Vendors of high-end bed ensembles were bold with color at the New York International Gift Fair.
Historically, the upper end of bed fashions has been dominated by plain vanilla colorways—white, ecru, beige, neutrals, linen shades. However, the color palette for many of the ensembles seen at the Gift Fair was broader and bolder, presenting bright shades from a variety of color families.
Bold colors were emphasized by 1891 by Sferra in its new High Life collection, which includes the two ensembles Blue Eyes and Mai Tai. The inspiration, according to a statement from Sferra Bros., parent company of the 1891 by Sferra brand, is 1960s Las Vegas reflecting the era’s bright lights, hotels and night life.
The new ensembles also follow the focus of the 1891 by Sferra brand, which was introduced by Sferra Bros. in fall 2007. The brand has been targeting younger consumers by using what the company described as “fun colors and a fresh sensibility.”
“There’s been more emphasis on color even in apparel, and now you’re seeing it in home,” said Aaron Stewart, creative director for Sferra Bros. “You see it at retail, too. The high-end specialty stores have always been influenced by apparel fashions. You see creative directors across retail who are looking for bright colors. They’re not scared of them.”
Traditional high-end bedding vendors, such as Peacock Alley, and relative newcomers such as Blissliving Home have joined the movement to expand the color offerings in upper-end bedding as well.
Peacock Alley debuted a new brand, ME, and geared its design specifically toward bright colors and bold patterns. As with 1891 by Sferra, the target audience for ME is younger consumers.
“We’re looking to reach consumers aged 25 to 35 years old,” said Mary Ella Gabler, president of Peacock Alley. “We’re providing them with aspirational purchases, and they have shown they are more adventurous in the colors they want.”
Gabler also noted that younger consumers are strongly influenced by the Internet, where many of them shop frequently for merchandise in all product categories. “Whether you’re a retailer or a vendor, you have to have merchandise on a Web site that makes a consumer stop and take a look,” she said. “You also need products that make them stay on the site and look at other products. These are two of the reasons why brighter colors have become important.”
Blissliving Home employed a broad range of colors on new duvet sets such as Saville, which features feminine colors on menswear fabrics; Kennedy, which uses vivid sapphire blues combined with navy; and Amelie—described by Mareike Finck, public-relations and marketing coordinator for Blissliving Home, as “an unexpected feminine cosmetic-color story.
“It’s definitely true for us that the color palettes are expanding,” Finck said. “ Last year for fall we had duvet sets in brown tones, but this year, we have expanded into other colors. People are really looking to bring more color into their lives.”
By no means was the textiles story of the Gift Fair confined to colors in bed ensembles. White goods had their day here as well, particularly in the introduction of a down comforter by Cuddledown that raised the bar on fill power.
Called The Limited Edition World’s Lightest Comforter, the new product is filled with 900 fill-power European white goose down, described in a Cuddledown statement as “the lightest down available.” It comes in three warmth levels and is covered in German batiste fabric that carries the Oeko-Tex 100 certification, granted by the Oeko-Tex Association of Europe, to be free of toxins.