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Capel Rugs partners with Designer Kevin O'Brien

Results of the licensing venture will debut at High Point Market

Capel Rugs and internationally renowned fabric designer Kevin O'Brien have announced a new partnership to create a line of fashion-forward area rugs.

The line will feature O'Brien's original designs, rendered by Capel's team of skilled artisans. It will be officially unveiled next month at the High Point Market.

"It's hard to describe how excited we are about working with Kevin," said Cameron Capel, director of national accounts for Capel Rugs. "When we first walked into Kevin's High Point showroom last spring, we thought, 'There's something special going on here.' We knew immediately that we wanted to be a part of it."

O'Brien, who began his career as an architect and painter, has worked in the design business for more than 20 years. His Philadelphia studio's designs are known for their use of natural themes and materials. The company started by creating decorative, hand-painted fabrics and then branched out into top-of-bed products, pillows, furniture, wall art and accessories.

O'Brien's partnership with Capel is his first official licensing partnership in the area rug industry.

"Kevin's creativity and passion make him the perfect person to collaborate with," said Tami Watras, director of merchandising for Capel Rugs. "His innovative use of color and the imagery of his designs are quite different for us and a wonderful departure from anything we've ever done."

"The creative team at Capel is always looking for an interpretation of traditional techniques that is relevant to modern life. It's exactly what everyone is looking for, and it's exactly what we are going to do with them," O'Brien said. "Capel is an American treasure, and I am delighted that we will be allowed to apply our unique design approach to their wide range of possibilities."

This fall, Capel and O'Brien will debut rug collections featuring transitional and contemporary designs constructed using wool and wool/viscose blends.

"The contemporary collection has a hip, downtown vibe, while the transitional designs are more tranquil and serene," Watras said.

"The architect in me always comes out and demands order, but the artist in me says, 'Let's toss it and have fun.' The results of this process, or rather, the results that lead to surprise and beauty, can be seen in the Capel line. So you get something bold and fun, yet grounded in structure," O'Brien said.

According to O'Brien, the new rug line is aimed at consumers "who have fantastic taste and are looking for stylish yet affordable products."

"Our rugs will appeal to customers with great taste who are holding out for something modern and stylish, not necessarily the simplistic, oversized graphics

that are commonly seen," O'Brien said. "Luckily for me - and for the consumer - Capel can offer this kind of rug at a very affordable price. Urban, sophisticated consumers live throughout the country, and they want to spice up their homes with items that express their personality."

O'Brien's products are currently carried in stores such as Anthropologie, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, ABC Carpet & Home, Bloomingdales, Gumps and Barneys as well as a number of gift and lifestyle stores.

Both Capel and O'Brien expect the partnership to expand the two companies' distribution, adding new types of stores and customers to their current bases.

The new rug collections will be on display throughout October's High Point Market at Capel's showroom, located in Market Square, space 112. Retailers and members of the media will be invited to meet O'Brien at a reception, time and date to be announced soon.

From original braids and fine hand-knotted rugs to innovative indoor-outdoor Capel Anywhere and youth-friendly collections, Capel offers more rugs in more categories than any other rug company. The company's complete product line includes one-of-a-kind, Capel proprietary, private label and licensed designer rugs.

Capel will debut four new outdoor collections at the Casual Market. Capel will also introduce new colors in existing collections. Please visit Capel Rugs in Booth 8-3050 at the Casual Market to see the new line and Capel's New Style Point of View.
To see Capel Rugs' program of more than 10,000 unique designs, visit

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