New Karastan line fills price gap
By Cecile B. Corral -- Home Textiles Today, 9/29/2003 12:00:00 AM
NEW YORK —
An area rug collection titled Vintage Road, launching next month at the High Point market, is intended to breathe new life into Mohawk Home's upstairs Karastan brand with designs and price points the company has yet to offer.
"Everything today is about comfort and relaxed elegance, and less about formality," Elizabeth Miller, senior vp, style and design, told HTT during a preview at the New York Home Textiles Market last week. "Vintage Road rugs are intended to look like heirlooms that are classic but not as traditional our other lines."
A departure from Karastan's more formal and high-end offerings, Vintage Road comprises three patterns that incorporate 16 colorways, mainly warm hues like chili red, greens, golds, plums and browns, all new to Karastan's palette.
The rugs are made at Karastan's factory in Eden, NC, on its Axminster machinery with new yarn system technology. The construction is a blend that employs mostly New Zealand wool. Estimated retail price points for Vintage Road include $799 for a 5'9" x 8'6" and $1,499 for an 8'8" x 11' — both of which hit a new level for Karastan, which currently doesn't carry mid-level price points.
"This collection is $600 to $700 less than our 700 Series," which is made of 100 percent New Zealand wool and features formal and traditional designs and retails for $1,999 for an 8'8" x 11' size, Miller explained.
"Karastan was really missing out on that customer who wants to decorate with ease. But Vintage Road hits our price point gap and offers a look Karastan wasn't offering before," she said.
Studio, in the 700 Series, is Karastan's most affordably priced collection — a 100 percent Eversoft nylon collection that retails for $399 for a 5' x 8'.
As is the case for all of Karastan's area rugs, Vintage Road caters to the company's existing customer base: department stores and Karastan dealers.
The three patterns are Bergama, which features the lowest pile Karastan has ever offered and is inspired by antique rug designs; Alhambra, inspired by a Sultanabad design with red and brown colors; and Sierra, which is the most casual of the three designs and employs many hues of red, blue and brown.
"[Sierra] works with today's trends, like denim," Miller said. "Until now we didn't have anything for those people buying duck slip covers in denims and khakis and reds."
Also setting Vintage Road apart for its sister brands, the company created a new logo for the new collection, which will be expanded with new patterns, styles and sizes like runners and rounds next year, Miller said.
Vintage Road's available sizes initially are 3'11" x 5'6", 5'9" x 8'6" and 8'8" x 11'.
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