Soft goods vendors start 2013 with enthusiasm
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, February 16, 2013
The soft goods category - including top of bed, decorative pillows and throws - is off to a great start in 2013, vendors told Home Accents Today. And with a lot of new and exciting developments on the horizon, they are looking forward to a great year.
Ridvan Tatargil, principal of Eastern Accents, which produces top of bed, decorative pillows, sheeting and other soft goods, said the year is already off to a good start with a strong Atlanta market. The company was recognized by Americasmart as the winner of the Best in Show Visual Display Award for its Barclay Butera lifestyle display, which showcased the licensed bedding collections, as well as complementary products from his other licensees, including Bradburn Gallery, Nourison and Zodax.
Eastern Accents exhibited for the first time at the winter Las Vegas Market, with a new location in the first floor lobby of Building A. A new licensed collection with luxury fabric house Scalamandre will debut in April for High Point, where the company will also add two more Butera bedding collections. Eastern Accents also is adding a line of Butera-branded mattresses and high-end down to create a "complete bed" collection.
"I'm very optimistic about this coming year," Tatargil said. "Hopefully, we will do significantly better this year, because we have a lot of projects in place going forward."
Alexandra Schulz, product designer for Eastern Accents, said bright color has been really important for the company, specifically emerald green, tangerine, navy and spa blue. In terms of look, streamlined, simple, transitional designs are selling best, and anything with linen is hot, she said.
Though Derrick Lo, president of Peking Handicraft, says the top of bed business has become very price-sensitive, there is reason for optimism, and he thinks his line hits the sweet spot in terms of design and positioning within the market. "Peking has always been known for unique design, special details and high quality at affordable prices," he said. "I think the top of bed business has become highly promotional except for the branded business. In those cases the brands need to be relevant. The look must be fresh and different than anything else in their category," he said, citing Peking's Trina Turk line as an example of this.
In terms of color, brights are very important now. "Color on color is good but the most popular patterns for top of bed tend to be a bright grounded with white," he said. "In the decorative pillows you can add multiple color combinations. Specific colors are corals, reds, orange and sunny yellow, as well as pop colors from the blue family. Turquoise and cobalt are key. Greens are moving away from the yellow- casted ones and moving towards the Pantone color of the year - emerald.
For Cody Hutcheson, principal of Dallas-based rep group Codarus, shades of green are hot, as are combinations of blue and gray. "Color is king," he said, noting that his company represents five major soft goods vendors -- Pine Cone Hill, Bella Notte, Peacock Alley, John Robshaw and Lili Alessandra - so he gets a good perspective on what's working for customers.
Also important, Hutcheson said, are casual, but refined looks, and anything washable is very desirable.
He too is excited about the start to 2013. "The soft goods business is not soft," he said. "We had a very successful 2012. Our vendors in top of bed, sheeting and accessories did very well. Consumers are changing up their bedrooms with color. Our Atlanta show was busy. I am happy to see more buyers than years past, and 2013 will be a rocking year. (Last year) was a big relief, and we are all looking forward to the new beginning."
This new beginning also includes a new showroom in Las Vegas. Located in space 376 of the newly configured "C-3" floor, the showroom represents the company's first venture west of Dallas.