —
After spending roughly two decades at Springs Industries, Bill Blass has inked a licensing agreement with Britannica Home Fashions and will begin showing new product at the upcoming New York Home Textiles Market.
Six new patterns will be unveiled — along with sheets, throws, quilts, decorative pillows and window treatments — for a full bedding collection.
"We're stepping up the product to be more of a luxury bedding item," explained Sally Messina, vice president of product development.
Comforter sets will retail for $199.99 and sheeting of 400-thread count and higher will retail for $79.99. The new license, which was signed this fall, will target department stores and the big boxes with a higher level of merchandise than was previously produced.
"Britannica is a little more innovative because they are a smaller company that can turn things around fairly quickly," said Michael Groveman, president and CEO of Bill Blass International.
"Also, the fact that they are an importer versus a domestic manufacturer was important. Because Britannica doesn't have a portfolio of designer brands, we feel that we're going to be very important to them and serve as a front runner."
According to Messina, "Bill Blass came to Britannica because they were looking for more of a pieced and embellished look, which is something we do very well."
Some of the tailored, more sophisticated and formal new looks will feature velvets, embroidery, poly dupioni, poly silks, and jacquard chenilles with cords, trims and brushed fringe.
Added Groveman, "We are looking to target consumers who have bought Bill Blass products in the past and have a certain level of taste, as well as entice new customers."
Britannica designers spent a good deal of time looking at Bill Blass' archives of apparel designs from throughout his career, which served to inspire the new collection.
The six new patterns include Vintage, Stained Glass, Indian Summer, Jordana, Golden Ribbon and Blossom.
Vintage is a pieced comforter of satin squares in neutral tints.
It features embroidered detailing on a crushed poly-silk fabric, along with pieced, beaded, embroidered and cut velvet pillows.
Serenely colored Jordana combines silks, beading, embroidery, velvets and sari jacquards.
Its embellished pillows feature beading, rouching, cut velvet, and appliques.
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