NEW YORK–Transitional collections that grant entry into new channels of distribution and new groups of consumers were a key part of the New York spring tabletop show earlier this month.
Some companies created new subbrands to address these opportunities. Lifetime Brands, for instance, created Towle Living and Pfaltzgraff Traditions, both modified, lifestyle-oriented versions of existing brands that offer opening-price-point options. Pfaltzgraff Traditions features more simple hand-painted designs, reactive glazes and embossed looks. They have a traditional, Pfaltzgraff flavor, at a lower price point ($49.99 for a 16-piece set of dinnerware) and an open distribution strategy. Towle Living promotes a more casual, contemporary style and an open-stock philosophy—oversized stainless-steel serving pieces in a basic pattern will be sold individually, while a new “mix your style“ program offers individual flatware place settings on a cardboard back for $12.99 retail. Casa Moda is a new brand altogether that assembles a variety of materials, styles and techniques, primarily in dinnerware.
Villeroy & Boch has brought in Vivo, a new brand that is shape-oriented, much like its successful New Wave franchise, at a considerably lower price point ($12 retail for a dinner plate). The first collection includes white, undecorated porcelain dinnerware in a softened clover shape with the option of a cherry or kiwi rim treatment. Similarly shaped glass storage pieces and drinkware are also part of the collection.
The next installment of Vivo would include a decorated look and additional shapes.
“This is a brand that commands a new marketing approach and represents a radical break from conventional selling,” said Bernard Reuter, president, in a statement. “We’re looking for retail partners who are open to a new way of thinking about this product concept, how it’s merchandised and displayed.”
More casual, lifestyle-oriented collections were seen throughout the show. Other trends included nature-inspired looks, matte finishes, reactive glazes and an emphasis on texture. — Allison Zisko