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Cinde W. Ingram

Tommy Bahama Outdoor Collection sets sail

Tommy Bahama made quite an impression on casual furniture retailers as the brand's outdoor home furnishings were introduced July 8–10 in Chicago.

The debut included 11 complete collections of outdoor furniture plus a variety of stone tabletops and assorted individual pieces with unusual features, such as a reversible game tabletop. Adirondack chairs appeared in signature Tommy Bahama colors along with big billboard pillows, drawn from five favorite brand themes.

Due to strong retail response, a small gallery of the Tommy Bahama product will be shown at the Casual Market.

"What we tried to do is to pull together everything that creates the Tommy Bahama lifestyle," said Bill Echols, president, Outdoor Experience. Tommy Bahama has partnered with Outdoor Experience to produce casual lifestyle furniture and related accessories to create a complete outdoor living environment. Products can ship together in one container from one location, he said. "We wanted to bring some really fun things to the outdoor side. The whole philosophy of the line has been around letting the dealer create what they need for their market at what price point they want and fit that under the Tommy Bahama umbrella."

The collection includes umbrellas by American Holtzkraft, rugs by Shaw Living, ceiling fans by Emerson, lighting by Shady Lady, signature chairs by Old Adirondack and linens by Sferra. Erwin & Sons is the key supplier of outdoor furniture, which ranges from loom and woven materials to cast and tubular aluminum. Fabric suppliers include Sunbrella and Sunbury Textile Mills in addition to Braemore. Silver State will sell Tommy Bahama licensed fabric by the roll or yard, mainly to the design trade, Echols said. "We have 52 exclusive fabrics in our collection of about 95," he said.

Shelly's Cushions makes the billboard pillows, which drew good retail response.

"You can't do this without the pillows or the candles," said dealer Debbie Stegman of Patio & Hearth Shoppes, Dayton, Ohio. "You need the aroma."

Chrisann Furciato, Tommy Bahama director of licensing, said her goal is to provide consumers with the overall lifestyle experience.

Part of the Tommy Bahama launch, the Hibiscus Grove Collection, above, is cast aluminum in a natural bamboo finish. Right, Bill Echols and Chrisann Furciato with a billboard pillow.

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